“We need so much more openness, transparency, and understanding that it’s OK to talk about depression as an illness. It’s not a weakness. It’s not a moral shortcoming. It’s not something people brought on themselves.”~John F. Greden, M.D. Depression has become a rising epidemic, a taboo conversation for many to have. It is the trigger word that can make a conversation awkward. It is an illness, and according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America depression is defined as: “a condition in which a person feels discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life in general.” Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. ADAA lists the three types of depression as: Major depression, Persistent Depressive Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder and they can occur with any of the anxiety disorders. The National Institute of Mental Health states that 16 million people have at least had one major depressive episode in the United States alone. Reading “Big Boys Don’t Cry” Depression and Men written by Dr. Peter Branney gave a deeper insight to the rise of depression in men. Many men mask depression due to societal and cultural perceptions of manhood. Thus, adding fuel to a burning fire causing a deeper experience with depression. Society can have a large effect on the start of depression. Social media plays a role because seeing individuals with ‘great lives” through videos and photos and watching TV and seeing what is considered the standard for men and women can be overwhelming for a depressed person. It’s become a very materialistic, superficial, moral-less society reliant upon views and likes to validate one’s existence. Of course, everything is not what it seems, people are only going to post what they want you to see, but that is not much of a consideration for a depressed person. There are a few individuals who post honest feelings about their struggle. When you are seeing everyone around you post their successes- getting marriage, having a baby, new job, etc.- it can play heavy on a person’s emotional state if they feel stagnant in their life. Depression isn’t the end; there are so many steps, programs, and support groups to help. One of the worst things a person can do is comparing them self to others. The biggest step to overcoming this potentially debilitating condition is to seek professional help. This assistance can come from a psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, or spiritual leader. The important thing is to get help in order to look at situations from an emotionally and mentally healthy perspective.