All Voices Matter: depression isn’t one size fits all

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

When people think of depression, people think of constantly negative people who always talk about how sad they are and how the world has no meaning–basically, they’re just pessimism in human form. However, that’s not exactly the case.

There are many types of depression; each different. Some people have seasonal depression, where depressive episodes that begin and end in a certain season. Some girls have depression when their cycle begins. Bipolar disorder is also called manic depression, where someone has mood episodes that are always going up and down. Bipolar disorder is very common in my family, and I have it as well. I don’t take any medication since I don’t have access to it, and sadly that’s the same for many other people like me.

Not everyone with depression is suicidal. Actually, depression is more than just suicidal thoughts. Low self-esteem, fatigue, feeling hopeless, sleeping too much or too little, binge eating or not eating at all–that’s just a handful of symptoms for a few types of depression. The media portrays people with depression as miserable, constantly dreading the next day kind of people, when in reality that isn’t true at all. At least, it doesn’t apply for everyone with the mental illness.

Take 13 Reasons Why as an example. Psychologists believe it is a poor portrayal of depression and suicide, making suicide look like a way as revenge and that it cannot be prevented. And from personal experiences, people took my depression as a joke, saying I should just get to recording tapes and giving it to my enemies. People are easy to persuade these days, and the fact that it took a TV show–a badly written one at that–for people to realize bullying, sexual assault, depression, and suicide are actual serious issues is actually quite concerning.

Shows such as 13 Reasons Why do not help the stereotype that everyone with depression will kill themselves eventually and that they bring down everyone around them. it’s harmful. It’s in insensitive. It’s disgusting.

We’re people too. If you’re able to cry about how Hannah Baker and Clay Jensen’s bootleg Romeo and Juliet sob story and give your sympathy about to fictional characters, you should be able to do it for real people too. Acknowledge that not everybody with depression is like Hannah Baker. Treat those with depression like the humans we are rather than some weird comical stereotype.