On Clouds of Turbulence


Depression can change a person from the way they feel to the way they let others see them.

By Alejandra Anias, Staff Writer

For some, depression is more than just a tough topic that some families don’t want to talk about; it’s their daily life. But, have you ever stopped to wonder, what could be happening inside another person’s mind? This is a question that you might have heard before from the movie Inside Out, or perhaps from a friend, a doctor, your parents, or even yourself.

 The beginning of it all 

A common question when thinking about depression is, how does it begin? Student services department chairperson Mr. Cuevas said that every person’s experience is unique, but that multiple factors may actually be found at home. He says, “Childhood experiences along with stressful events can lead to depression. Depression can also have genetic and physiological components. Heritability is approximately 40%, and the personality characteristic neuroticism accounts for a substantial portion of this genetic liability.”

Some people argue about what is the earliest a person can start to feel depressed. AP Psychology teacher Mr. Norori explains, “It’s difficult to put a specific age when a person can begin feeling depressed because every individual is different. However, studies show that teenagers and young adults are suffering depression now more than any other time before.”

The links to each chain

Most people say that depression isn’t just something that happens overnight, but rather a chain of events that lead a person to feel this way. These changes can be recognized from the ways people think or act, to even the way they express themselves.

Mr. Norori says, “Our past can affect the way a person thinks, behaves or feels, especially if they are experiencing depression. This is because life is often uncertain and ever-changing. Conflict is unavoidable in life, and humans are trying to survive in the world while also trying to experience happiness.”

Mr. Cuevas believes that the past can alter the present and future. Indeed, some therapies examine the past to deal with problems in the present. He said, “Sigmund Freud developed psychoanalysis which is a psychological theory and therapy which aims to treat mental disorders by investigating the interaction of conscious and unconscious elements in the mind and bringing repressed fears and conflicts into the conscious mind by techniques such as dream interpretation and free association.”

Names and labels

Although depression has been labeled in many ways and called by many names, professionals dispute the correct way to describe it. Mr. Norori explains, “Experts in the field of psychology are hesitant to label depression as a mental illness because classifications on what an illness is, can change over time. An illness is often seen as a sickness that can be cured.  For example, homosexuality was once considered a mental illness. Today, depression is more accurately labeled as a mood disorder as it describes a disturbance in an individual’s thinking, behavior, and emotional state. While there is always that struggle of nature vs. nurture which plays a bigger role in a person’s development, researchers have found that mood disorders like depression are more common if you have a parent or sibling that also has it.”

Anxiety and depression like peanut butter and jelly

Right now, there’s an international pandemic, which has put the entire world under a mandatory quarantine. With all of this going on, those who have stayed in their homes and haven’t been able to help their families, see their friends or a neighbor, or get out at all, have started to develop some anxiety or even mood swings. Could this be a sign of depression?

Mr. Norori says, “Anxiety is depression. The difference is that an individual experiences anxiety when they feel threatened or uneasy about a future, uncertain event. You’re preoccupied about loss in the future. Depression, again, is anxiety but regarding loss in the present or the past.”

Mr. Cuevas adds, “Anxiety and depression are comorbid, meaning that both could occur at the same time. It is like peanut butter and jelly.“

Coping strategies

Coping with feelings of anxiety or depression isn’t something many learn how to do. Some don’t even know that there are such things that will make them feel better. But something is for sure; there is always a way.

Student Julian Del Campo, a sophomore, suggests that having a hobby and spending time with good and non-toxic friends can make your life a lot easier and better. Richard Gonzales, another sophomore, agreed by saying that good company is one of the easiest solutions that will keep your mind off of things and will allow you to interact more with the outside world and your own self.

A female student, who suffers from depression, said, “I listen to music for two hours every day. I draw and I write my emotions, never letting them bottle up inside me ever again.”

Mr. Norori says, “There is no ‘definite’ solution like a pill or procedure that can remove someone’s depression. However, there are different types of treatment that someone experiencing depression can turn to for help and healing. Among these are individual therapy, group counseling, exercise, and in extreme cases, medication prescribed by a psychiatrist.”

There are many ways to contact professionals free-of-cost, like hotlines and school counseling. To make this possible, Mr. Norori gave the idea of counselor-student meetings. “I think a helpful option would be for every student in the school to meet with either their grade counselor or the TRUST counselor for at least 5 minutes at some point in the year. This can be after the first nine weeks after they have settled into their schedules and routines,” he said.

The school’s TRUST counselor Ms. Luberto advises students to always talk about how you feel no matter who gets upset by it. She said, “We can talk about how you feel and what you can do about it as far as coping strategies.”  Ms. Luberto adds that every and any student is welcome into her office to cry, talk, stay quiet or call someone else if they need help.

Dependency and public opinion

It’s no secret to anyone that today’s society has become very dependent on social media and public opinion on personal matters. For some people, letting their followers know how they feel on a daily basis is really important. This gives them the idea that no matter what, someone’s paying attention to them, even if they don’t know the person who’s doing so.

However, some people who have dealt with depression and have actually needed someone else to talk to, because they feel like they can’t talk about it at home, feel like this type of public sharing diminishes the purpose of sharing one’s life. Julian Del Campo said, “That’s just cheap and a tactic to get people to notice you. There are people that are actually suffering from depression, and they don’t really get taken seriously because at this point it’s hard to tell whether it’s a person that actually has a mental illness or just someone that wants to feel special.”


Glossary for understanding depression

Heritability: statistic used in the fields of breeding and genetics that estimates the degree of variation in a phenotypic trait in a population that is due to genetic variation between individuals in that population.

Neuroticism: one of the Big Five higher-order personality traits in the study of psychology. Individuals who score high on neuroticism are more likely than average to be moody and to experience such feelings as anxiety, worry, fear, anger, frustration, envy, jealousy, guilt, depressed mood, and loneliness

Sigmund Freud: Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst.

Psychoanalysis: set of theories and therapeutic techniques related to the study of the unconscious mind, which together form a method of treatment for mental-health disorders.

Psychological Theory:  has two key components: It must describe a behavior. It must make predictions about future behaviors.

Mood Disorder: a psychological disorder characterized by the elevation or lowering of a person’s mood, such as depression or bipolar disorder.

Comorbid: In psychiatry, psychology, and mental health counseling, comorbidity refers to the presence of more than one diagnosis occurring in an individual at the same time.


Source: Wikipedia