Disorders of depression aren’t handled in a responsible manner. Especially in our day and time where the statistics of people having cases of depression is exceeding. We can’t just resort to not paying attention or not inducing as much effort like we did in times like the 70’s and 80’s. The novel, Ordinary People, set in 1976, illustrates the problematic results of not providing enough help and ignoring the patient’s mental illness in general. Judith Guest creates a situation in her story that applies to topics of our generation. By providing a combination of the statistics and details from the story, the argument of society not indulging in helping patients experiencing problems of depression can be proven.
In the novel, Conrad, son of Beth and Calvin Jarrett’s, is a patient of depressive disorders. Conrad has just come back from a mental hospital after what had previously occurred last year. He unfortunately tried to commit the act of suicide due to reasons of guilt of his brother’s death. Like many teens in society today, Conrad’s cultural and physical surroundings were a major mental block on his path to find a mental calm. His mother Beth is a pretentious, flamboyant woman. She enjoys her life in her high-class white surroundings. Due to her needs and her unhealthy habit of caring what others think of her, she neglects Conrad’s depression and tries to keep his suicide attempt like a little speck of dust in the past. Her behavior is not uncommon in our times today. Many parents act just the same and treat their children’s depression as if it’s nothing. The book correlates very much into behaviors today and indicates problems that have increased in our society.
There have been stigmas placed on depression. People view depression as a sign of weakness. Because of these false thoughts placed in people’s minds, symptoms of major depressive episodes are over looked. Some of these symptoms could be difficulties sleeping, changes in appetite, self-awareness of weight, difficulty concentrating, and as well as many more (Morin). If someone distributes any of these odd behaviors, it’s best to talk to them about it and try to get them help to your best ability. Adding on to the fact that some patients are being omitted when it comes to their disorders, there are still 30% of depressed people not receiving the treatment that they deserve (Psychiatry). For the past 15 years, the United States has been collecting data on depression and other mental illnesses and have been holding it under the name of DSM IV. It was published in 1994 and was changed to the name DSM 5 in 2013. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), has different types of requirements such as medication or professional therapy. Only about 69% of people have reported getting treatment. Others remain and are still seeking help. The world actually has tremendous amounts of people having depressive mental disorders and high suicide rates, the number are truly shocking.
MDD affects approximately 14.8 million adults in America yearly. That is about 6.7 of the U.S. population. Within children however, 1 in 8 children are affected by symptoms of depressive disorders (DBSA). In the past 45 years, suicide rates have increased 60% worldwide within people between the ages of 15-44. Youth suicide is increasing in high rates and are just continuously doing so. Suicide has become one of the top 20 leading causes of death and is in the top three in America. Suicide attempts have also outpaced completed suicides 20 times more (Befrienders). This correlates with ordinary people because the time difference is around the year setting of the novel. It conveys the claim of depressive disorders assimilating in our culture. Besides the present facts, others do tend to disagree with allegation of society not implementing enough nourishment towards MDD.
The alternative side would make counterclaims such as, “Can we really prevent suicide?” Effects of hopelessness have been found in patients of disorders of MDD and is a dangerous mix. Other factors such as childhood trauma, hostility, Heredity, and ideations are things that we can’t control within people (Oquendo). You can’t change how a person feels, even with putting in the most effort, we still can’t completely reconstruct a person’s mental state. There is also the matter of effort actually being present within civilization today. The SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a landline service that operates 24/7 365 days a year. Anyone who is in desperate need of help has access to this number (1-800-662-4357). This service is free, and all information is disclosed and confidential. It’s a safe method to speak to a person who is willingly there to listen to your problems in an aspect of your life (Helpline). Effort is being put in and others may see this as doing enough for the people who seek help.
By providing a combination of the statistics and details from the story, the argument of society not indulging in helping patients experiencing problems of depression can be proven. Judith Guest’s novel possessed an outlook into discussions that are happening today. With the rise in statistics, MDD, and suicide rates more needs to be done to prevent the heartbreaking results of feeling like there is nothing to live for. Civilians need to stop prohibiting the act of judging one another on their mental states, not taking precautions, and, specifically parents, acting unaware of others depressive manners. Imagine how different it would be if more was done.
Befrienders. Suicide Statistics. 2012. March 2019. .
DBSA. Depression statistics. 2018. DBSA. March 2019. .
Helpline, National. National Helpline. 19 April 2018. March 2019. .
Morin, Amy. Depression statistics everyone should know. 22 August 2018. March 2019. .
Oquendo, Maria A. Can we really prevent suicide? 14 december 2012. March 2019. .
Psychiatry, Neighborhood. 30 percent of depressed people do not recieve treatment. 26 february 2018. march 2019. .