Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tragedy-- depression

When tragedy strikes all manner of personalities are in evidence in a matter of nano-seconds. Immediately we are inundated with tirades, rants and unnecessary lectures about how things should or shouldn’t have been done.  To that I say, “Nuts!” Unless you’re walking in the shoes of the person you have no idea what is going through their mind at any given time.  

In the case of Robin Williams, he did seek out treatment at different times of his life but he didn’t get the help he needed at the correct time.   It may be that he would never have gotten the correct help.  None of us can sit in judgment of a person who is in the throes of mental illness. We can’t imagine what they are thinking or how they are thinking.  We say things like, “How could a person so; wealthy, healthy, beautiful, handsome or any other thing we think is the epitome of success, do something so selfish”.   Who are we to demand to know why someone does something to themselves?  Are we entitled to know everything about another human being? Do we have the right to foist our own morality, judgment, or actions on another person?
It is sad we’ve lost a great talent.  But that’s what we’ve lost, a talent.   His family lost his love, body, soul, and his heart.  We will recover, but I wonder how they will fare… 

Statistically there is a 50% chance that one or all of his kids will take a suicide route.  I hope they’re all diligent in seeking help from qualified therapists if and when they need it.  I’m sure they will be seeking help now if they need it, or someone else thinks they need it.  

I’ve had my share of depression and unless you have been treated for clinical depression you can’t really know what it’s like.  We see all the advertisements on TV about the drugs available to treat depression. We also see other ads that tell us we may have to add more drugs to the ones we’re already taking to combat the depression.  Well, that’s fine for some people but we, in the country are far too quick to seek out a pill to help us “get over the hump” or whatever we may think we need.   I ask this, “do you think the folks who are searching for food to continue their existence are looking for a pill to make them happy?”   I don’t think so.  Ergo…we have too much time on our hands. Too much time wasted on silly unnecessary things; a new electronic device, clothes, shoes, make-up, cars.  We are causing some of our own mental illness, or at least we’re contributing to it. 

Depression is a slippery slope and once you’re on the downhill slope it’s kind of hard to stop.  The answer is to stem it as soon as you know you’re about to enter into the “dark side”.  Most folks who have been in the despairs of depression can pretty much tell when they’re about to enter into the shadows of their lives.  They try to ignore the signs, but shortly they realize they are walking a path which will only take them into the darkest depths of the recesses of their minds.   It’s not easy to find the sun and warmth.  There’s a part of you that feels comfortable in the dark and you don’t want to feel the pull of the sun, you like the feeling of the familiar comfort of the blanket of darkness covering you.  When you are in the sun, other folks are pulling and prodding you to do something or be someone you don’t want to be.   It’s sometimes easier to stay in that dark cocoon and just wait.  However, it’s a trap.

Those of us who have battled the depression “monster” know when we’re in trouble if, and it’s a big IF, we are seeing clearly.  There seems to be a feeling from others who’ve not been to “depression land” that we can “snap” out of it, look on the bright side, fake it until you make it, smile, etc.  That’s not good therapy.  We don’t have the ability to walk out of the dark easily.  There’s always something that has grabbed us and brought us back into the arms of the darkness.   Only we know how to get ourselves back into the light.  Only we know what we have to do to turn the corner and find a way to walk toward the light.
Here lies another problem.  Sometimes the light we seek is not of this world.  Sometimes the light is from another world, a world where we may fit better than here.  Don’t think that’s a cop out. It’s the truth.  If we are in so much pain with no relief in sight (and if you’re sitting there thinking, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem” you have no idea what depression is or how you, yourself would handle it, so keep on reading) the only answer may be suicide…
I’m not advocating suicide, but pain comes in all sorts of forms.  I’ll bet Robin Williams had his share of both physical and mental pain.  He tried, for years, to self- medicate.  He had the ability to get the best medical treatments.  He wasn’t being selfish or taking an easy way out.  He just wanted “out”.  Are we right to deny him his choice?