ONE mother’s quest to help depressed teenagers find hope before they resort to suicide inspired our cover story last week on #depression.
Dr. Florance Sinniah’s “Know the SIGN” campaign has been providing talks, depression screenings and volunteer counsellors to schools in Penang and Kedah; helping students realise they are not alone in feeling depressed or suicidal.
According to Florance, suicide is now the second leading cause of death among young people in Malaysia, so it was about time we addressed it.
We took to Twitter to find out more about how young people felt when they went through depression.
If you know someone who might be going through a tough time, perhaps some of these tweets will help you reach out a little better:
@thestar_rage: What is the toughest part about being a depressed teenager?
@shpy_: (The toughest part is) telling other people about your problems because some feel like you are an attention-seeker #RAGEchat
@Zarrahrahrah: People belittling your problems and telling you to just get over things.
@CluelessArt: Discrimination against people who are actually depressed. The bullying, taunting, labelling, hating. Makes it all even worse … They need to feel safe, protected, supported and loved by talking about it. Not being judged by people.
@thestar_rage: What are the main causes of depression among young people today?
@zakiansulhi: Peer pressure. The artificial need to be a part of something makes them push themselves way too much. Trying too hard to fit in.
@Rawrschelle: Social networking sites. I know people who had to delete their FB coz they got depressed not being invited to events.
@syzulqahar: Peer pressure and parental pressure. Sometimes depression is not “just a phase, they’ll get over it” – it is a serious problem.
@KineticGenin: Studies, especially the pressure to exceed the expectations of others. Also social relationships and time management.
@thestar_rage: Do your schools have support systems to help you through depression?
@rujunxrawks: Our counsellors are unreliable. They tell other teachers abt our probs, and those teachers tell other students!
@dinie_eiza: I know it is kinda rude, but seriously i dont believe in school counsellors. They’ll talk abt our problems to other teachers. Not safe.
@ZoeydeDevil_301: We do, but not everybody dares to see counsellors, mainly because we’re afraid that others will see us and talk behind our backs.
@humzird: We have counsellors in my school, but some students think those who go there have disciplinary problems.
Finally, one #RAGEchat participant tweeted us her experience dealing with depression. Thanks, @uchiakebanashi, for sharing your inspiring story:
“I had a bout of depression last year. I was so miserable, couldn’t get out of bed, lost 10kg. didn’t want to socialise. I thought about different ways to end my life.
“I sought professional help because I couldn’t feel better no matter what I tried. I got diagnosed with bipolar disorder and I’m better now but still not 100%. Still working things out with medication and therapy.
“Getting help was daunting at first but I wanted to get better and I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. I’m thankful I had the courage.
“It’s important for people with depression to know there is light at the end of the tunnel. We are NOT alone. There are people who can help us. We need to find them.”
For those of you struggling with depression, you can seek help by logging on to befrienders.org.my.