Shhhhhh! Why People Have Trouble Talking About Anxiety & Depression

LEAD just hosted its fourth Coffee and Connect, which discussed the role stigma plays in mental health, and how we can help the problem. Here are some of the main takeaways from the event:

  1. Everyone goes through normal ups and downs. Feeling sad doesn’t mean that you have depression, and feeling stressed doesn’t mean you have anxiety. However, in the US, 7% have major depression, and 20% have an anxiety disorder during any given year. These numbers close to double if you look at lifetime statistics.
  2. Often, the best treatment for depression or anxiety is a mixture of talk therapy and medications. However, each person is different. It’s best to consult a doctor to find a treatment plan best for you.
  3. What can we do to help stigma and those suffering from depression and anxiety? Here are some suggestions:
    • Avoid stigmatized language such as “crazy,” “nuts,” or “skitzo” in your everyday vernacular.
    • Use person first language. For example, instead of saying “he’s depressed,” say “he’s a person who has depression.”
    • Treat all people with respect. You don’t know what someone else is going through, so it’s best to default to respect.
    • Provide support to friends if you see signs of depression or anxiety. Stepping in and offering support is not going to make the problem worse.

LEAD would like to thank everyone who participated in this Coffee & Connect! We hope to see you all at the next one!