Depression and the importance of seeking help

Some may know him as the professional wrestler from WWE, an actor or the football player from the Miami hurricanes. Others may know this successful man, Dwayne Douglas Johnson, as “The Rock.”

From wrestling on WWE for many years, to starring in films such as the Fast 5, 6 and 7, his career is nothing short of phenomenal. It’s easy to peer inside Johnson’s life and see his success.

But, when Johnson was 23-years-old he graduated college hoping to join some a professional football team. He was turned down by the professional league in Canada and the NFL.

Johnson then fell into a deep depression and decided to go back home.

Johnson expresses his emotions at that time saying, “You feel like you’re alone. You feel like it’s only you, and you’re in your bubble, and I wish I had someone at that time who... who could just pull me aside and [say], ‘Hey, it’s going to be okay, it’s going to be okay.’ So I wish I knew that.”

Dr. Neil Nedley is a Loma Linda Medical School graduate who has spent an immense amount of time studying depression. According to him, depression affects 200 million people worldwide. One out of 30 people has depression in the world. In America, depression affects one out of 16 people.

Cases of depression range from mild to a more serious, depending on how reoccurring the symptoms are. Web MD explains that depression can occur because of a traumatic event or can build up gradually from a series of events. Experiencing the death of a loved one or never feeling good enough are two examples.

Depression can come with a stigma—it’s seen as merely “sadness.” But, this mental illness is one of many not receiving the care needed because of misconceptions. Misconceptions that taint them as “just a phase” or because “people just want attention.”

As Dr. Nedley explains, “[Depression] knows no cultural, social, or economic barriers.” When someone has depression (s)he feels a persistent sadness and can’t seem to shake it off. Other symptoms include feeling empty, lost of interest in hobbies or activities, thoughts of death, insomnia, and fatigue.

Many people think that putting a happy person with a depressed person is the cure, but in some cases that can just make the situation worse.

Having depression can make a person become isolated from the world. When alone, one is restless. Trying to go to bed makes it worse because sleep is so foreign. A sleep schedule may become less of a schedule and more of an irregular event.

Everyone needs to know, it’s okay to seek help for depression.Telling someone to be happy or that things will simply get better won’t help.The road to recovery can include many options such as getting prescribed medicine, visiting seminars or talking with a counselor.

Fortunately, there are options for those at Union struggling with depression.

The College View Church is currently holding a depression seminar. The seminar is held in Heartland Hall on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. People ranging from all ages, whether they are dealing with depression or just wanting to gain knowledge on the subject, come for those two hours.

Union also has great counselors on campus, such as Lori Escobar and Stan Hardt, who are always available to talk. Talking it over with someone can help create a healthy conversation on how to overcome depression. It can also help alleviate some of the built in thoughts of not being good enough, suicide or thoughts from a traumatic event.

Living in a time when depression is becoming more prevalent among young adults, it's important to recognize the symptoms and seek out help.

For those feeling down, masking it may seem like a great escape but all it does is hide the pain, not fix it. The road to restoration won’t be a fast road, but it’s always worth it.

Johnson’s road to recovery wasn’t a fast one. He spent days just sitting in his parents apartment cleaning. Cleaning was the only thing that helped him feel in control.

Once Johnson decided to get back up again, he asked his father to train him. His father was a professional wrestler and Johnson wanted to “get into the business.” Wrestling went on to be one of the best chapters in his life, he says.

Johnson’s experience helps shed some light on learning to endure. He advises. “You just got to remember. Hold on to that fundamental quality of faith. Have faith that on the other side of your pain, it’s something good.”

Naomi Prasad is a sophomore chemistry and biomedical science major from Federal Way, WA. She enjoys painting, swimming, flying kites and being at the beach.