ANOTHER person has jumped to death and it somehow throws a blanket of gloom on the day that was already gloomy, following the trickles of information coming from Surigao City that has just gone through a 6.7 magnitude earthquake at past 10 Saturday night.

How the people will recover is another story, but one thing is sure, there will be those who will be depressed by what they have just gone through.

Imagine seeing your home with cracks and your household items broken. But of greater concern is a broken spirit, the kind of brokenness that leads to suicide.

Depression, the mental condition that drives people to do things we could not imagine them do, affects people in different ways and most of the time, goes undiagnosed. That's the sad part of it. A person may be perceived as becoming quick at anger, but that would be brushed off as approaching menopause or andropause, especially for adults. The younger ones will just be regarded as "sapot".

Friends and families will just tell the person to "snap out of it" and get real. But for the person in the doldrums, what he feels is real and he cannot simply snap out of it because we said so.

The person, himself, may not be aware what he's going through. There can be deep anger that in the process of pondering over that anger will just grow and grow.

I've had a second-hand, mystical run-in with depression and suicide in a strange situation my late brother walked me through after his death, apparently to make me understand why he took his life.

It was sadder than sad. Sadder because as you wake up from that deep slumber or manage to pull yourself out of a waking nightmare, you still can barely comprehend why that happened although because of teh walk-through I somehow got a grasp of the how.

What we have to thump into our heads, however, is that depression is a real illness that has to be treated, that needs intervention.

"When a person has depression, it interferes with daily life and normal functioning. It can cause pain for both the person with depression and those who care about him or her. Doctors call this condition 'depressive disorder,' or 'clinical depression.' It is a real illness. It is not a sign of a person’s weakness or a character flaw. You can’t 'snap out of' clinical depression. Most people who experience depression need treatment to get better," the booklet "Depression, What You Need to Know" by the National Institute of Mental Health reads.

(Download the booklet here: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-what-you-need-to-know/depression-what-you-need-to-know-pdf_151827.pdf)

Now going back to that second-hand mystical run-in, while indeed depression hits people in different ways, one thing is sure, the depression can easily go deeper without intervention.

The simplest memory of a fault done to you can grow in unbelievable magnitude that can lead you deeper and deeper and bring up more and more memories that bring you even deeper and deeper, and before you know it, you have snapped. Not snapped out of it, but literally snapped.

The bottomline, depression is real. It's not pag-iinarte, it's not sapot. Learn to recognize it and reach out.

saestremera@yahoo.com