A confession of depression

The counselor:

Depression is an issue many people in the world face, Counselor Patti Ashmore faces it from a different angle.

“I have a family member who has suffered from depression,” Ashmore said. “This person starts out with feelings of being different.”

She said that her relative then started having an inability to handle daily life the way that most people do.

“It’s like this big weight that weighs us down,” Ashmore said her family member described it as.

Depression becomes more noticeable around the holiday season largely in part to the influx of suicide rates.

Ashmore said that media is a large trigger for this distortion of rates.

“A lot of what we see are the perfect pictures, perfect families,” Ashmore said. “If our holidays don’t look like that, there’s something wrong.”

She said that the holidays bring to center stage what some people do not have, leaving a constant reminder to those who suffer from depression. These people sometimes struggle coping with.

“For those of us who haven’t experienced it, it’s hard to understand,” she said. “Unless you’ve gone through it, you don’t know what it feels like.”

Another potential reason for the change in depression, Ashmore said, could be family members.

“Sometimes there’s more dysfunction in families at the holidays,” she said.

At C. M. Russell High School, the holiday season falls near semester and other school functions.

Ashmore said that students feel the “pressure of semester, holidays, and prom.”

While she said that she tries to keep her work at the workplace, there are times she feels str

“There are some situations where student situations eat away at you,” Ashmore said.

The teacher:

Psychology teacher Brian Greenwell analyzes the social aspect of depression.

Greenwell said that the social factor “plays a huge role,” especially during the holidays.

“Social construct of the mind intensifies the depression that already exists,” he said.

Greenwell said that loneliness also can play a role with more noticeable depression and the higher suicide rates.

“Most people need companionship,” he said. “They are social animals.”

People who face a traumatic event often go through a temporary phase of mild depression, Greenwell said. They feel depressed, then they act it, and finally they are treated like it.

He said that depression often is a result of a combination of genetics and chemical imbalances in the brain.

“We have a lot of things in place, a lot of places to turn to.”

The student:

Ever since senior Brandon Coday could remember, he’s had some sort of obstacle in his life.

“[When I was younger], my dad wasn’t there,” Coday said. “And my mom couldn’t afford to take care of me because she had her own problems. [Then] when I was six, I was taken away from my parents by Department of Family Services. Up until I was 10, I was a foster kid.”

After Coday was in foster care for four years, he was adopted once by a family, but in the end, that family didn’t work out.

“I went into foster care again until I was about 14 or 15,” Coday said. “From there, I lived with my friend for a while in a foster care setting, so I’ve never really had real parents.”

Throughout Coday’s entire time in and out of foster care, he moved around California but then landed in Montana. With all that moving around, he started finding difficulty in his life.

“Sometimes when it came to friends, I was a lot more picky or I just wouldn’t talk to people sometimes,” Coday said. “The biggest thing with people was I just wouldn’t trust them very much. After that, you just don’t know if you can trust a lot of people.”

Coday said it especially affected his school life because  he felt like everything was his fault and the world was against him.

“When I was younger, I was a lot more frustrated with life. It was one of those, ‘Why me?’ things and as a kid, you didn’t understand as much so you always took it out on yourself,” Coday said. “Usually I’d take it out on my grades or I’d get in a lot of fights at school.”

After all the negativity in his life, Coday said he found it hard to trust somebody enough to believe them on such a simple thing as a compliment.

“If somebody would compliment me about something, I’d never believe them,” Coday said. “After what had already happened, I would never trust anyone.”

With Coday’s lack of confidence and motivation for everyday things, he found himself as sort of an outcast in things.

“I was always down a lot, like every day,” Coday said. “I never really talked a lot and I was always quiet.”

Coday, now 18, says that after everything that has happened in his life, he’s able to look on the brighter side instead of dwelling on things. Now at a more mature, comprehensive age, he is able to keep a more positive outlook.

“Don’t take it out on yourself,” Coday said. “And always look forward, not back, when situations like this happen. It’s never your fault. Just try to make tomorrow better than today.”