Do you or someone you know suffer from depression? Speaking as someone who does and has friends that do you should know that there is a multitude of resources here on the YVC campus just for you. Look I know that depression makes one want to isolate themselves and that you tend to feel absolutely nothing, save for the nonstop pain of having to get up in the mornings and put up with people. However, if you would just take the time to hear me out on this you might find that there are so, so many people wanting to help you. I’d also like to dispel some myths about depression within this article as well.
Look it may not seem like much to many of you like “hey my friend is just a little bummed out ok” or “school is just tough this quarter” but that may not be the case, people with depression look absolutely normal and often don’t have any tells that they are depressed. However, if you know what to look for you may be able to help someone in need.
Such signs are:
- Falling behind in classes
- Not interacting with friends or loved ones
- Apathy towards aspects of life
- Changes in eating habits
- Substance abuse
- Escapist activities
- Loss of interest in things they once loved
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Suicidal ideation and much much more
Now this list is nowhere near comprehensive but should serve as a foundation to understanding what to look for in those you care about. And for those who might be depressed feel free to share your feelings in relation to this list as depression is a very personal issue.
Now to change gears a bit and talk about the myths associated with depression. Many folks say that you should just try to feel better when you have depression and while they are well-meaning that’s just not how it works. Depression is not a state of mind but an actual disease that actively causes the sufferer to lose the will to live and to seek something to fill the void or end their suffering by any means necessary. Another myth is that talking about it makes it worse…HOW IN GOD’S GREEN EARTH DID THIS ONE COME ABOUT. Honestly, talking about depression is the best way to get better with depression, yeah it sucks at first but just like having a bad tooth removed it may hurt but you will be healthier for it in the long run.
The next myth I will cover is that depression is just a cry for attention and while this one has a grain of truth the intent behind it is actively false. Those with depression seek attention to get help and often cry out for it only to be snubbed for being attention seekers but in all honesty, these “attention seekers” are crying for you to help them. And the last myth I will cover is that depression is always brought about by a traumatic event. While trauma is a major cause for depression it isn’t the only cause, here are some causes: faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, medications, and medical problems. Many doctors believe that these often work in conjunction with each other to cause depression.
The next issue I’d like to discuss is that many people with depression take antidepressants and these often do wonders for the individual but they are not a cure. Antidepressants are a treatment aid to help re-balance the chemicals in the brain so that the symptoms of depression are not as severe and don’t lead to death. Now for some people, they either don’t need these drugs or the drugs don’t work for them and the reason is that depression is often highly variable in how it affects people and what issues are the cause of it.
Places to visit and hang out when the campus is open – it will happen!
Now, let us get to the most helpful part of this article, the part where I tell you how to help someone or how to get help. First, let’s talk about places on campus where it’s a safe and welcoming space and where people will be willing to listen to your problems and offer help. There is obviously the Counseling Center where people like Ray Navarro and his tough love straight to the point attitude can help you make decisions with your mental help. Or, Elizabeth DeVilleneuve with her soft listening and comforting smile will allow you to just exposit your problems without fear of reprisal. And of course, there is Esther Huizar who is capable of helping with those who have poor living conditions and are in need of safety and security.
The next places on the list are in the HUB at the Diversity Welcome Center (DWC) and at the ASYVC offices. In the DWC you will find a bit of a rowdy bunch, with myself included, but we all want to be there for you and to be someone that you can lean on and some of us are even crisis trained.
Over at ASYVC, you have wonderful people like Laura Yolo who is our Student Life Coordinator and is pretty much just a mom to all of us who work with her, Penny Tahmalwash our ASYVC President is a sweet and bubbly gal who loves all of the students and works tirelessly for them, Miguel Blancas who is a bit of an odd duck never ceases to try to help those in need, and many others all there to make your life better here in the HUB.
Now over in Glenn Anthon, there are also two safe spaces the writing center is full of people who understand depression and will offer you a quiet place and a nice cup of tea for you to calm down with, and the math center which is a nice quiet space with soothing decor.
Now across the street, we go to Palmer Martin and in there you can also find the speech center on the second floor which is another safe space to be in if you are having a break down full of kind and caring people. Lastly, we head to Lyon Hall where you can meet with Bertha Gonzalez who can give you contact information to resources who can help you get health insurance if you need it for proper mental health treatment.
We are all here to make your life at least bearable if not good, so please use us we care for you and want to help and many of us have been through depression and know what you are going through if you need some professional help, our Community Resource Guide offers resources for any kind of help you might need.
And if you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide please call
Help is always here!
By YVC student,
Please note the campus is currently closed to students and the public through Winter Quarter. Online and other virtual services are available.