I remember when my friend told me she was depressed because she was struggling with school and her house rent was increasing she afraid that her family could not keep up with rent. All these thoughts were going through her head and she felt like no one understood what she was going through that she was alone in all this. She started to feel unmotivated to do her work and her grades start to slip after a while she did not care. She did want to tell anyone because she had gotten this idea that “this was normal” that everyone would have a couple of sad days and it is okay to feel like this. When she told me this was a shock I never knew that she was going through this and I told her why she never told me. She said, “I did want to bother you and everyone goes through this I just have to get through this”. This very idea is always repeated of nothing wanting to get help because it was not necessary.
I grew up in the Hermosa Community, the biggest health inequity I have observed is a stigma surrounding depression. Over time, I noticed that depression was always pushed under the rug and was not taken seriously. People would say “stop acting sad,” “grow up,” or even “focus on your schoolwork.” Statements such as these can be damaging, leading people to think that depression is not a problem or that it is something that can be controlled. This is not the case.
Everyone believes that they can move past this but in reality, they can not because they were never educated about depression and the effect it has on the person or ways to treat depression. Some people believe that it is a one-day problem and not actually an illness. I want to be able to educate the community and by doing this program it will allow me to bring resources and help people to not be afraid and help them to learn more about it. Also, to see the perspectives of the doctors and see what they would do and gain the necessary tools to do what I can for my community.