Jessica McGinnis

What is depression?

Depression is a mental illness that, statistically, 1 in 3 people in the world experience and only 1 in 3 of those with the illness get proper help for it. Depression can be experienced due to genetics, traumatic events, abuse, death in family, or other stressors. Depression is most common in ages 18 and up, but can occur at any age.

Depression commonly coexists with anxiety, and can be embarrassing to reach out about at first. The best ways to relieve anxiety are to talk about it, and recognize the symptoms:



Not eating enough

Not sleeping enough

Lack of interest

Loss of motivation

Struggling to concentrate


Letter for someone dealing with depression and suicide

Dear troubled high schooler,

I have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and ADHD all in one year. I have also been through a suicide attempt as well as gone to psychiatric visits, therapy, and a psychiatric ward.

Though it may be a trite and tired saying, it does get better! The first step is to recognize why this happens, and what you can do to overcome it.

It may make you feel shameful or embarrassed, but depression is a real and treatable illness. Depression is diagnosed through a therapist or a psychiatrist after evidence of lack of interest, lack of motivation, excessive crying, emotional isolation, inappropriate emotional reactions (crying over a small stressor, laughing over something tragic), oversleeping, overeating, and others all lasting over two weeks at a time. Everyone gets stressed, but depression is diagnosed when these symptoms are experienced over a course of two weeks or more.

Ways to distress:


Getting enough sleep

Reach out to a friend or family member

Get help from a medical professional