It’s time to help yourself

Photo by Christian Garruppo.

Losing a family member because of a battle with depression is something that I will never get over. My family will forever be effected emotionally, financially, and mentally as a result of a member of our family passing away because of a battle with a mental illness.

Illnesses such as depression, anxiety and others are all major problems in society today and must be handled with proper care — just as you would with a physical injury. According to the American Psychological Association, 41.6 percent of college students suffer from anxiety and 36.4 percent suffer from depression. This means that many McDaniel students likely suffer from these as well.

As someone who has experienced mental health issues within myself and in my family, I can safely say that nothing is worse or more traumatizing than having someone you are close to end their life suddenly when nobody is expecting it.

There is no time to accept that you will be losing a loved one based on a long illness or old age. One day they are there and they seem like they are doing okay and the next day they are gone forever. 123 Americans end their lives daily according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This is  a tough statistic to swallow, and it impacts families like my own every day.

Now imagine that you are a person suffering from a mental illness and having suicidal thoughts. It is easy to think that nothing will ever get better and that nobody cares, but that is not at all true.

There are a lot of people in your family and in your community that care for you and would be truly devastated if you were not there anymore. It is something that is hard to explain, much like the pain and suffering of mental health issues is hard to explain.

If you are suffering from a mental illness, then I encourage you to get help. Suicide Awareness Voices of Education states that only half of Americans with depression receive treatment. If someone you know is suffering, encourage them to get help. Encourage them to see a doctor or visit the Wellness Center here on McDaniel’s campus.

Realizing that you need help and going to get it is the first step to attempting to make yourself feel better, and by doing this you can save your own life as well as saving your family and friends from endless suffering.

Your mental health is just as, if not more, important than your physical health, and you need to treat it that way. It sometimes may be hard to realize this because you cannot physically see it, but that does not mean it is not there.

Going to the doctor is a normal thing to do when you physically don’t feel well, so why not make it the norm when you mentally aren’t feeling right?