The stigma of depression can keep individuals with depression from seeking the treatment that they need. 50% of people with depression do not receive treatment. We need to change this. More people will receive treatment for depression if we work together to help remove the stigma.
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Many individuals do not seek treatment because of the stigma associated with depression. Individuals with depression can be afraid to reach out for help for fear that they will be treated like an outcast in their own community.
Depressed people often seclude themselves for fear that people may see that something is wrong with them. But this seclusion is the very thing that can make depression worse.
Depression not only affects the individual that has the illness, it touches the whole family. Because of the stigma, caregivers are afraid to reach out to friends. This makes it very hard for the caregiver to manage their own emotional health. Very often the caregiver can be very worn down by being with an individual with depression.
The person with depression can’t see the world as clearly as they can without depression. Very often a depressed person can only talk and think about negative things. People will find it difficult to be with a depressed person for this reason.
In addition, depressed individuals often do not tell the people they work with that they have depression, because they fear that they will lose their job or that their career will be severely altered. For a person trying to recover from depression this can become a huge obstacle.
Not only do depressed individuals have to overcome a very debilitating illness, they often have to overcome the way people treat them. It can be a double edge sword, if you speak up you can be seen as an outcast. If you don’t speak up you can suffer in silence.
Depression should be accepted as any other illness. Depressed individuals are not asking to be treated with kit gloves, just be treated with respect.
Seeking treatment for depression should not be seen as a sign of weakness. It should be seen as a sign of strength. People should not suffer in the shadows. Depressed individuals should not be put away. Depressed people should feel free to seek treatment and live the best lives that they possibly can.
We can all do our part to help remove the stigma of depression. By removing the stigma more people will seek treatment and recover from depression.