Depression and Its Impacts Today

Depression and mental health issues have been on the rise in recent years, but how is that impacting students?


A number of medications can be used to mitigate the symptoms of depression.

Jack Freeman, Staff Writer

Depression and mental health issues have been on a steady incline for the past couple of years. Today, we will focus on depression and mental health to see how it impacts people’s lives, like Woodside Paw Print reporter Jack Freeman’s.

I’ve had depression since I was eight, when my parents divorced. While many people are becoming more understanding about others’ mental health, there are still many things people don’t understand about depression as a whole.

“I think I felt a certain amount of guilt and shame,” Amanda LeBlanc told the Woodside Paw Print.

Jack Freeman
Amanda LeBlanc and her brother as children.

Amanda is my mom and was first diagnosed with depression when she was 11 years old.  

“I couldn’t just be happy,” Leblanc continued. “[I thought] if I was smarter that it would get better, and I would feel better.”

This is how many feel about living with depression. Due to the added stigma, many people feel ashamed for being themselves. One thing many people do not understand about living with depression is why we just cannot just… be happy.

Jack Freeman
Some compare living with depression to managing a large ice block.

“Imagine waking up everyday with a block of ice on your chest,” Woodside sophomore Nathaniel Klug described. “It’s cold, it’s heavy, it’s unforgiving, and it makes it very hard to do things. And that is just something you have to deal with.”

This is definitely the way I and many others feel day to day. People feel hopeless and that the block of ice will never go away.

Another thing people do not understand about depression is that many people live pretty good lives, like me and my mom.

I couldn’t just be happy. [I thought] if I was smarter that it would get better, and I would feel better.”

— Amanda LeBlanc

“[My parents] loved me, I had a home that wasn’t abusive, and I think what they were like, ‘what does she have to complain about,’ but they learned over the years that it’s not about your situation [but instead] about your brain,” LeBlanc said.

This is exactly the case: many times, depression can be caused by a person’s situation. Other times, your brain is just broken and there is not anything you can do.


Jack Freeman
Author Jack Freeman when he was two years old.