Depression is an issue that affects behavior and how people interact with those around them. This could mean that some people who are usually happy and social could begin acting completely different in a negative way. According to Harvard Health Publishing, major depression is the most typical type of depression. It can stop some people from enjoying activities they would usually enjoy and bring thoughts of meaninglessness.

Sometimes it can be difficult to realize symptoms of people who are depressed. Some may try to conceal it while others may want an excessive amount of attention. Some tend to be cheerful and are jokesters to cover up the fact that they’re going through something. It’s important to recognize unusual behavior.

“In fifth grade, there was a boy that always sat in the back of the class,” a Benjamin Carson student who wished to remain anonymous said.

“He never talked or interacted with anyone. There was a group project for the science fair. The teacher assigned us our group of five and he was one of them. As we worked on our project, he did his assigned work but did not talk to us about anything outside of work. After that, he stayed quiet the rest of the year. ”

Students need a place to feel comfortable. School is an environment that is considered to be safe for students. It gets difficult when there is no support system in that environment. It’s not always easy to know when a student is in need of comfort.

“Two years later, I found out that he committed suicide because he couldn't take life. I then found out that there was a reason he was known as the quiet boy in the fifth grade. I couldn’t help but think that there was something I could’ve done to help him,” the student said.

Are there ways to help?

“If it’s possible, it may be hard to do,” junior Isaac Whitfield said.

The first step is recognizing the problem. Other students and teachers were asked to give their ideas for recognition of depression and some possible signs.

Junior Santez Shepherd stated that those who are depressed may be “Staying to themselves, away from their family and not socializing.”

English teacher Shannon Waite said depressed people have “a loss of interest in activities that they used to like, pain, not wanting to get out of bed, suicidal thoughts.”

“If you’re sad for one day that's not depression,” said Waite, “but if you’re sad for a few months, that can be depression.”

If students are ever feeling down and think it’s a much deeper issue than sadness, they should always be sure to reach out to those around them. Treatment for depression is very crucial. Students could see a doctor or therapist if they feel an unusual or intense amount of sorrow. A family member, a friend, a teacher or a counselor who is well trusted is also an ideal choice.

The most important thing is to be there for those in need. Be sure to care for those around you and try to have their back as much as possible. Be nice to your peers and treat them as your friend because you never know what someone else is going through. Try to get your friends to open up and talk about their problems while simultaneously talking about yours. Communication is key.