For those who suffer: don’t lose hope

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By Valerie Velikaya


Depression is a difficult subject to comprehend, and unless you’re an expert who can recite Mosby’s Medical Diction­ary in your sleep, it’s a precarious topic to bluntly expound upon. Even the majority of individuals who have or continue to suffer from depression, anxiety and other mood disorders struggle to reiterate their feelings with conviction.

I always viewed it as a one man’s war, a battle against self.

As I observe the people around me – friends, family, co-workers and other fa­miliar faces, they all seem okay, but then again, so did Robin Williams, local mete­orologist Don Harmon as well as former JCCC student and softball player Kylee Made.

As far as I know, they all seemed con­tent with their lives – simply living from day to day like the rest of us.

On the exterior, that is.

The most frightening aspect of this disease is its powerful ability to conceal itself.

Whenever someone has ended his or her life, I hear others question whether that person could have prevented it from happening.

I’ve pondered the idea, creating my own heroic daydreams of walking through the door, right in the knick of time, just before they ended their life.

In reality, we’re vastly absorbed in our own quandaries that we typically ignore the feelings of others. I’m not saying that we don’t care – some of us sincerely do, but it’s just easier to presume that the bubbly, charismatic female or the gregari­ous male in our lives are how we perceive them to be behind the curtain.
What are we to do?

Like many other columns I’ve shuffled through as I determined what to write for this morbid subject, I could say something along the lines of, ‘If anyone you know is showing symptoms of depression, I stress that you talk to them immediately’ – be­cause you confronting them will certainly change their outlook on life…
Unless they are showing blatant signs, of course, then in which I would strongly encourage you to talk to them one-on-one.

We are a community college, empha­sis on “community.” Please don’t hesitate to talk to fellow students or advisors if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or depression. Trust me, we’ll understand. Don’t feel like the black sheep of this cha­otic world.

We’re not invincible. While outside forces are beyond our control, we have a mind that’s capable of so many things; but in the meantime, while we’re physi­cally here, we should live for the day… even if the day is unruly at times.

Contact the counseling center at 913- 469-3809 or visit them at the second floor of Student Center if you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts or depression.

Contact Valerie Velikaya, managing editor, vvelikay@jccc.edu

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