Your World. Your Stories. Everyday.


Your World. Your Stories. Everyday.


Your World. Your Stories. Everyday.


    Depression: it’s not just your battle, it’s our battle

    Azaa Battsogt
    Support from families is important whenever someone is going through depression.

    Growing up as a sister to both an older and younger brother, I have had the opportunity to experience the various stages of their lives. I have witnessed firsthand my brothers’ different phases in life, ranging from their awkward teenage years to their ‘I’m too cool for you’ phase. However, as a sister, I will always stand by them, even in their darkest moments, whether it is offering advice on how to deal with our mother’s scolding or becoming a confidant for their struggles with depression.

    My younger brother and I share a special bond. I have been mistaken for his mom because I always have him by my side. However, I noticed a change in his behavior as he no longer asked to play Roblox, ‘What’s for dinner,’ or if I wanted to do something with him. He seemed to be struggling with motivation, and even interacting with his family became a challenge. Initially, I thought it was just a phase of teenage moodiness, but now I see that wasn’t the case.

    On Feb. 19, I paced around my room crying out to God as to why He did not let me prove to Him that I was more than capable of taking care of my brother. You see, my brother had been struggling with severe depression, and it had finally reached a point where he had to be admitted to a mental hospital. I watched as the pain my brother was going through rippled into the hearts of my family. I sat there the whole night trying to process the one question that lingered in my mind, “Did I fail as a sister?”

    The National Institute of Mental Health states that depression is a common mood disorder that impacts an individual’s mindset, interest in daily activities, and sleeping/eating habits. Regardless of it being common, loneliness is a major factor that causes depressive disorders. 

    Raheel Mushtaq, a senior resident at the Psychiatry Department of Government Medical College found that “Loneliness can lead to various psychiatric disorders and various physical disorders. Left untended, loneliness can have serious consequences for mental and physical health”. If someone is going through a difficult time, it can be hard to stay stable without support, especially from family.

    My family sprung into action when we realized the severity of my younger brother’s depression. We made punctual phone calls at the exact time we had agreed upon, visited him in the hospital, sent him clothes, and expressed our unconditional love for him. I had not seen my brother in almost a week — the longest we had been away from each other since we were kids. We had a family meeting at the hospital, and the moment we saw my brother, we showered him with affection and cried. Even after 10 minutes, we were still crying from the pure joy of seeing him despite the bittersweet environment we were seeing him in. 

    The social worker who was working with us said “I had never seen a family so broken.” Our shared pain was visible, but so was our familial unity. Becoming the anchor and successful support system proved to be the key to my brother’s resilience. 

    Support is the most important thing someone can give to anyone suffering from a mental illness, especially as a family setting aside to help that one person out shows the beauty of how love restores hope. According to PubMed, a study found that higher family support was associated with less depression at baseline and predicted a steeper trajectory of recovery from depression over 23 years.

    Expressing feelings is not always easy, but there are ways to help a family or friend going through a mental illness. The Mayo Clinic Health System suggests listening without judgment, offering assistance, encouraging them to stick to treatments and making plans together. 

    As for my brother, the light returned to his eyes, and I can confidently say that I did not fail as a sister. If anything, I leveled up as one. He might deny that, but that is because he entered his ‘I’m too cool for you’ phase. 

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    About the Contributors
    Emily Pena
    Emily Pena is a junior and this is her first year writing for The Stampede as a headlines reporter. She loves to paint, draw, and watch true crime documentaries. When in the comfort of her own home, she likes connecting her music to her speaker and playing it at an unreasonably loud volume, talking to friends and family, or napping.
    Azaa Battsogt
    Azaa is in her second year of high school but her first being on staff. Azaa is a bubbly, talkative student who loves her friends more than she loves dressing up. She is part of the In and Out of Our Walls podcast and loves creating the graphics for it. Outside of school she can be found riding her bike to her best friend’s house, playing video games, or shopping for new clothes.

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