With changing times and rapidly increasing technological development, people are quickly forgetting that they, and their fellow inhabitants of the world, are still humans. We are dehumanizing ourselves, and first lady Michelle Obama is not OK with it.
Let’s talk about depression. I can almost visualize a bunch of you sighing in your heads, thinking this is another sullen, self-help article asking you to make the world better by seeking help for the depressed, or even better, to spread the joy of living! I assure you, however, I am not going to fry your brain with overwhelming facts and figures. I just want to bring up a simple message from the first lady of the United States of America: Why aren’t we talking about depression? So, let’s do just that.
Given how much we love to communicate, especially us millennials clicking away on our social media platforms, does anyone wonder why we aren’t talking about our mental health? For a society that doesn’t shy away from much, be it gender-based arguments, rape discussions and even porn, why does this topic leave us cold and mute? To be honest, I am humored that people feel more awkward talking about their mind than they are talking about their genitals.
Michelle Obama has identified this discrepancy and decided to get the ball rolling, starting with her helpline website, The Campaign to Change Direction.
The website is interactive, easy to navigate and, most importantly adheres, to the expectations of millennials. The script is simple and easy to associate with. For people who don’t know how to decode their depression, the campaign has identifies five looming emotions that help one easier understand what they are going through. The campaign is not only for those with depression, but also for those who want to learn more about psychological health.
I am a psychology major and am drawn to complex issues of the human body. No, I don’t mean the digestive system. Maybe because of that predisposition, I don’t see depression as something with a negative stigma, and I don’t understand those who do. I try to understand, and the conclusion I have reached is that the people are afraid of the term “depression.” But if we break down the definition and offer context (something not everyone has), it wouldn’t be met with half the negative reactions and tongue-tied expressions.
For a “you-do-you” group of people, millennials are pretty liberal when it comes to the topic of mental health. While we claim to be non-judgmental of everything from sex to drugs, the minute the pointer stops at depression, we clam up and silently judge the life out of an already shattered person. When did presenting a strong front become more important than ensuring a sturdy internal system?
I’m not asking anyone to sit and reflect. All I am suggesting is that we take apart the heavy connotations and think about why this stigma persists today, when we are supposedly at the highest point of education, exposure and communication that this world has seen up until now.
Join the first lady along with your Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge, who is taking this issue up in the United Kingdom, in this movement for change. Change your mind. Change your life.