The coronavirus pandemic has taken a serious toll on the mental health struggles of Americans, particularly young adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25.5 percent of adults between the ages of 18-24 reported having “seriously considered suicide” due to the pandemic. 10.7 percent reported having suicidal ideations.
“Mental health conditions are disproportionately affecting specific populations, especially young adults. Other groups in which “significantly higher” responses were minority racial/ethnic groups, unpaid caregivers, and essential workers.
74.9 percent of people between the ages of 18-24 reported having at least one mental health symptom, with the number decreasing to 51.9 percent for adults between the ages of 25-44.
If you are experiencing suicidal ideation or symptoms of depression, please seek the advice and counsel of a mental health care professional. If you suspect a loved one has depression here is some advice:
Depression is a serious but treatable disorder that affects millions of people, from young to old and from all walks of life. It gets in the way of everyday life, causing tremendous pain, hurting not just those suffering from it but also impacting everyone around them.
If someone you love is depressed, you may be experiencing any number of difficult emotions, including helplessness, frustration, anger, fear, guilt, and sadness. These feelings are all normal. It is not easy dealing with a friend or family member’s depression. And if you neglect your own health, it can become overwhelming.
That said, your companionship and support can be crucial to your loved one’s recovery. You can help them to cope with depression's symptoms, overcome negative thoughts, and regain their energy, optimism, and enjoyment of life. Start by learning all you can about depression and how to best talk about it with your friend or family member. But as you reach out, do not forget to look after your own emotional health—you will need it to provide the full support your loved one needs.
Depression is a serious condition. Do not underestimate the seriousness of depression. Depression drains a person’s energy, optimism, and motivation. Your depressed loved one cannot just “snap out of it” by sheer force of will.
The symptoms of depression are not personal. Depression makes it difficult for a person to connect on a deep emotional level with anyone, even the people they love the most. It is also common for depressed people to say hurtful things and lash out in anger. Remember that this is the depression talking, not your loved one, so try not to take it personally.
Hiding the problem will not make it go away. It does not help anyone involved if you try making excuses, covering up the problem, or lying for a friend or family member who is depressed. In fact, this may keep the depressed person from seeking treatment.
Your loved one is not lazy or unmotivated. When you are suffering from depression, just thinking about doing the things that may help you to feel better can seem exhausting or impossible to put into action. Have patience as you encourage your loved one to take the first small steps to recovery.
You cannot “fix” someone else’s depression. As much as you may want to, you cannot rescue someone from depression nor fix the problem for them. You are not to blame for your loved one’s depression or responsible for their happiness (or lack thereof). While you can offer love and support, ultimately recovery is in the hands of the depressed person.
“You’re not alone. I’m here for you during this tough time.”
“It may be hard to believe right now, but the way you’re feeling will change.”
“Please tell me what I can do now to help you.”
“Even if I’m not able to understand exactly how you feel, I care about you and want to help.”
“You’re important to me. Your life is important to me.”
“When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold on for just one more day, hour, or minute—whatever you can manage.”
What you should AVOID saying:
“This is all in your head”
“Everyone goes through tough times.”
“Try to look on the bright side.”
“Why do you want to die when you have so much to live for?”
“I can’t do anything about your situation.”
“Just snap out of it.”
“You should be feeling better by now.”
Depression is the common cold of mental health issues. It is treatable. I am here for you to help, support and guide you if you or a loved one is suffering. Please call or text me 410-207-4725 or reach out by email firstname.lastname@example.org. You are not alone.