Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams' Suicide: What only those that are depressed know.

Robin Williams is dead.  The funny man, everyone's uncle, thespian extraordinaire...killed himself perhaps as a result of an all too prevalent disease; depression.  As expected, the world came out wearing black, mourning, lauding, crying for this brilliant brilliant light of man.  I, like most people, read tweets, posts, watched CNN, unhealthily wading through text and mass media alike to try and make some sense of something so senseless. As I read, one line kept showing up...over and over in one form or another; "If you are in pain, please seek help."  "If you are thinking about killing yourself, find someone to talk to." "Here is the suicide hotline's number."  I have to tell you that the cavernous pit in my stomach grew a bit larger because although these words were written or spoken with good intentions, they show how deeply depression is misunderstood.

As a fellow clinically depressed human, let me assure you that many of us are talking and talking and talking to therapists on speed dial, to our pastors, to our best friends, to our doctors, to God.  As Daphne Merkin so eloquently stated in her 2009 NY Times Magazine article, "I have sat in shrinks' offices going on four decades and talked about my wish to die the way the way other people may talk about their wish to find a lover."  We talk.  I promise you we talk.  We also take medicine and exercise.  We stop eating foods with unnatural chemicals.  We sit ad nauseum in front of UV lights in the darkness of winter.  We take vitamin supplements. Hell some have even subjected their delicate minds to electric shock "therapy" to rid themselves of the malignant drowning-in-a-deep-thick-black-bleak-mucky-mud-feeling that is a favorite companion of this horrific disease.  

But here's something that many don't know...especially people who aren't depressed, who haven't had a run in with this dire foe.  Sometimes all the talking, the meds, the running and eating well, spending time with loved ones, even time in a psychiatric facility--it isn't enough.  We sometimes have bouts where nothing works--NOTHING, and it is those times that are the most daunting and haunted for those of us who try to function in a society that sometimes stigmatizes or rejects the searing physical and emotional pain that one feels when in the midst of that crushing remoteness. 

When depression pitches a tent, when it decides to stay despite all measures, it is suffocating in its presence.  For me, every inch--from the hair follicles on my head to the numerous bones in my feet-- prickles with excruciating merciless pain and burn with the distinct feeling of one million matches being pressed against the totality of my skin. My limbs and head feel like they weigh thousands of pounds.  It is a monumental task to lift myself out of bed each day and move through what used to be simple air, oxygen and hydrogen that instead feels like a massive sucking sludge.  When I lay down at the end of the day the exhaustion is inexplicable and a concrete slab of anxiety presses down on my chest making it impossible to breathe.  When depression fights to stay, it follows me into my sleep permeating my dreams making them real and vivid and murderous.  It raids my subconscious and brings to the surface every fear that's buried there.  I wake in the midst of a panic so fierce that I am sure my beleaguered heart will explode into tiny bits, and then...and then I wake up. I do it all over again; a twisted Ground Hog Day movie that refuses to end.  Is it any wonder that some choose to end the cycle themselves?  

So in honor of Robin, for his laughter and his legacy, instead of sending someone to the nearest hotline or hoping that the clinically depressed reach out to someone, please...reach out to them, stay with them, ensure them that you'll never leave, that you'll be there for as long as they need you.  I am lucky. I have that--ten fold.  Don't get me wrong, so many have left--"friends" telling me that my life just drags them down--depression is not for the weak. It takes great strength for both the depressed and those that love them to not waiver in their resolve. Remember, those that are depressed don't want to be that way.  We are working, working every hour, every minute, every millisecond to navigate a life with this disease. So, for Robin's sake, to end the stigma of this disease, and to understand it just a little bit more, if you know someone whose depressed, reach out with an ear, a hand, an unwavering friendship. Be a light in that unending blackness.


274 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words.

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    2. Logan-
      Thank you for writing this!!
      Felt every word.

      Wish you all the best.

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    3. Beautifully worded and heart felt. I wish I had the prose to express it as eloquently! Thank you!

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    4. when I was suicidal my sister gave me a rope. Be patient and just be there. it makes a world of difference.

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    5. Graciously said...Thank you.

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    6. Graciously said!

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    7. So well said. I have been to that dark place, too... I am one of the lucky in that it does hang on endlessly.... but it is an awful place while you are there and it's a horrifying thought that some people never get any relief from it. God bless you for your words of wisdom.

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    8. I lost my son to suicide a month ago and he also went to mental health specialist and rehab on his own will, nothing seemed to help, for awhile he was fine but it never lastest long, He was handsome very social, had lots of friends but could not stop the depression and drug abuse ,as much as we assured him we were there for him,he found a time that he was by himself and decided he had enough and could not be in this world anymore, I agree therepy is helpful but it sometimes isnt enough, constant everyday care is needed, I believe what was said by muddles mother is true, I have suffered from depression and still am today but have managed to keep going, but many cant

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    9. Hear, hear! I have struggled the battle and have lost a son to suicide. As of Sept 1st it will be 5 years ago, but Robin Williams death has brought all those emotions to the forefront. You eloquently described the pain and to this day although I am a "morning person" I battle to get out of bed in the morning weighed down by the tremendous loss and unutterable exhaustion ... May we all put forth the best fight and be there for those that need us in their hour of darkness. If nothing else, we understand ...

