Treat depression ASAP

Analicia Montoya, Reporter

DEPRESSION is a mental disorder characterized by persistent sad moods or loss in interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. Health is much more than a diagnosis; it is also one’s overall psychological well-being. Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States.

A majority of Granger High students have experienced depression in some part of their life or are currently going through it. Not that many people seek help because they feel ashamed. The number one priority is getting help when it’s needed. Seeking help is never the first option for anybody who deals with this disorder, but the sooner people do, the faster they can start feeling better.

Taking care of one’s mental health can mean seeking professional support and treatment. It also means taking steps to improve emotional health alone. Making these changes will pay off in all aspects of life.

Depression has different triggers. Sometimes it is developed without any obvious cause. Other times, it can be from genetics. Tragic, stressful life events like death, divorce, and financial issues can trigger depression, as well. Poor physical health and exercise can also play a part.

Darius Cunningham (12) had to deal with depression in the past, but he didn’t have the support he needed to manage it well. “At first, I thought it was really stupid to turn to something like marijuana, but once I did it, it calmed my nerves, and I felt relaxed. The problem is I got too hooked on it, so I quit using and started doing more active things to keep myself busy. That’s how I overcame a lot [of depression],” Cunningham said.

Using drugs and drinking alcohol affect the brain’s delicate chemistry and mood. Addiction will do more damage than good when it comes to mental health.

There are more positive ways to improve mental health.

First: people need to learn to value themselves. They should treat themselves with the kindness and respect they deserve.

Second: they should recognize the importance of sometimes quieting their mind. Overthinking and overanalyzing aspects of their lives can cause unnecessary stress.

Third: They should break up the monotony of their life. Getting caught up in a routine can damage the mind. A change in scenery, even if just going outside, can be really helpful.

Scott Laguna (11) knows firsthand how a change in routine helps after experiencing stress-induced depression. “My best friend died in a car accident at the age of 13. We met when we were young; she was my first friend. I stopped eating, and I couldn’t sleep for the longest time. The way I coped with this tragic event was by giving myself time and changing things up a bit,” Laguna said. Changing up routines helps people feel excited, knowing they have something different to look forward to.

Fourth: get more sleep. Sleep deprivation tends to lead into mental illness. It might not be easy taking these steps to improve mental health, but remember to take it one step at a time, have patience, and trust the process.