Depression Hurts

Alexander - Conway, Arkansas
Entered on September 2, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

When I used to hear “depression hurts” on the Zoloft commercials, I thought about depression causing mental pain, but now I understand that it can cause physical pain too.

Kyle is a long time friend of my brother and he tried to commit suicide. Kyle didn’t really have the signs of clinical depression, but I think that’s because he was taking Xanax. Xanax is the trade name of a prescription drug used to treat anxiety and depression and he was abusing it. I know that using Xanax can cause depression, but Kyle says he started using it because he felt depressed. Kyle put a gun under his chin because he was depressed and had begun abusing a prescription drug. So, his actions were all set off by depression making it the topic here, not prescription drug abuse.

The worst thing about him trying to commit suicide is his physical scars, because his mental scars have healed but he must now live with the physical ones. Kyle blew about half of his jaw off and that has caused him physical and mental pain. He’s gone through a few major surgeries and countless minor ones. People began to stare at Kyle and it made him feel awkward which lead him to be more depressed. He tried to commit suicide again by slitting his wrist, but luckily his mother found him and took him to the hospital. Depression can be a dangerous cycle and until recently Kyle was stuck in it.

Finally Kyle got back his life and hasn’t let it go; he’s working again and has stopped using Xanax. My brother Britton, one of Kyle’s friends, had been using Xanax himself until about a couple of months ago when he went to rehab. I had seen firsthand that depression leads people to want to hurt themselves physically. Britton came home one night when he was high on Xanax and found my dad’s gun in the garage; thankfully he didn’t know how to use a mussel loader or he might have made the same mistake Kyle made. Britton would have pulled that trigger. He had been taking Xanax for an unsure amount of time, and since Xanax can cause depression he was a severe case. Depression could have killed my brother. I believe depression hurts.

Depression’s a quicksand and you see all these vines close by, but some aren’t attached to anything, while others are strong enough to allow you to pull yourself out. Will you choose the right vine? Will you be a vine for someone else?