In one requiem mass I’ve attended last August 29 — it was actually a Mass for our “nanay Linda”, our first Household leader in CFC, which I posted in FB.
During the homily, the celebrant (I forgot his name) mentioned his duties as guidance counselor for their high school department. According to him, he has encountered a lot of cases of depression among the students.
According to him, this word (Depression) was almost non-existent in the seventies through the nineties, but is now a very common term even among the youth.
This is probably due to the subconscious influence of the Internet and social media among the youth. Most of their waking times are spent in their gadgets and almost no time is spent in building personal relationship, with nobody to hear their problems — the loneliness they felt. They even look up to [Like]s on their posts to boost their morale, as if it is an affirmation of their “greatness”. They had a very weak personal connection that when faced with oppression and problems, they had a hard time coping up.
In closing, he reminded us in the congregation to really make time to connect with our children, with the youth even if it’s a simple chat during meal times. This will make them feel connected and it is also this kind of relationship that will be their fall-back position when they are faced with seemingly “insurmountable” problems.
(noun. de·pres·sion \ di-ˈpre-shən , dē- \)
The definition (2b) of Merriam-Webster states:
(1) : a state of feeling sad; dejection anger, anxiety, and depression
(2) : a mood disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies * bouts of depression * suffering from clinical depression.
This topic is now trending in both mainstream and social media. It started out as a joke — the usual “making light of serious matters” during Eat Bulaga’s “Juan for All, All for Juan”. The light banter of it’s hosts Joey De Leon and Jose Manalo, had drawn flak from netizens especially on the former.
Here lies the problem with comedians — their tactlessness, belittling even matters that others treat as very serious; and DEPRESSION is indeed a very serious matter especially for those who have experienced them and even their families who have to bear the weight of this problem.
It’s a good thing, the younger hosts (Maine & Alden, especially Maine), took the matter seriously, perhaps because they have had personal experiences with depression.
The strong stand of Maine together with Joey’s family who also called his attention regarding the callous remarks he made, pointing out that they also have friends and close relatives who are battling depression, he made a public apology in national TV (GMA News 10/6/17).
In an article by Norm Cohen on Depression, he stated:
Depression is often lurking in the shadows. When you are depressed, most often you think that you are worthless. The worse the depression, the more you feel this way.
Here lies the main problem, it is in the shadows — it’s not in the open. This is an internal battle happening in the man, with people around him not even knowing that it is happening. Most times, when we are not observant or do not “listen” well to the signs, when it goes out, it’s already too late. It is also this circumstance why those who suffer depression avoid talking about it or seeking the help of others. Worse, the person is very critical of itself — in fact, he is his worst critic.
In the same article, he outlined the results of Dr. Aaron Beck‘s survey on the feelings of depressed people – he called it the “Four Ds:
- Deserted, and
I am not a psychiatrist, and I don’t claim to know how to handle depression. In fact, I had had an experience with a brother in the community who suffered depression. It was my first and I was at a loss. It was too late a realization. Until now, during the nights that I reflect on it, I still asked: “Had I known, I may have spent more time with him, making him feel that he’s not alone, not worthless.”
Indeed, depression is not a laughing matter — it is a very serious one. I have no intelligent advice but like Maine, I say we have to support those who are experiencing depression. We have to tread lightly when we are with them and be very careful with what we say as depressed people are a sensitive lot. As Christians and brethren, we can only help them build back their faith in God and in people; to pray and hope for God’s divine intervention; and most important is to make them feel loved.
In the end, we just have to turn to God as our fountain of hope in the midst of depression.
May you be a ray of hope for our depressed brethren. God bless!