Black and white photo of woman with downcast head

It Doesn’t Just Go Away

By Jacquie Turner

When you say “depression,” most think that it is like a weight or hold-down.

Well, it is.

You can’t stop depression by changing your mood or thoughts. People say “snap out of it,” but that doesn’t work.

More and more people are affected by depression each day. It ranges from light to deadly.

There are hundreds of types of medications for depression and different types of depression. The thing is, it comes on you and you feel down, gloomy, blue — unhealthy and unworthy.

Then there is the physical part, where you are tired, have aches, can’t sleep, sleep too much, talk too much, become reclusive, gain weight, lose weight, maybe some of your hair falls out.

It won’t just go away. Depression needs medication, therapy and time to be cured. Please get help if you feel this way, especially if you ever wonder about suicide.

Jacquie Turner is an artist and vendor for Street Sense.

Dealing with Depression in Society

By Amin Massey

While in the peak of my academic success at the number one college for Black men in America, I was suddenly overcome by feelings of inadequacy. I was a young man in a strange town with a lot going for me, yet I began to fracture relationships and lose interest in the hobbies I once enjoyed. I went from being supremely confident, bordering on cocky, to being afraid to show my face.

My mother urged me to talk to someone about my issues but I decided to pack it in and return home. I left my baggage over 900 miles away from where I currently reside but the impact of depression lingers daily. I have gone through over 10 years of outpatient treatment, over 100 treatment providers, and have lived through the ebbs and flows of one of the most commonly diagnosed mental illnesses. Depression is something all of us go through at some point in life and the effects are different depending on the individual.

Every day I am reminded of the blessing of life and opportunity through work and sacrifice. Proper medication and symptom management are a must in order to avoid being placed in a treatment facility or jail.

If the feelings of sadness and hopelessness become too much of a burden, I know that there is always an ear to bend and a steady shoulder to offer support and advice. Two of my number one advocates, my mother and father, have given me words to live by in this circumstance. My dad advises, “Say, ‘Get away from me, depression.’” And my mom sums it up perfectly for me: “You can’t be embarrassed.”

Amin Massey is a vendor for Street Sense.