Just Hold On

The stress of school, the pressure to succeed, the struggle to fit in, and home life. All of these can be factors of someone struggling with depression. Sophomore Kenzy Webster believes that people feeling like they are not wanted, liked, or good enough is the main cause of depression.
“If someone is constantly putting someone else down and making them feel unworthy or unwanted then they might decide that everyone would be better off without them, which is not true at all,” Webster said. “I don’t think that we should put people down and make them feel like they are not good enough. Everyone has a purpose and a reason for being here.”
Sophomore Colby Jackson believes that friends can have a huge impact on someone struggling with depression. He thinks that friends have the ability to help.
“You could encourage them to think more positive,” Jackson said. “And if they are ever suicidal you can try to talk them out of it.”
Junior Anthony Ramsey believes that teachers can play a role in helping prevent suicide in their students.
“The teachers can help a suicidal person by being a listening ear,” Ramsey said. “Talking with the students and getting to understand why they’re going through what they’re going through and being kind and supportful and directing them to the right person if necessary.”
A student at Oklahoma University, Cameron Long, thinks that mental health is not discussed in depth, but is discussed. He believes that it is not talked about more until it’s too late.
“I think mental health is discussed at surface level but not very deeply,” Long said. “We don’t typically discuss the repercussions of suicide until someone is already gone. I think people see it as a sensitive and dark topic and people would rather focus on the highlights of life.”
Jackson believes that there is no true solution to decrease the rate of suicide. He thinks it is possible for some people but not everyone.
“It’s not always preventable,” Jackson said. “You don’t know what is going on inside people’s heads. But if you do know then you can try to help them think positive.”
Long believes that there is actions that can be taken to prevent someone from taking their own life. He feels as if the issue of depression and suicide tends to be over thought.
“Speak up, respond quickly, and offer help,” Long said. “These, in my opinion, are the best things we could do in our efforts to lessen the suicide attempts today. I feel like this is the best solution because people really just want to feel lies. That’s how we were created. We oftentimes over complicate the issue and think that prescription medications or hotlines will slay the dragon but in reality we need to do a better job at showing love to those around us. Before it’s too late.’
Ramsey thinks that mental health and suicide is a larger problem than people think.
“So many people are faced with it and realize that they struggle with it,” Ramsey said. “But also many people have depression and don’t even realize they have it because they numb themselves.”
Jackson has had experience with someone battling depression. He viewed going through this experience with them as a positive thing.
“It really opened my eyes that people as a whole need to be more positive,” Jackson said. “People joke about suicide and I used to not think about it but now after seeing someone go through depression and having suicidal thoughts I see it differently. I’ve never thought that it was a joking matter but seeing how much it can affect someone going through it really made me think about it and notice it more when people do joke about it.”
Long also had a friend that went through depression. His friend ended up taking his own life on New Year’s Eve.
“This friend of mine became distant,” Long said. “He deleted his social media and he never asked any of us to hang out. Unfortunately we didn’t do anything when these signs were apparent.”
Freshmen at South Johnston High School Mckenzie Richardson learned a lesson from knowing someone with depression. She realized how precious life really is.
“I learned to never take anything for granted,” Richardson said. “In the blink of an eye it could be gone.”
Jackson also learned a lesson from knowing someone with depression. He learned this lesson from something he soon saw as his fault.
“I learned to appreciate life as it is,” Jackson said. “I learned this when a friend of mine self harmed. I blamed myself for it because I noticed her signs but didn’t say anything to her because it was late and I was hoping that she was just tired. Knowing that with one cut too deep or in the right spot that her life could have been over it really made me realize that I need to appreciate life as it is.”
Ramsey wants people struggling with depression to know that life can be hard but eventually everything will be okay.
“I know how you feel but we don’t know how our death or life will impact the world,” Ramsey said. “So we need to get over this and power through it.”
If Long could tell his friend something today he would tell him that this feeling won’t last forever.
“I would tell him not to make a permanent decision off of his temporary emotions and to just be strong,” Long said. “I would tell him that I love him and I love the memories we share and I want to continue to make more memories with him.”
Jackson has a friend that overcame their fight with depression. He is proud of them and believes that other people can overcome their depression too as long as they just hold on. Jackson wanted to share a special message to this friend.
“To the girl that isn’t broken anymore, you are my best friend and I am glad you didn’t change because maybe we wouldn’t have met and became friends,” Jackson said. “I have helped you through a the thick and thin and you have helped me through a lot too. We are truly soul friends that can ever be torn apart. You have been through so mc and I have been through a lot but they were very different situations and that’s why we are so close. Because we aren’t perfect and never will be. I am so proud of you, that you have came this far. I can say I am proud of the girl that is healed.”
Long believes that people with suicidal thoughts should know that the world is a big place and life isn’t long.
“The world is big and life is short,” Long said. “I think that they should know that they shouldn’t deprive themselves of all of the beautiful things life has to offer. Their wedding day, the day they have their first son or daughter, the day they travel to that city they’ve always wanted to go to, the day they see that movie they’ve been excited to see. Life is beautiful. It just depends on the lens you’re choosing to look through.”