Before you say it, just stop.  Before you say “but he/she was so successful”, just stop.  Before you say “I wish I would have known”, just stop.  Before you say “I wonder if there were signs”, just stop.  Before you say “but they seemed so happy”, just stop.  Just stop all of it.

Why are we so surprised that depression is on the rise when we are readily bombarded with the terrors of the world around us with no balance of anything positive.  Why should a person talk about it only to be told that it’s their perception of the world and they should just snap out of it and let it go?

Yes, a person can be successful and still be depressed.  As a matter of fact it stumps them too.  Yes, you knew, you knew when you tried to cheer them up when they were down and didn’t understand why that small gesture didn’t ease their internal pain.  Then you walked away.  Yes, there are signs, plenty of them, but were you paying attention enough to the others around you to realize the pain they were in?  Yes, they can seem like the happiest person in the room because they have learned that sometimes their pain can be eased by making others happy.   Yes, when you tried to make them happy it made them sad and they retreated.  They disappeared.  They tried to figure out a way to make themselves happy.

It is never just one thing, it’s a series of events.  Why are we so surprised that depression is on the rise when we are readily bombarded with the terrors of the world around us with no balance of anything positive.  Why should a person talk about it only to be told that it’s their perception of the world and they should just snap out of it and let it go? That as much as they see the people hurting around them and as much as they want to see things get better, you are telling them to just live with it.  That the bad will continue and you, as a member of society can’t change things to the positive.  Please tell me again why you are surprised?   When they try to make things better and you tell them the problem is not theirs to worry about and to just forget about it but no one steps up to claim ownership of the problem.  Please tell me again why you are surprised that they fall into a deep despair of the human condition.

Please, we have ignored this long enough, isn’t it time that we realize that if we listened to those bold enough to speak of the evils that are plaguing our society and ask how we can join together to make our world a better place that we potentially could make a difference, save a life, make our world more of a place that people thrive in instead of survive in.   Please don’t call them mentally weak.  They are stronger than you could ever imagine.  That is how “you” cope with the mentally ill but remember, many of them were mentally healthy at one time, so it could happen to you too.  So please, just stop, just stop blaming the person, ignoring the signs, making it taboo to talk about, shuffling it under the rug as if the problem will go away on its own.  It won’t. So please, just stop.


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Raissa Urdiales
RAISSA is a strategic leader experienced in large-scale business transformation and change management within the Healthcare and Manufacturing Industries focusing in the area of Human Capital. She has a degree in Psychology specializing in Organizational Development. She looks for balance in life through all things that make us human. As a lifelong learner, she believes in paying it forward by mentoring and coaching those around her. She has a passion for writing and enjoys painting landscapes from her travels around the world. In the Digital Age, and the movement from the Baby Boomer Generation to the Millennial Generation, she takes her role as a GenXer very seriously. She believes GenXers are here to bridge the gap and assure we stay human in the new Digital Age.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

Fantastic Article! So true and a topic that needs a lot more discussion!

Raissa
Raissa

Thank you!

Laura
Laura

Thanks for challenging us to take action.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Thank you for this acknowledgment. Well meaning people want to help, yet sometimes the best help is just an ear who’ll listen, not try to fix.

Kathleen O'Keefe-Kanavos
Kathleen O'Keefe-Kanavos

Raissa, as I read your deep felt article I was reminded of two things, Robin Williams and the saying “Laughing on the outside, crying on the inside.” and my Radiation group. When I was going through cancer treatment all three times our little radiation group that bonded over the 8 weeks of treatment were very tuned-into the emotions of others in the group. Often we found the best way to help them through a wave of severe depression was to simply listen and lend a shoulder for them to cry on. You have given us much to think about.

Nathalie Villeneuve

Great article. It brought to memory the times I visited home while in college. My father seemed out of touch and really quiet. The signs were there for sure but we didn’t know what to do as it was so subtle. It was 1987 after all and we are from a small town in Quebec so not much to report there…and no social media back then either. But my gut was telling me something was different about my dad. He committed suicide in November. just a few months after I had started my second year in College. Depression is sneaky. It doesn’t seem obvious. What I can say is ask more questions, be more present and don’t brush people off as negative.

Maria Lehtman

Thank you, Raissa, for sharing about this challenging topic! The difficulty is that these conditions, as you say, are tied to many aspects of life. And the conditions can go up and down. Sometimes unawares to the people themselves until it’s almost too late to turn around. The journey there is shorter than the journey back to healing. But it can be done with the right support group. Our individualist society has left little room and time for the right things to happen with the right flexibility.