Depression. That dark void that feeds off of doubt, fears, loneliness and tears. That voice inside your head that reminds you how inadequate you are or how much of a burden your disease is to the people you love. For a person who lives with the debilitating effects you struggle to find happiness even when it is right in front of you. The pain can be masked by drugs or alcohol, but only for a short time before those very same crutches magnify the agony so much you just want to do whatever it takes to rid you of the feeling. People who don’t suffer from depression either live with the guilt of not being able to be enough happiness for that person who does; or battles the anger and resentment of what they don’t understand.
Robin Williams was the famous face of depression and suicide from the disease. Despite from the outside of looking like his life had it all, Williams felt otherwise. That is how powerful depression is. It takes over the young, the old, the rich, the poor. It doesn’t discriminate on color or background. Instead it grabs a hold and slowly feeds off of any emotion one feels. The stigma attached to depression is because of people who never understood the disease but instead decided to put labels on it.
There is treatment for depression. There is hope for the hopeless. The first step is to understand that a person who is depressed is a real person experiencing those feelings so don’t ignore them as a family member, spouse or friend. If you know of someone who has talked about suicide, don’t pass the threat off as just talk; do something about it! Tell an adult if you are a young person, tell a family member, tell a provider who deals with mental health. Just tell someone! The sad reality when someone loses their life to suicide because of depression is realizing there were signs and no one stepped up to tell someone about them.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed with sadness, especially in the world we live in today; when there is so much pain being witnessed in society. However, the only wrong action to fear is inaction. Take the steps necessary to get the one you love who is battling sadness the help they deserve. With counseling and proper medications, there is hope and happiness for the person who feels there is none. Life can be better. Suicide doesn’t have to be the choice to end the disease.
For over thirteen years I worked in a practice in the mental health field. There were people from all walks of life, from every age category that stepped across our threshold of our office building because they needed help. Help with coping; help with living. Money or status in society means nothing when battling depression; however the stigma does. While society has made great strides to begin to change that perception we are still falling short if yet another person commits suicide because they felt there was no other choice. Each life matters. Speak out and get help please. You are not alone!