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“Animals feel pleasure and unhappiness, excitement and anger, depression, fear, and hurt. They are more aware and intelligent than we imagine. They are individuals in their particular claim.”(Goodall, 2009). This English primatologist, anthropologist, and ethnologist meant by her quote that feelings including sadness, depression, and pain are natural; and, even animals feel it. Most college teenagers nowadays suffer or suffer from depression at least once in their lives. In fact, many factors may provoke depression in a college student such as pressure from studies, losing a loved person, or sometimes having some serious health problems. On April 20, 2019, I asked 10 random undergraduate and graduate students from my university by stopping them around campus and asking them my main question: Have you ever felt depressed? Their responses amazed me.

My first question to them was as follows: have you ever felt depressed? Nine out of ten students answered positively while one person stated that they had not experienced depression. It is impressive in fact, that 90% of my interviewees had experience before. My follow-up question included what are the main effects that they felt while they suffered from this disease called depression. Among these effects, there was sadness, loneliness, headaches, constant fatigue, and loss of appetite. Some of them had even tried to or wanted to commit suicide as they thought it was the only solution left to their problems. My third question to them is, how much time does it take a person to get out of this state of depression? The average of students answered that it was between 2 weeks and a month to recover from this illness; despite this, there were three out of ten responders felt they could never recover from it. Finally, the last question I asked them was what is the most efficient way to fight against depression? Some of these students proposed watching a good movie as that would help them to feel better; others preferred eating or traveling and discovering new places. Finding a good friend who could help or support you to get out of this state was also a good idea to get over this horrible state of mind, watching old pictures and videos may help them remember all the good times and moments that they spent with their friends and family.

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Many people affirm suffering from depression; however, what is the difference between depression and sadness? According to a Healthline article “Sadness is a human emotion that most people feel at a certain time during their life; in fact that feeling of sadness may cause emotional upset or pain. In addition, there are several degrees of sadness but they all occur in a relatively short temporary period. Unlike sadness, depression is a longer-term mental illness.” (Whelan, 2016). Depression is a higher and the longest level of sadness accompanied by a non-will to solve problems. Depression is a worldwide problem where “Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from it.”(World Health Organization, 2018). According to the same source (WHO, 2018), depression affects more women than men and it affects mostly teenagers between 18 and 25. I figured that compliment my findings; in fact, most people that I interviewed were among this group of teenagers. Depression may lead to many consequences such as sadness, constant fatigue, and headaches but the most dangerous consequence remains to be suicide. “Over 50 % of all individuals who commit suicide suffered from depression. If we include depressed alcoholics, this percentage rises to over 75 %.”(AFSP, nd). This fact shows how much suicide and depression are interrelated. This also did match my findings in fact, many people from my interviewees stated that they did feel at a certain time during their depression that suicide was a real possible solution to their depression. Nonetheless, what are the main causes of depression? According to the magazine Very-Well Mind, the nine most common reasons for depression are “Genetics and biology, brain chemistry imbalance, female sex hormones, circadian rhythm, poor nutrition, physical health problems, drugs, stress, grief, and loss.” (Schimelpfening, 2019). Studies nowadays have found that depression is a regular illness, and medicines can heal it. According to the Helpguide article, the most effective ways to get out of depression start with “knowing as much as you can about the type of depression that affects you and that by visiting a psychiatrist or a doctor that is specified in the field. Then, take the time to get the right treatment. Get social support and change your lifestyle. Changing your lifestyle such as getting healthier nutrition, sleeping better; reducing the stress that you are fronting every day and finally working out.”(Saisan, 2019). Many of those arguments also did match with my research and the responses that my interviewees gave such as getting social support or starting work outings. I think that nowadays, most people who suffer from depression are aware of it; and, if they have any will to get out of it, they can easily find help. However, it might take time and patience to get off it. As above-mentioned by Steven Wright “Depression is simply a combination of an individual anger starved of enthusiasm. (Wright, nd).

Finally, while researching for information concerning this topic and interviewing my interviewees, I did learn a lot about this subject. I learned a lot such as the real definition of depression which says that it is sadness but much longer and in a higher grade and level, or that it affects mostly teenagers between 18 and 25, and the different and complicated ways that people deal with it. To tell the truth, I also went through depression and I know what it feels like to be a victim of this illness. However, it is treatable. In my case, I did use most tips in the essay such as changing my lifestyle, finding a person to help me, and starting to work out and it did work. So do not give up and get out of your depression! And always believe in GOD.

References:

    1. Account Login. (n.d.). Retrieved April 23, 2019, from https://www.theovernight.org/?fuseaction=cms.page&id=1034
    2. Aryal, O. (2018, October 12). Can Qigong Help Manage Depression? Maybe. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@osmaraaryal/can-qigong-help-manage-depression-maybe-5f1db8f20b90
    3. Depression. (n.d.). Retrieved March 22, 2018, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression
    4. Friedrich, B. (2017, December 07). Leather: dangerous for the setting, Workers, Communities, and Animals. Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/leather-bad-for-the-envir_b_1696183
    5. Goodall, J. (2009). Explore 100 Famous Scientist Quotes Pages. Retrieved from https://todayinsci.com/G/Goodall_Jane/GoodallJane-Quotations.htm
    6. Report, G. N. (2018, October 31). Depression affects 4-5% of UAE’s population: Expert. Retrieved from https://gulfnews.com/going-out/society/depression-affects-4-5-of-uaes-population-expert-1.2018850
    7. Saisan, J. (2019, March 20). Depression Treatment. Retrieved from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-treatment.htm/
    8. Schimelpfening, N. (2019, April 22). There Are Several Factors that Would Increase Your Risk of Depression. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/common-causes-of-depression-1066772
    9. Whelan, C. (2016, November 14). Depression vs. Sadness: What’s the Difference? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/depression-vs-sadness#symptoms
    10. Wright, S. (n.d.). A quote by Steven Wright. Retrieved from https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/101902-depression-is-merely-anger-without-enthusiasm
    11. (2018, March 22). Depression. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression 

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