By Lydia Cooper

    Depression doesn’t discriminate.

    Being sad is a part of life. Every now and then we all get sad or even depressed. Depression is something that is not always understood and often associated with misunderstandings or stigma. Often people think that certain people such as the rich, old or funny can possibly get depression.

    However, anyone can get depression. Depression is a nasty dark turmoil that affects anyone of any stature, from rich, young, old, funny, famous, fat, thin, popular, lonely, black, white, any religion, any culture – it doesn’t matter, depression doesn’t see a difference and will affect anyone it touches.

    Being sad is a normal human emotion that everyone feels when something painful happens in their life such as a death, a divorce, a goodbye, a disappointment – but being sad isn’t constant and will eventually revert. Depression, however, is constant. Being sad is a normal human emotion that we can control but depression is a serious illness beyond a person’s control. A person with depression could be having a birthday or they might have just won a major award – but it doesn’t matter. Depression will still be there. Many people face this every every day; beneath the smiles there is a whole other world of struggle.

    When I first found out about Robin William’s death, I was extremely saddened because of great childhood memories connected with movies like Hook, Jumanji and Mrs Doubtfire. It literally felt like a part of my childhood had died. I was more sad that his death was due to the effects of depression, something that I understood but at the time would never think someone as funny as him could be affected by. Which is why it is important to know that anyone can be affected by depression.

    Sometimes the happiest or funniest person might actually have depression, or the businessman on the train who seems content or the young teenage girl chirping away with friends. We can’t tell when someone is dealing with depression just by looking at them because it is all inside; it is something hard to see yet there nonetheless.

    But with every problem there is always a solution – with depression there can be help.

    With depression you are not alone and there is help and support around. It isn’t easy but it is possible to feel better. There is support from trusted friends and family members. Support groups are available for people to go to where they can share and receive advice on how to cope with depression.

    Depression is a war many fight alone and is fought by thousands everyday, but by understanding depression more and the power of people reaching out to each other, depression is a battle that can be won.


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