Frequently Asked Questions About Depression Sufferers Worldwide

I would love more than anything to break the notion that depressed individuals were easy to identify based on their sad eyes, expressionless faces, and sedentary behavior. I dealt with depression for more than two years, and no one – not even my parents with whom I lived – noticed it.

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When My Depression Started

My depression started in college when I realized in my heart that I no longer wanted to pursue business management. I had no plans of becoming an entrepreneur or taking over my father’s company one day. Instead, I wanted to become a doctor, go on medical missions, and help people worldwide.

The problem was, I could not tell my parents about it. They had already been heartbroken when my eldest sister eloped with her boyfriend to London and refused to return home to handle the business even if she had been forgiven. She told my folks that she wanted a simple life, which she got in the West.

My parents experienced another heartbreak when my brother turned out to have drug issues. He was starting to embezzle money from the company to sustain his substance abuse, but Dad luckily caught him in the act, so he got banished to a rehab facility to clean up his act. Even when he got released three years ago, my parents refused to let him anywhere near the company.

Because of that, the responsibility to continue my father’s legacy fell upon my shoulders. Admittedly, I was happy about it in the beginning. I dreamed of becoming Richie Rich when I was a kid and thought that I could have my own McDonald’s in my bedroom, too. I even started working part-time at the company when I was 16 years old to get a feel of the company that I would inherit one day. 

However, I guess the heart wanted what the heart wanted. Although I was already in my third year in college, I wanted to quit and transfer to a university’s themed program. I told my mother about my aspiration once, and she said, “Don’t be silly, honey. You are meant to be a businesswoman.” When I raised the topic in front of Dad, he sternly told me to stop talking about nonsense and focus on preparing for the company’s future.

Feeling alone in my own corner but not wanting to let anyone know about it, I decided to keep up my cheerful façade. The sadder I felt deep inside, the wider my smile became. The lonelier I felt, the louder I laughed. And the more I wanted to give up and become a stowaway, the harder I worked to make my parents proud.

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When My Parents Found Out About My Depression

I was already getting an MBA when my parents learned about my depression. Around that time, I had gotten ahold of antidepressants, which my psychiatrist prescribed to me. I was only supposed to take it for six months, but it did not affect me, so the psychiatrist suggested for me to stay on medication for another six months. 

In truth, it was alright by me, considering taking antidepressants made it easier for me to sleep at night. Without one, I could hear all these voices in my head, whispering unintelligible things to me until I’d feel like jumping off my window. While the pills were technically helpful, I grew dependent on them to the extent that I took them twice a day instead of once a day.

Then, I hit rock-bottom when I found out that I got a C- minus for an elective subject. I did not want to live anymore at the point as I thought of the look of disappointment on my father’s face after viewing my grades. Thus, I took the quickest way out of my problems – I swallowed all my antidepressant pills. Before I passed out, I heard my door open, and my mother shrieked for someone to call 911.

What is the percentage of depression in the world? 

World Health Organization (WHO) claims that 3.4% of the world population has depression.

Which country has the highest depression rate in the world? 

Given the expanse of its population, China has the highest depression rate around the globe.

Which is the saddest country? 

Venezuela appears to be the saddest, most miserable country, according to various sources.

What country has the lowest rate of depression? 

Japan is the country with the lowest depression rate.

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Which country has the highest number of suicidal deaths? 

Lithuania has the highest number of deaths by suicide (31.9 per 100,000 individuals).

What country has the worst mental health? 

China has the worst mental health.

Which country is #1 in education? 

Canada has the top spot when it comes to education. Based on studies, more than half of its population has received higher education.

What is the happiest country in the world? 

Finland is the happiest country across the globe. It holds the same recognition for a few years now.

Is Japan the most depressed country? 

No, Japan is far from being the most depressed country.

Does your brain age faster when depressed? 

Yes, the brain tends to age faster when you feel depressed. The reason is that depression changes what the brain looks like, thus speeding up its aging process.

How long has depression been around? 

Depression has been around for centuries, but it has only been given a name during the 19th century by Emil Kraepelin, a German psychiatrist.

Are Depressed brains different? 

Yes, depressed brains are much different from non-depressed brains. It is typically noticeable when you look at the abnormalities in the gray matter area and amygdala activity.

What causes long term depression? 

Any of the following can cause long-term depression:

  • Excessive traumatic experience
  • Family’s depression history
  • Permanent alteration of brain function
  • Other psychological disorders

How does being homeless affect your mental health?

Being homeless makes you lose control of your mental bearings, to the extent that you will do anything to feel something. In the end, your mental health will undoubtedly worsen.

Waking Up After My Attempt

I noticed three strange things as soon as I opened my eyes. I was not surprised to find myself in a hospital, considering my mother found me right after I swallowed my antidepressants. What’s shocking was seeing my father crying next to my bed, praying to the gods to save me. 

When my eyes moved to the couch, I saw my sister and my brother talking in low voices. I had not seen either of them in years, so I found their presence odd. Then, as I looked for my mother, I saw her sleeping on a daybed without any makeup. That’s the most surprising of all, given that my mother wore makeup even in bed.

I cleared my throat slightly, which caused everyone to rise. I bit my lip and closed my eyes as I waited for my family to bombard me with questions or scolding for attempting to take my life. However, all I got was a group hug.

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When they let go of me, I asked, “Aren’t you mad at me?”

“Oh, I am,” Mom assured me, “But I feel madder at myself for not realizing that you have depression soon enough.”

“We’re so sorry that we did not listen when you said you wanted to go to med school,” Dad said.

“And I’m sorry for being an unreliable brother. If not for my failures, you wouldn’t have to bear such a heavy responsibility,” my brother quipped, squeezing my hand.

“John and I decided to relocate here in the US so that our brother and I could share the responsibilities in the company,” my sister informed me, smiling.

 

It took me a full minute to realize what their decisions meant. “Wait, does that mean I’m free to pursue medicine now?”

“Yes, honey. Be whoever you want to be,” Dad announced. 

Final Thoughts

I was one of the many people who got saved from depression by a simple conversation among family members. It goes to show that depression sufferers need not suffer for too long if their loved ones are willing to lend them a helping hand, and they – the sufferers – are willing to accept them.