There are myriad problems that can present themselves daily. They can be annoying or stressful to varying degrees, and cumulatively, a legitimate concern. There are countless ways for people to vent about common, everyday issues.
But millions of Canadians suffer daily with an often unseen and unarticulated affliction: depression.
There still exists a stigma towards those who suffer mental health problems, and that’s unfair and unnecessary.
One in five Canadians will have to deal with some form of mental illness in their life. Many of the people who are diagnosed do hold down jobs and have a mortgage.
Commonly, those afflicted with depression will isolate themselves or feel acute anxiety in social situations.
Depression is different than just feeling low. Someone experiencing it grapples with feelings of severe despair over an extended period of time. Almost every aspect of their life can be affected, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Many suffer in silence because they fear how they will be perceived by their friends and family.
This should not be.
Clinical depression is not a failing or weakness of character. It is a medical condition, which can often be mitigated through a combination of several factors such as therapy, lifestyle changes and/or medication.
Mental Health Week (May 5-11) was created to raise awareness about these issues. Make the time to get educated. Also, on May 24, Olympian Clara Hughes will be riding in the West Kootenay with Clara’s Big Ride for Bell Let’s Talk About. The event is a 110 day, 12,000 kilometre journey around Canada to help raise awareness and action for mental health and help end the stigma around mental illness.