All Voices Matter: all you need is compassion


Maya Silberman

In her revival of the weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Sydney Bishop offers her take on various social and cultural issues.

Sydney Bishop, Staff Reporter

Compassion. Sometimes that’s all someone close to you may need to decide they do want to stay here on this earth after all. The truth is, suicide prevention is too often talked about and not often enough exercised. Maybe, it’s because nearly 96.2% of the population isn’t dispositioned to really understand it. 

According to the WHO nearly 3.8% of the population is affected by clinical depression. As a part of that 3.8% I want to paint you a picture of what we really go through, especially as students and teens in this generation.

My depressive episodes encapsulate me deep into an absolute whirlwind that most of the time I can’t even see coming. My brain casts a veil over me that impairs my sense of reality. I get convinced that I have no place in this world, and quite frankly it’s moving too fast for me to handle. 

I can’t keep up with time because I’m frozen in a deep, motivation-less trench while deadlines and important dates pass me by. Over the years I’ve programmed myself not to slip too far behind on classwork, as I remind myself that transcripts don’t care about your depression. But I also can’t help but wish that someone did. 

When I’m depressed I’m forced to become mechanical, letting no one perceive my mental state while I struggle to keep up with work and obligations. Walking through the doors of a high school building feels like stepping out of a moving car on a busy highway. Turning in assignments on time feels like diving through the entrance of a plane right as the terminal closes. 

I store a reservoir of what little energy I’m afforded while I’m depressed and hope that I can use it to get through each day. The deeper I sink into the bottomless trench depression causes me to slip into, the more energy I’m having to take away from simple tasks. Suddenly my room is a mess and my clean laundry has sat on my floor for weeks.

Nothing compares to the feeling of that energy running out though. The word low had no meaning to me until I experienced it. 

It usually happens once I’m in my room, sitting in my bed. My body begins to feel like lead and hours are spent attempting to use cheap distractions to chase away the devious thoughts that plague my vulnerable brain. When I finally run out of diversions, the thoughts seep through the porous membranes of my unoccupied mind. 

These are the times when I feel that there’s no happiness left for me to experience. I feel hopeless and doomed to be in this depressive state until I take things into my own hands to end it. I’m forced to ponder the question “does it really get better?”

It becomes ironic when people like us conceal our depressive states in hopes we won’t be taken as weak, but also plant small cries for help with hopes stowed deep in the far depths of our mind that someone will notice and extend some compassion. 

I’ll forever be thankful for the people who notice my change in demeanor and ask if I’m okay, or the people who see my messy room and offer a listening ear for my feelings to fall onto. 

Let’s make one thing clear, suicidal people do not want to die, they want to escape. When someone takes the time to be compassionate to us at our lowest, that’s when we’re able to claw our way out of the rut we’re stuck in. 

Empathy feels like a bright ray of sun beaming down on us, penetrating the darkness that has consumed us for all of this time. Suddenly, there is an end in sight to our desolation, and our bodies slowly regain motivation. No presentation or pamphlet can compare. 

Compassion is suicide awareness.