Living With the Stigma of Depression
There are many stigmas in this world and with that brings lots of insecurities in each person that faces them. One of the biggest stigmas is the stigma of depression. People assume that they have all felt sadness and automatically assume that is what depression is. This assumption could not be any further from the truth. The stigma of depression can tear a person suffering from depression apart and make them think they are crazy or stupid for being the way they are. Feeling like this is the last thing a person suffering from depression needs.
With many people stepping forward, we as a society are looking to break the stigma of depression and educate people on what depression really is. One brave person stepping forward on this matter is Paige Johnson. Paige Johnson, a nursing student, recently published an article through “The Mighty” about the stigma of depression and what she plans to do about erasing it.
Paige started off the article about what she thought her life would be like and then quickly revealed that depression had changed all of her plans she had so nicely thought out in her head. She explained the pain and suffering of dealing with depression and even that it caused her to drop out of college. Yes, depression has a very strong grip and can make you do some unimaginable things, including taking your own life. That is not what happened to Paige though.
Paige explained that she got a job at a hospital and want to help people in pain. She started out at the reception desk and quickly realized just how bad the stigma of depression really was, even for nurses that should know better. Paige explained, “During almost every shift, someone would come up to the desk and check in because they were depressed and afraid they were going to hurt themselves.” Paige then went on to explain the reaction of the nurses and her feelings about it, “The nursing staff I worked with would roll their eyes, instruct them to wait for a room and then go finish what they were doing.” Paige continued, “I always felt bad for the patient, knowing deep down how they may have felt inside.” Paige then went on to explain that the nurses would call these people in need of help “crazy” and “psycho”, which is no way to handle any patient.
Paige expressed her feelings of the nurses using these terms towards these people, “Each time I heard these words it was like a knife in my chest.” Paige continued, “I would begin to get beaten down in my own head and think, “Am I crazy too? What would they think if they knew I went through these issues?” Should we be labeling human beings like this?”
The answer to that question is no. No, we should not be labeling someone in need of help with offensive and demeaning words. We should be trying to build them up, not tear them down. That is why Paige decide to get her degree in nursing and help advocate of the mental ill and end the stigma of depression. She is taking her experience with suffering from depression and using it to help others.