While there is now much debate on what could have/should have/would have been done, I thought it might be a good time to share some of my own travel through the black hole.
First, let me say, Depression is not a decision. You don’t decide to snap out of it any more than a Diabetic can just snap out of it, or someone with a broken leg can just decide that the leg is no longer broken.
There are many factors to Depression. Stress, trauma, abuse, chemical imbalances, and yes, all the junk and GMOs in our food supply, toothpaste and deodorants. I am sure there are other factors also. It’s a complex disease and cannot be treated by waving the magic wand. There are no easy answers.
We’ve all had “bad days,” sad days, betrayals by friends, deaths of loved ones. This is NOT Depression.
Depression is a world where there is no time, no passage of time. I am stuck. I cannot move forward. I cannot remember good times, good friends, or the receiving of love. I cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. I cannot believe there is light. My faults, failures, pains are magnified, and they overtake me, they push me down, they stop my brain from logical thought. The pain is excruciating, and all-encompassing. It’s nearly impossible to ask for help, as my voice is also broken. I struggle to ask someone for help, only to be pushed away.
If you fell down and broke your leg, the pain would overtake you. You would not think, “Gee I really love pizza” while you are in agony.
There is a reason it’s called a Mental Illness.
For years its victims have been looked down upon, especially by Church Folk. “Oh you just need more faith.” Would you say that to someone with a broken leg?
I remember some Church Folk telling me about a neighbor of theirs who had committed suicide. “Well, you know, she had mental problems.” Did you do anything to help her? Did you ever invite her to dinner? Invite her to the movies? Have a cup of tea with her? Sit with her while she cried?
As most of you know, I am a Christian, I do believe in Jesus, and I do memorize scripture. This did not make me immune to Depression. Yes, there is a spiritual aspect to it, but it’s not the only part.
The Church has been ignorant and just plain mean to people who suffer with real sins and pains. The Church is supposed to be a hospital, not a gas chamber.
So while the spotlight is on Robin Williams and his pain, maybe something good can come out of this? If you see someone in pain, help them. Sometimes a listening ear is the best gift you can give someone. It doesn’t cost anything except your time. Don’t give advice, just listen. Offer to bring them to a doctor or counselor, but don’t push.
Another debate going on is the use of anti-depressants. Personally, they saved my life. I do know of others who had terrible experiences, and were made worse by them.
If someone is hit by a car, and breaks their leg, they lie there in agony. A person will call an ambulance. A team of EMTs will work on the person, place them into the ambulance, bring them to the hospital. A doctor will administer pain medication, set the leg, and put it in a cast to heal. Friends and family members will offer help with driving, cooking and cleaning.
Why don’t we treat Mental Illness the same way?