The progress humanity has made in medical studies has solved many mysteries about our bodies, but it has also revealed an intricate neurological disorder that becomes more complex the more we study it.

Although we have a basic understanding of what depression is and how it affects our lives, depression varies between each person who suffers from it.

Some will only experience depression in certain conditions. These conditions can be any negative situation, such as bad weather, fatigue, or losing a loved one.

Conditional depression can be fought by changing the conditions or situation that the depressed person is in. While it is troubling to deal with conditional depression, there is a high chance of conquering the depression.

For others, depression can develop as a mental disorder. The difference between conditional depression and depression as a disorder is what causes the depression. Depressive disorder can be genetic or result from extreme conditional depression. Either way this is something no person should have to deal with.

Today, the term mental illness or mental disorder is completely underrated and sometimes ignored. It is common for people to shy away from or brush off someone who says they have a mental disorder, believing they are making the disorder up or are unstable/insane.

These stigmas can cause much more trouble for everyone, especially the person suffering from the disorder. Depression and other mental disorders are not a part of the person. It has many allegories; it’s an anchor to the soul, a dark fog surrounding the brain, an acid to the mind.

However it is expressed, it is something the person has to deal with, not who they truly are. Depressed people can lose their way easily when the depression takes hold.

Everyone battling depression fights in a different way. Some seek positivity through hobbies, journaling, eating, exercising and any other interest. Others benefit through therapy and talking about what’s in their minds.

Photo Illustration bY tIM smITH / PHOTO EDITOR

Photo Illustration bY tIM smITH / PHOTO EDITOR

Unfortunately, those fighting will either not mention they are dealing with depression or run into the stigma of depression when they try to talk to someone about it. It is common for fighters to give up talking with others because they constantly hear “I don’t understand why you can’t be happy” or “Just stop being depressed, it’s all in your mind” and other statements of that manner.

I do not blame anyone for not understanding mental disorders. Even those fighting them do not fully understand them.

There are days when the depression, conditional or severe, is intense and maintains full control of the mind, and there are other days when the depression ‘disappears.’

The main reason I find depression and other mental disorders so detrimental to life, is that the disorder utilizes every weakness a person has.

These mental disorders are merciless. Depression can make any dream, goal or quality of life seem wrong or worthless.

It can turn any lingering uncertainty to cemented doubt. Doubt and apathy are well associated with depression.

Depression drains mental and physical energy, making it more formidable to beat. Mental conditions can degrade badly and quickly that extremes, such as suicide and self-harm, can occur in any person, regardless of how happy they are or want to be.

All this can happen without anyone noticing or being told. Speaking from experience, thoughts like “I don’t want to be a burden” or “I don’t want to bring them down” will prevent even the most despairing person from speaking about their mental disorder.

It is immensely difficult to think properly when battling a mental condition, so trying to express what’s going on inside the mind can prove to make the person more depressed or exhausted.

One of the best and simplest things someone can do to help someone they know fight the mental battle against depression is be the positivity that that person is losing. Pay them a compliment and ask them how they are.

Place your hand on their shoulder and remind them they aren’t alone. If they start talking with you about their mental disorders, don’t pretend you know the answers.

Listen and let them rant. It’s these little things that really help in the end.

Tim Smith can be contacted at

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