|image from: The Organic Prepper|
As I’m sure you have heard, Robin Williams died yesterday in an apparent suicide. Everyone was shocked. Not only did we loose an amazing entertainer, people couldn’t come to terms with the fact that someone who spent his life making other people laugh, was so low, he felt that suicide was his only option.
That totally shakes up our impression of depression. When “we” think depression, we think sad, forlorn, can’t leave the house, etc. We definitely don’t think a seemingly happy, funny & outgoing person would/could EVER fall that low.
In light of his death, I think there are two VERY important lessons to be learned. The first, depression & mental health issues are not specific to gender, age, race or social class. They are not always bound to a life event (like a death). Depression can hit at any time, when you least suspect it.
Secondly, knowing that no one is immune, it is important that we remove the stigma & that everyone to feel safe to come forward and acknowledge this pain in their life. Unfortunately, most people don’t feel safe to do so. They feel it is a weakness to be depressed, that they should feel ashamed. To admit to being depressed is to admit that there is something “wrong” with them. This can lead people to start drinking, doing drugs, excessively overeat and other unhealthy coping mechanisms.
If you’re reading this & feeling depressed please know: Do NOT be ashamed. Being depressed is not a weakness, just like having cancer is not a weakness. There is absolutely NOTHING and I mean NOTHING wrong with reaching out to a friend, family member or professional. You may need to take medication. There is nothing wrong with needing medication to HELP you. Diabetics need insulin so they can live. Depression is the same way & while medication isn’t the only answer, it can help get you on the right track.
If you read my blog regularly, you know that I too, struggle with depression (see here ) and it took me some time to come to terms with it. I’m still dealing with the fact that it comes and goes & is a part of my life. I still struggle greatly with my drug of choice (food). However, I’m lucky to have a wonderful husband, friends & family that I can talk to, will listen to me & will be there for me when I need it, just like I will be to them. I’m also lucky to have supportive people in my life who encourage me to find help, which I am now.
Reach out, there is ALWAYS someone who will be there to help you, friend or otherwise. Suicide is never the answer, ever. There is so much to live for on this beautiful planet, don’t take that away from yourself.
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