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Recognizing the weight of depression

Students+at+Patterson+Mill+feel+a+sense+of+loneliness+and+sadness+because+of+their+depression.+The+environment+and+the+attitudes+of+their+peers+may+lead+them+to+hesitate+reaching+out+for+help.++
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Recognizing the weight of depression

Students at Patterson Mill feel a sense of loneliness and sadness because of their depression. The environment and the attitudes of their peers may lead them to hesitate reaching out for help.

Students at Patterson Mill feel a sense of loneliness and sadness because of their depression. The environment and the attitudes of their peers may lead them to hesitate reaching out for help.

Students at Patterson Mill feel a sense of loneliness and sadness because of their depression. The environment and the attitudes of their peers may lead them to hesitate reaching out for help.

Students at Patterson Mill feel a sense of loneliness and sadness because of their depression. The environment and the attitudes of their peers may lead them to hesitate reaching out for help.

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Depression is a dangerously common mental illness that is dismissed and downplayed. Students at Patterson Mill High School are impacted by depression and it is easily made into a joke among peers. To support and uplift those who face the illness, Patterson Mill students must be understanding toward one another and band together.  

Depression is a mental illness that is caused by an imbalance of hormones in the brain. Although everyone handles the illness differently, some symptoms involve withdrawal from usually enjoyed activities, feelings of hopelessness, appetite and significant weight change, sleep changes, anger or irritability, loss of energy, reckless behavior, concentration problems, and many more, according to Helpguide.org. “Depression is a pattern of behavior and thinking that results in extreme emotional sadness, suicidal ideation, suicidal attempts, lack of motivation, difficulty with memory, difficulty with sleep,” David Ehrlich, psychotherapist at Renewal Counseling Center in Bel Air elaborates.  

Although these symptoms are serious and can be considered dangerous, many students continue to make a joke out of the mental illness, minimalizing its impact and laughing it off. For those who suffer from the mental illness, this could increase negative feelings and lead to dangerous suicidal thoughts. If someone suffering from depression is told their illness is normal and that they’re being overly dramatic, they might hesitate to reach out for professional help. Many who have never dealt with the illness believe that awareness for depression is over stressed, but they have difficulty understanding the lengths of sadness those with depression face daily. “I think it’s misperceived by people who haven’t experienced it… They really don’t understand that overwhelming, sad feeling when there’s no reason to be sad; but that is because the hormone in the brain that’s supposed to regulate that mood is misfiring,” Jane Russell, school psychologist at Patterson Mill High School stresses.  

So, how should students go about supporting their peers? It may be difficult to know for sure if someone is facing depression, but there are prominent symptoms that you may look for in someone you care about such as: sadness and hopelessness, hostility, withdrawal or isolation, poor school performance, loss of interest in activities, fatigue or lack of energy, and restlessness. “I would try to open up with them, try to talk, if they shut you down, I would tell you to ask bluntly about suicidal questions,” David Ehrlich advises. “Have you ever thought about harming yourself? Have you ever wanted to hurt yourself? Any questions like that should be taken seriously. I would urge you to contact a therapist, mobile crisis, or some form of help for them if they feel like they’re going to hurt themselves. Sometimes just being there to listen to a friend can help a friend, too.”  

Depression is a very serious illness that must be treated correctly to ensure the safety of a student facing it. In severe cases of depression, someone may develop suicidal thoughts or tendencies, putting their life in danger and causing them to feel even more alone. In this situation, it’s important for someone facing depression to realize they have nothing to be ashamed of, that there is hope and there’s nothing wrong with reaching out for help. As peers at Patterson Mill, we should uplift those struggling and support them throughout their struggles rather than minimize their illness.  

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Recognizing the weight of depression