There’s been a series on anxiety and self-esteem. There’s even been one on motivation.
It’s about time we take a closer look at depression—the other category under “Mind.”
Not surprisingly, Part 1 of this Depression series is solely about eliminating the stigma that surrounds talking about it in the first place. But there shouldn’t be any stigma.
If you were to research depression online, you’ll realize three things 1. Depression is a disability with many unfortunate side effects, 2. It’s more widespread than you probably thought, and 3. It’s on the rise.
According to the World Health Organization, depression increased by 18.4% from 2005 to 2015 (1). That’s almost 20% in only a ten-year span. Furthermore, it’s been identified as one of the top causes of disability in the world. Economically speaking, it results in approximately $210.5 billion per year in lost revenue, mostly due to lower employee productivity and absences from work (2).
There’s a lot that can be blamed for the increase in the cases of depression. To name a few culprits: increased social media, increased loneliness and isolation, financial stress, and poor work-life balance. Whether you believe that part of the increase has more to do with people being more aware of what depression is than they were before, the fact remains that there are still a lot of people who currently experience it. One can also still argue that it’s on the rise.
Why is Knowing the Stats Important?
The main purpose of this post is to let anyone out there who might be suffering in silence know that they’re not alone. Depression is a silent epidemic that most people don’t want to talk about but should.
Sadly, there’s a lot of stigma attached to depression. Compared to anxiety and low self-esteem, it’s probably the one people are most afraid to open up about–in fear of appearing weak.
However, weakness is being in denial of a problem and pretending it’s not there. Weakness is experiencing the side-effects of depression that do actually cause you to be weaker in many areas of your life. On the other hand, courage is taking positive action steps to get well, instead of sweeping things under the rug. By lifting the veil on how prevalent depression is, hopefully, the stigma surrounding it can also be lifted, and more people will take action.
Things may not get better overnight, but they will in time. The more often we trade (weak) denial for (courageous) action, the more likely things will eventually change for the better.