Who is on the plum tree?
It amazes me just how many people have been so deeply touched by Robin Williams’ death. My facebook page has been inundated with comments because I posted this short message: “So sad, so sad, so sad. Depression is an awful illness from which more of us than admit, suffer. Suicide is tragic for families, but it is NOT an easy way out. Neither is it a selfish act. It is often the action of someone who simply cannot tolerate the emotional pain anymore or bear the thought of being a burden to their families. Depression is an ILLNESS! Suicide is often a result of that illness.”
There is a big difference between feeling sad and down and suffering from clinical depression. I don’t want to describe how it feels or what might lead someone into thinking that death is a logical, practical solution. I doubt that many suicides are carried out in fits of rage. Rather, they are quiet affairs, prepared for and carefully thought through.
One thing I do know is that a suicidal person feels detached from the world and from the people they love. They feel ashamed of the depression as it sets them apart, makes them feel like failures, destroys self-esteem, keeps them in that dark place where every slight, every rejection is amplified to screaming.
There is still such a HUGE stigma attached to suffering from depression. Please world, wake up to the fact that sometimes, all a person needs is love and understanding and no judgement. It won’t cure the depression, but it does make a moment of difference; it does light a spark on an otherwise blackened, hopeless horizon. It is so very hard on families and they need love too. There is nothing more painful than watching someone you love and admire fade away, be torn apart mentally by the furies, inwardly seared with sorrow until they disappear into a void where they can no longer be reached.
Please, let’s be aware of mental illness and give it the same compassion and understanding as any other illness.