According to the 2016 Merced County Community Health Assessment, Hispanic and Latino residents reported higher rates of chronic depressive symptoms than White counterparts, despite having lower diagnosis rates. The community’s youth are also vulnerable, with more than 34 percent of Latino teens in Merced County reporting depression-related feelings almost every day for two weeks or more, according to KidsData.
Too often, Guillen said, Latino and immigrant families get used to operating under stressful conditions and fail to recognize the signs of more serious mental health disorders like depression, anxiety or even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
He was always super fun to be around, one of the kindest and open-minded people I knew, but then he changed. I remember the last day I saw him he was a completely different person. He was unrecognizable. No longer happy. Always mad. I could not understand why he didn’t want to be himself anymore.
I’ve seen the effects of not getting help for mental illness first hand and it's no joke. It's very sad to see. One day a friend may be behaving normally and the next they can fall apart. What makes it worse is that sometimes you don’t even know what's going on or how to help.
In Brenner’s experience, there are a lot of people who see depression as simply being in a bad mood. They don’t realize that depression is a diagnosable and treatable condition. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, mood disorders like depression are the third most common reason for hospitalization among youth and adults between the ages of 18 and 44.