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Panay News - - LIFE & STYLE -

doesn’t spring from sim­ply hav­ing too much or too lit­tle of cer­tain brain chem­i­cals,” the ar­ti­cle says.

It turned out, there are many causes of de­pres­sion. It in­cludes “faulty mood reg­u­la­tion by the brain, ge­netic vul­ner­a­bil­ity, stress­ful life events, med­i­ca­tions, and med­i­cal prob­lems.”

H o w F i l i p i n o s u n d e rsta n d de­pres­sion is dis­may­ing. We of­ten hear them judg­ing peo­ple who com­mit sui­cide, say­ing they are weak-hearted and im­pul­sive. They tag peo­ple who go to the psy­chi­a­trist as “crazy” and “ab­nor­mal.” They think de­pres­sion is some­thing you can just get over with by drown­ing your­self in al­co­hol and sleep­ing.

A friend once told me, “I hid the fact that I was di­ag­nosed with de­pres­sion be­cause peo­ple will judge me.” Which is a fact. That friend tried to open up a num­ber of times but of­ten, she was told to just “move on and be happy.”

It is im­por­tant to break this stigma. Thus, I have in­ter­viewed peo­ple with de­pres­sion and here are the things they want you to know.

“I hate how peo­ple al­ways say to just snap out of de­pres­sion when we just can’t. You can­not just tell your brain to pro­duce more sero­tonin. Just the way some­one with can­cer can­not tell his body to stop pro­duc­ing can­cer cells. It doesn’t work like that. Just be­cause some­one who is de­pressed is sad, you can­not just tell him to stop be­ing sad.” – Chris­tian, 19

“Some peo­ple al­ways tell me that I do not have any­thing to be sad about. I have my friends and my fam­ily. I live a com­fort­able life. I study in a good school. They ques­tion the fact that I am de­pressed. I am. I feel worth­less. I feel alone. I do not want to leave my bed. I am sui­ci­dal. The thing is: de­pres­sion chooses no one. It doesn’t dis­crim­i­nate. It doesn’t care if you drive a lux­ury car or have a fat bank ac­count. Do you know all those ac­tors and rich peo­ple who com­mit­ted sui­cide? They are suc­cess­ful. They are pop­u­lar. But when de­pres­sion strikes, it does with no re­gret.” – Rema, 20

“Peo­ple think de­pres­sion is a choice. Just like most things in life are choices. Who would even choose to be de­pressed? Who would even choose to get di­ag­nosed with such ill­ness? ‘You can choose to stop be­ing sad, you know,’ peo­ple al­ways tell me. But un­for­tu­nately, de­pres­sion does not work that way.” – Maki, 28

“De­pres­sion is treat­able. Some peo­ple think it is not. Some also think we don’t try hard to stop it. But we do. We re­ally do. I hope peo­ple will un­der­stand how hard it is to ac­knowl­edge the fact that you are de­pressed, and how tir­ing it is to take an­tide­pres­sants and go to the doc­tor for ther­a­pies. It is even harder if you do not have a strong sup­port sys­tem. So for peo­ple who think that they are de­pressed, ask for help. Go to an ex­pert. I hope time will come that there should be no shame when peo­ple go to the psy­chi­a­trists.” – Grace, 21

De­pres­sion is a se­ri­ous is­sue. Peo­ple with this ill­ness opt to suf­fer in si­lence be­cause they fear be­ing j udged. But they need our help. In our own lit­tle ways, we can change their world./

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