A window without light. A room without space. A paint without color. These are some of the reflections of depression. So many of us experience these reflections yet we are so hesitant to stand in the mirror of this emotion in fear of being judged, in anticipation of further darkness, in shame because of stigma. And what we may not realize is that the further we walk away from the reflection of depression, the more pain we acquire.
- “When present for at least six years, depression was associated with a generally increased risk of cancer.” ~ Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
- Depression can carry a high risk of suicide.
- Negative perceptions of depression and other mental health problems can result in social distancing, which actually worsens mental health problems.
- The current economic cost of depressive illness is estimated to be $30-44 billion annually in the United States alone.
- Some statistics have revealed that perhaps two thirds of people with depression do not recognize that they are experiencing a treatable illness and subsequently do not seek treatment.
- The United States Surgeon General labeled mental health stigma as one of the most significant barriers to mental health care in 1999.
- Mental illness has persistently represented one of the biggest economic burdens among health issues in the entire world costing trillions of dollars annually.
- The ways in which we perceive our depression and knowing all the facts about depression is incredibly important in helping us towards recovery.
- Clinical depression is treatable.
- Research indicates that gratitude and optimism may be key components to managing depression.
- Up to 80% of those treated for depression show an improvement in their symptoms generally within four to six weeks of beginning medication, psychotherapy, attending support groups or a combination of these treatments. (National Institute of Health)
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT) have been shown to be significantly helpful in the treatment of depression.
- Anxiety disorders (which often co-exists with depression) are highly treatable. Unfortunately, only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment.
When you see the light in your window as dark, reach out. When you are standing in a room without space, walk through the door. When you feel the color in your life has washed away, speak up. You are not alone and you are important and you can be helped.
“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.”
~ C.S. Lewis