The Weight of Depression
Published on July 10, 2020

“… I’m holding on.
Why is everything so heavy?
Holding on…
To so much more than I can carry.”

On February 16th, 2017 the band Lincoln Park released a song called “Heavy.” It would be the band’s last single before lead singer Chester Bennington ended his life by suicide on July 20th. In the song, Bennington remarks that he struggles with his thoughts and the weight they carry on his mind.

According to “Depression isn’t just feeling down or sad for a few days in a row. Major depressive disorder is when a person feels like there is no hope, their mood is filled with sadness and emptiness, and there’s nothing anyone can do to help them. Major depression is a serious mental disorder — one that causes a person distress in every area of their life (school, work, relationships, friends, etc.).”1

If you are suffering from depression, it is important to remember that you are not alone. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 264 million people are affected worldwide.2 Although depression is a common ailment, people often struggle to talk about it. An article by Psychology Today states that less than half of Americans with a mental illness receive treatment. When asked why in a 2008-2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the top three answers were:

  1. Treatment Costs
  2. Thought they could handle it without treatment
  3. Didn’t know where to go for service

Although the number one reason was cost, treatment may not be as expensive as people think. According to that same Psychology Today article, there are many medications on the market today, which can help treat depression, including some generic medications which cost less than $10 a month.3 Your doctor may be able to help more than you realize. It is important to remember that mental illness and depression are a health condition, like diabetes and heart disease. It is treatable, and treatment can help restore your quality of life.

As for those who think they can handle it without treatment, there is an old saying attributed to English playwright John Heywood: “Many hands make light work.” Like so many other victims of depression, Chester Bennington struggled to carry the weight of his mental illness. In the end, he achieved financial success, and his music moved audiences around the world, but he never overcame his depression. You don’t have to suffer alone. There are those who can help. Just as you would struggle to carry the weight of a refrigerator on your own, the job is much easier when you allow other people to help you. Asking for help is never a sign of weakness; it is often the best way to overcome any challenge.

Depression can make it seem like there is no way out. It can persist for long periods, and if it does go away on its own, it can return quickly without an apparent reason. If you or a loved one is struggling with depression or mental illness, please make use of these hotlines, which are free to use and available 24/7 365 days a year. You do not need to be suicidal to use these numbers.

If you are sad, lonely, confused, or scared, please give these numbers a call:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

The Samaritans:

If you do not wish to talk on the phone (that’s ok!), you can text or chat with one of these resources:

Crisis Text Line:

  • text HOME to 741741

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Chat:

Remember, you are not alone. Depression can be treated, suicide can be prevented and a better life can be achieved.