Depression is a mental health disorder that is plaguing a plethora of not only college students like myself but also a ton of people around this world. The feelings of melancholy and sadness haunts some of us with no end in sight. The scariest thing about this disorder is how it can go unnoticed by the public or, quite frankly, dismissed when it becomes known. There are negative connotations that come with being diagnosed with depression. Granted, the world has improved with helping and understanding people suffering from it, but there is still a lot that can be done. I want people out there to be comfortable with their depression and not think they should try and fix themselves for anyone else.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. Depression is very common, but that is why it carries a stigma to some as being not serious or something that can easily be fixed. There isn’t an easy fix; it is something that haunts each individual for a long time without them knowing the final outcome. The key is to push forward and block out all the noise. It is not your job to have the outside world understand what depression is and how dangerous it could be. Yes, it is common, but it never has said that it’s not dangerous.

I suffer from this disorder, and it is a struggle everyday to find a way to cope with it. I found certain outlets that help, one being music that translates to what I’m going through. I was confused early on as to how depressive music can help me deal with depression, but it truly does. Some people scoff at the idea of music being a way to escape this hell, but it does. Pete Davidson said a few years ago on the radio that Kid Cudi saved him from killing himself. I remember hearing that statement and how much I resonated with that sentiment. Music helps us feel reassured that we are not the only ones who are suffering from this. Anyone from different walks of life can feel the same way as you.

Depression is not fixed by the medication that is being taken. That is a misconception from people who see their close ones having to take pills every morning. Therapy also does not simply just fix it, either. Therapy and medication are two key factors that can help suppress those dark feelings for a period of time. A person can’t be cured from depression; the only hope is to work on yourself and feel better. It is important to stick with those people you see hurting. Do not look at them as being emotional or exaggerating. Do not think they are acting this waybecause they forgot to take their medication that day. All they need sometimes is a companion who is going to listen and be empathetic.

The most difficult part of dealing with depression is not knowing how you are going to feel everyday. I wake up everyday wondering whether I am going to have a breakdown today or be happy. Everyday is a new challenge with depression in the background looming. That is the thing with depression: it is lurking in the wings, ready to strike at any given moment. I don’t wake up saying I want to be depressed. I wake up hoping and expecting a good day until depression invites itself into my head. Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers wrote an article for the Players Tribune about his battles with depression. He had a quote that has stuck with me whenever I feel selfish or dramatic to the outside world during one of my episodes. He said, “That’s the thing that people on the outside don’t fully understand. Nothing major has to happen to start a spiral. It can happen over the smallest thing in the world. Because when you have depression, you can fall apart at any moment, disproportionate to the circumstances.” This is for anyone who has felt like their depression is an anchor that has them sinking to the bottom: you are heard, and you are normal.

Noel Guerra is a fourth-year communications and Media and Cultures major with a minor in Journalism.

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