Dealing with the voices

Mina Guadalupe

Of Mice and Men (and depression)

Written in 1937 by John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men tackled many social issues we, years later, still have to deal with daily. Depression is one of the many issues tackled throughout the story and though we deal with the subject of depression in a different manner than previous years have
Depression is categorized as mental and mood disorder that causes a continuous feeling of sadness and loss of interest. To many people nowadays, it's a common aspect of their lives. it is estimated that more than 17 million Americans a year are affected by depression among other mental disorders. Depression is found commonly among teenagers. As they grow in a harsh world and hormones begin to balance out, depression becomes a part of their lives. Depression may be something people deal with on a regular basic with proper medical care and help, but it wasn't always like that. Like many others with mental disorders, those who showed signs of major depression were tossed into mental institutions to be forgotten.

Mental Hospitals then

Mental illnesses such as depression has existed throughout all of history dating back as far as the ancient Egyptians, Indians, Romans, and Greeks. Many cultures have viewed mental illness as a form of punishment from the god or a type of demonic possession. As seen in the pictures above, 'patients' were treated almost as if they were inhuman. Malnourished and tired, patients were forced to live within tight quarters of each other. The mentally ill were often isolated from a fearing society to live in large state-run institutions. They were also often kept calm with heavy doses of drugs.

Dorothea Dix

Dorothea Dix was born on April 4, 1802 in Hampden, Maine. World renown for her work on the behalf of the mentally ill, she helped establish. After seeing how inhumane many mental institutions treated their patients, Dix set out to better the treatment of mental patients. Dix is responsible for the establishment of several institutions in the Mid west and the South along with New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Because of her efforts, Dix established and raised money for more than fifty hospitals helping the mentally ill and disabled. She died in the Trenton State Hospital in New Jersey in 1887.

Searching for the signs

Depression Now

Symptoms of depression are often mistaken of common cold or illness. Some symptoms include:

-fatigue or decrease in energy

-feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness

-overeating or loss of appetite

-loss of interest in once pleasurable things

-difficulty concentrating


Mental Hospitals today

Life in mental institutions is much more controlled now. On a normal day, you are served breakfast in sizable portions. Later that day, you are put through group therapy where you share why you're there and try to help one another by giving helpful advice and telling stories. After a one-on-one session with your doctor you spend the rest of the day doing various things with groups and spending your time. Life is a lot easier in the mental hospitals then it was back then. Not only are you in the safe and healthy environment, but you get the care you need.


Nowadays, there are hundreds of antidepressants in the medical world to help various types of depression and ease the burden of other mental disorders as well. Using theses medicines, what at one point would have caused a person to be thrown into mental institutions can now be put under control enough for the person to live a normal life. Certain pills can now regulate disorders to the point of nonexistence as well.

You are not alone. Improvement is possible.

Depression can be improved through other ways than addictive antidepressant pills. Exercise, for example, can help to improve the psyche and lead to more positive thoughts and a better attitude about life.
As seen in the video above, according to new studies on fighting depression, its been discovered that exercise can help improve mild forms of depression. Exercise is encouraged to be tried as an outlet instead of antidepressant drugs.

How to Deal with Depression

Depression, in small doses, is a perfectly natural thing to feel. The important thing to remember is not to let it beat you. Surround yourself with people who genuinely care for your well being and hope tomorrow will be a better day.

Works Cited

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"City Supports People Suffering from Mental Illness." MCT Photos. 2006. Health Reference Center Academic. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.

"Dorothea Dix." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.

"Are you depressed and don't even know it?" Vibrant Life May-June 2013: 4. Psychology Collection. Web. 18 Mar. 2014.

"Beds in Mental Institution." Gale U.S. History in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2012. U.S. History in Context. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.

Levinson, Jerry. "Disability, stress & depression." The Exceptional Parent Feb. 2013: 12. Psychology Collection. Web. 18 Mar. 2014.

"John Steinbeck, author of The Grapes of Wrath (1939), for which he won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction..." Historic Events for Students: The Great Depression. Ed. Richard C. Hanes and Sharon M. Hanes. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 2002. U.S. History in Context. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.

"Module 2: A Brief History of Mental Illness and the U.S. Mental Health Care System." A Brief History of Mental Illness and the U.S. Mental Health Care System. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.

"Mental Institution Patients in Ohio." Gale U.S. History in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2012. U.S. History in Context. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.

O'brien, Jennifer. "A Day in the Life of a Mental Hospital Patient | World of Psychology."Psych N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.