World Suicide Prevention Day / by Josh Custer

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Depression and suicide carry a nasty stigma thanks to the media. The truth is that more people struggle with depression and feelings of inadequacy than most even realize.

Many of your friends and family I have went through periods of depression. For most people however it is not as simple as a one time event for a brief period of sadness and then everything is fine. A large number of people battle depression daily. It's not something easily shaken. Some times you can't even tell what's going through their minds.

One misconception about depression/people that battle depression is that they are always sad. It's simply not true. Some of the happiest people still fight depression. Many times it's not a feeling of sadness, rather it's a feeling of inadequacy. They try very hard to be good enough, to be strong enough, to be enough in general and they don't feel the acceptance that they seek.

This can take many forms from work, relationships, friends, families and more. Unfortunately they can't or won't say what it is they are looking for, sometimes they don't even know what that is. But it weighs heavy on them to hear words of acceptance, gratitude, or recognition.

Many people that battle depression are very active in sports or group activities. It's why they push and perform so much to hear good job, great game, and you were a big part in that. They know they will get recognition, even if it's generalized around the team or group.

Many people think that people with depression don't care about anything. That's the stigma that media has put on it, "oh they are always like that", "they're never happy". The truth is that most people with depression feel too much. It doesn't take much for them to start slipping. Most people with depression are truly caregivers. They are your friends that constantly are helping out, offering to do things, and checking on you. They know what it is to want/need so they try to take care of everyone around them so they never have to feel that way. Often times when they check on you it's to get out of their own head, it's to distract them from what they are feeling.

When someone asks how you are doing , ask back. Mean it. Don't always accept their first answer. Many times "I'm fine" means anything but I'm fine.