One love... One Less

October 5, 2010
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A girl sits surrounded by people. She talks, laughs, and acts totally normal. However, it is just a cover. Inside of her is a loneliness that washes through her… and unexplainable sadness that she constantly feels. She fears speaking of it… of admitting the hatred she has for herself. No one could possibly understand what she is going through. How many people must live like this girl each day, and go unnoticed? Every 6 months, over 9.4 million people feel this way ( They have depression, one of the most common illnesses among teens and adults alike. Depression is extremely treatable, but rarely diagnosed. As a whole, the human race disregards depression as a feeling that can be switched on and off. Unfortunately, this is not so, and the lack of awareness we have of it leads to some of the most destructive forms of behavior in society. Eating disorders, addictions to drugs and alcohol, suicide and teen violence have all been traced back to untreated depression. As Americans, we greatly value freedom. Together, we can take a stand to free our people from the prison of depression by becoming more aware of the sickness and symptoms, learning how to prevent it, and how to help those that are diagnosed.

The first step to learning about depression is to understand the illness. Depression is a recurrent disease usually caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. There is no set level of intensity with this illness, but many different forms of it. The most common three are as follows: Manic Depressive Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Minor Disorders. Manic Depressive Disorder, or bipolar disease, is one of the strongest forms of depression. It is an illness that affects over 1.2 percent of the American population. Bipolar disease changes emotions, appetite and energy levels at rapid, random rates ( Major Depressive Disorder, or clinical depression, is the most common, and least treated type of depression. A person with this disorder experiences significant weight loss or increase, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, insecurity and random depressive episodes involving thoughts of suicide or self inflicted pain. The last common type of depression has numerous different causes and numerous different names. These are forms of depression that are caused by environmental factors. The most common are seasonal (depression caused by the changing of seasons… generally winter) situational (prolonged feelings of sadness and potentially harmful thoughts generated by an occurrence or life problem) and anxiety (depression caused by everyday stresses like work, school and family). Each day people are unknowingly afflicted by these types of depression… and each day they go ignored. How long can such sadness be bottled up before it overwhelms us?

There are many different causes of depression, exemplified by the many different degrees of it. Simple things like weather, types of food, past experiences, even school, can cause it. Studies show that in the winter, cases of depression increase in number due to the lack of vitamin C from less exposure to the sun. Eating bountiful amounts of junk food, or foods lacking in iron, protein or vitamins, can also cause mild forms of this illness. Any kind of stress can also take part in causing depression ( It is easy to see how any one of us in the world could be depressed at any moment. More severe cases however cannot be understood as easily. The most serious cases of depression can lead to suicide, loss of interest in life and social activities, drug and alcohol abuse, and many other dangerous, permanent issues. It is hard to understand how to help these people, and to understand why such side affects could occur. As a society, it is our responsibility to help these afflicted people understand their emotional changes are not always self-inflicted. Chemical imbalances in the brain are generally caused by genetics ( Depression, in these cases, cannot be helped or “held in”, and must be treated with a medication or therapy to assist in creating a function-able, live-able lifestyle.

Over 2 million teenagers are affected by depression in America as you read this ( As one person… one teenager, there is much you can do to reduce this number. By changing simple things in your own life, you can become one less teenager affected by depression. Eating healthier and increasing physical activity, things we have heard all our lives, reduces the risk of becoming depressed marginally. Allowing free time to relax and do things you love without stress is also shown to reduce the effects, and the risk of falling down the slippery slope of depression ( Working on yourself however is only the beginning. People that already have it are still struggling with their disease. Most forms of depression are recurrent and not totally cure-able ( Once you have helped yourself, it is time to help others. Stand up and do something if you see someone showing signs of depression. Talk to them, love them, and get help if it is serious. Be a friend to people you would not normally talk to. Be the person they know by your kindness. It is surprising what a small compliment or kind word can do to someone’s day.

By becoming one less teenager to have depression, we are one step closer to a goal of one love. One love for ourselves, for each other, and for the world. Being depressed will get us nowhere, and it can be helped. As one teenager, you can be the cure to someone’s sadness. Be the hope in their times of hopelessness. By learning more about the sickness and understanding the causes and effects of it, we can learn to see depression in our own lives and others. Through becoming one less and making a conscious effort, we can reduce the number. Look for that girl whose loneliness isn’t always seen. Show her she is not alone… and she is loved. Together, with one universal love in our hearts, we can become one less society affected by depression.

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This article has 7 comments. Post your own now!

turtlekirsten98 said...
Feb. 23, 2014 at 1:35 pm
Would you mind if I used some of your information in my speech about depression? You make some excellent points
cin[d]<3 said...
Dec. 8, 2010 at 8:20 pm
i loved yur essayy yu have helped understando soo muchh i just want to let yu know yu have impressed me i dnt really read but i really liked this
amyelise replied...
Dec. 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm
thank you so much! 
Cheekymonkey said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 4:04 pm
I am honestly impressed by this. I usually wouldnt read about health issues but you're essay had me hooked until the end.
mgb405 said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 11:45 am
In my way of thinking, depression is within everybody, being depressed is a part of our lives. I wouldn't say it is a disease. I would say depression is all in our heads. Some people would use depression for attention, because they don't get the love at their homes. 
amyelise replied...
Nov. 16, 2010 at 8:13 pm
In a way, that is kind of what my essay is about. In some situations, what you say is true, and everyone does experience sadness. You have come to a common conclusion-and misconception- about depression due to misleading and incorrect information that society has begun to feed. Depression is, by definition, a sadness prolonged or drawn out over a period of time, that can rarely  be totally explained, usually marked with suicidal thoughts, and other destructive behaviors. It is not just an a... (more »)
amyelise said...
Oct. 23, 2010 at 10:21 pm
Hey, man... It was for an English Persuasive essay and we had to post it on Teenink for credit... I'm not a huge fan of this essay either, and I wrote it... but at least be polite... please?
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