When a musician, comedian, or author is lost to suicide, admirers are left to grapple with the shock and grief of losing such an impressionable figure. Amid the confusion and sadness, some media sources insensitively report on what happened. Reporters ask questions like “How could this have happened? He had such a loving family. What did he have to be depressed about? Why would someone with so much money and adoration do this? She seemed so happy.” Not only are these questions and statements ignorant, but this kind of reporting doesn’t serve those who are struggling with a mental illness with reassurance or support. It reinforces the notion of “How could I be depressed if I have nothing to be depressed about?” But depression is far more complicated than what the media would lead you to believe, and people from all walks of life suffer from mental illness -regardless of status, finances or celebrity.
You may feel secure in your relationships with friends, but you can also still feel spacey or anxious or guilty for not appreciating time with them. You may feel secure in your role as a student or employee, but you can also fail to give yourself credit for your accomplishments. Maybe you feel nothing. If life on the surface appears to be going well, but your feelings don’t reflect that, you could be experiencing depression.
Certain factors can impact the onset of depression, such as genetics, trauma, medications, or medical conditions. It can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of depression because sometimes it’s not just one thing that is triggering your moods. Depression can affect anyone. Regardless of your life circumstances, there is never a wrong time to seek help if you’re not feeling like yourself. But the sooner you seek help, the better off you will be in managing it. You may feel undeserving of the help or that other people have life more worse off than you, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to feel the way you do.
It’s frustrating when you can’t identify a direct cause for your depression, but finding help is the best thing you can do to address it. A mental health professional may help you reason out why you feel this way. More importantly, she can work with you to identify ways to help you feel better. Therapy and medication are both options to consider when discussing treatment with a mental health professional. Learning to live with depression is no easy feat, but seeking help can teach you the tools you need to appreciate and enjoy what life can offer.