Throughout the past few years G-d has given me a heart for those who deal with depression. Not exactly sadness, but depression. There is a common disbelief in society about what depression is and is often mistaken with sadness. My freshman year I was bullied and had a hard time with the school doing anything about it. Mid-September of my freshman year the bullying started and reached it peak of hardness in November when a “friend” out of the blue turned her back on me and my friends.
Bullying is dear to me because out of personal experience, getting someone to do something about it is extremely hard to do especially in the hierarchy and management of the school. Unfortunately, often times being the victim of bullying can lead to severe depression. My freshmen year was hard, but somehow, with TONS of support from my mom, I made it through. My sophomore year quickly arrived and I was drowning academically, failing almost every test, spending hours studying but not having grades that showed it, and ready to be done. One text message that I received completely changed my focus; what was “important” to me wasn’t anymore. A friend who attends a separate school had been bullied for several years, and was in the hospital for a suicide attempt. Fortunately, this attempt did not work, but it was a huge eye opener for those around me.
If depression isn’t talked about it leaves those who have it in the dark (metaphorically of course). Being a friend to those who ARE being bullied, the ones who DO starve themselves, who HAVE suicidal thoughts, who DO go to counseling, that ARE depressed without a reason to be, has taught me something. No one cares about bullying and depression until you are dead. There is a country song that sums it up perfectly, even though it isn’t directly about suicide but about death, “A penny for my thoughts, oh no, I’ll sell ’em for a dollar, they’re worth so much more after I’m a goner and maybe you’ll hear the words I’ve been singing. Funny when you’re dead, people start listening.”
Watching my friend go through this, I have since tried to find those who are around me that have depression and befriend them. The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is: 1-800-273-8255. If you, or someone you know, is considering suicide, encourage them to call the Prevention Lifeline and/or 911.