So after the death of Robin Williams people have obviously been talking about suicide and depression a lot. And that’s actually a fairly good thing; knowing more about depression and its effects can only help.
One of my best friends in the world has been battling depression for most of her life, and will most likely continue to battle it for the rest of her life.
What a lot of people don’t know is that depression may be due to a biological difference in the brain. A lack of dopamine is the most common idea.
But even if it is a purely psychological disorder, it is still an extremely tough thing to go thorough.
I’ve only gone through it second hand so I don’t presume to know exactly how it feels, but this is my experience, little though it might be.
It can make your brain attack you. Give you thoughts that tell you ‘you’re just not good enough’ ‘why bother even getting up, what are you going to do that’s worthwhile?’
And you can be happy whilst also being depressed. It sounds like a contradiction but it really isn’t. A happy day doesn’t negate the thoughts pulling you down. It doesn’t mean that you’re all ‘fixed’. And it definitely doesn’t mean you aren’t still deeply sad.
At one of the lowest points my friend admitted that she had had some suicidal thoughts. She wouldn’t have gone through with it, but she said that she genuinely thought that the lives of the people around her would be improved with her being gone. In that sense it’s not a selfish thought. From her perspective it’s actually very selfless.
And comedians are especially likely to have depression. The saddest people can be the best people at covering up their sadness. The class clown could be the most depressed person in the school.
Sometimes they just need someone to be there for them. To do the thing they need, when they need it.
For my friend it could be just changing the subject, moving away from the issue. Or it could be dragging out the problems inch by inch, sorting them as we find them. Or maybe just being someone to talk to when things are especially bad.
The most you can do for someone with depression is to be there for them. And let them know it. Worst case scenario, suicide hotlines can be really helpful too.
Life sucks sometimes. More for some than for others. All we can do is to try and move forward. Hopefully to somewhere better.