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    10. I never would have understood what you were talking about until I re married a few yeas ago. My precious, amazing husband struggles so with depression and the other that goes with it. I was the kind that was like, " buck up.... get up and get outside, you will feel better." I am a different person now, and as much as I hate that he has to struggle-- we struggle together--- it has helped me be a better person. I have friends that suffer too, and now I am a better friend. God help us to be loving and kind to ALL...everybody struggles with something,

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    11. So well said! So many' need to read this! . Because if you have never had a bout with depression-. you have never known what it really means ! Like the saying goes" just walk in my shoes for a mile..". Thank You for taking the time to Tell it like it is! It always surprised me when someone dies from suicide and they say -' nothing can be that bad '. they just don't get it ! Kindness and a listening-ear can go a lot further than one thinks in some moments of despair.

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    12. Oh my god...your words are exactly what I want to tell people about my depression which brought me to the brink of a suicide attempt. It was only by the grace of god that a dear friend found me. I had deliberately made careful plans that I would not be found. As I said, by the grace of god. People...even my own pastor...thought it was so stupid of me to do. Stupid is not a word I needed to hear at that time. As you wrote, I had done everything-2 years of counseling, more medication than I ever desired in desperation, long walks, meditation, Light lamps, Vitamin D, lots of kale and spinach, a lowcarb high fat diet, praying constantly to god, a good support system, you named them all.....AND NOTHING WORKED. After my attempt, I received 6 ECT shock treatments. That was scary stuff....but as my doctor said, no medication will work for you,,,this is your only hope. For me, it worked, but the statistics vary for each person. Thank you for expressing eloquently what so many of us feel. God bless you...

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  2. Beautifully, heartrendingly said. Here...in solidarity.

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  3. Wonderful post on a terrible day.

    I have a friend -- the best thing about our relationship is that we don't have to pretend we're "okay" when we're with each other. It's priceless.

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    1. A friendship like that is absolutely priceless!

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    2. I had a friend like that, where we both suffered with similar issues, but unfortunately, it tended to bring us both down...we aren't friends now anymore...I seem to be more depressed than she is and feel like she's moved on...I guess you have to be a friend to have one. My depression has made me quite isolated...

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    3. Hi, what you said reached out to me, your right, it's true, I lost many, many friends along the dark road that held onto me for so long. I soon realized I had better not talk about it anymore, to anyone, so I don't. Luckily, I found a great medication that works for me. And, I finally found my way to Jesus. Prayer, works, try it!

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    4. just hang in there...you are important and you count...you will find what you need...believe this. I often wonder how so many people who are unjustly/incorrectly incarcerated for 10, 20, 30 years and finally are set free, find the strength to never give up hope...YOU must also never give up hope. Look at each day as a new day, not an extension of yesterday or a continuation for tomorrow...it's just ONE day, today - even if it has similar parts to other days...I cannot say I have ever suffered depression, but my daughter has and it breaks my heart to see her suffer so much unhappiness. NOBODY chooses depression - it just is. So for you, "Anonymous" you do not have to be anonymous...and there are plenty of people in the world who will be your friend....just hang in there and don't give up on yourself...much love, peace and comfort to you. xoxo

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  4. Wow. This blew me away. Thank you for sharing, Logan.

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  5. Very well said and well written. Great blog.

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  6. Sometimes, not always, but sometimes, these people are afflicted with a demon bent on ending their lives. Seek Jesus and learn how to fight back. Demons are for real and so are angels. Be blessed.

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    1. This is one way to view depression. But I know there are many who pray daily, fervently...They have sought Jesus, perhaps with no results.

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    2. I am a pastor's daughter, and a pastor's wife. I have faith, I pray every day, and trust my Lord. This is something that you can never explain to someone. People with diabetes are understood, they are not told "you ate too much junk and became diabetic" you should just eat less and you will get cured.... It is amazing that the stigma depression carries is still connected to middle ages. I have seen people with a demon. You cannot compare! really. Thankfully, I am aware of my problem, and I battle, the word is really BATTLE everyday! thankfully it is summer and a bit of sunshine really helps. Do not talk to me during a dreaded winter, there are no drugs that can function. It is God pushing me all the way. Your blog brought tears to my eyes. The truth is that my family has learned to identify my bad times, and they will not leave me alone. I am so ever grateful for that.

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    3. I am a Christian and my heart if filled with Jesus...but there is a point of deep depression, when you can't see the edge of the gutter, that you can't see Him. Those who haven't experienced it will never understand. It's the inability to feel that you have anywhere else to turn.

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    4. I too am a Christian. I agree with the 2 last posts, t that some people just "don't get it". If you haven't been there you can't.
      I would love to have "a blue day" . as some people compare to a depressive episode.
      If they only knew. But they don't and for them I am happy. And hope they never do. But depression has no respect of persons. But I to have support. My son who has bi polar is my best support. And I am his. We just have to somehow thank God for the good days and pray that he hold us in the bad times. Even if we can't pray.

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  7. Great post. How ironic is it that so many who bring light and laughter to others deal with their own darkness and pain? I have struggled off and on for 20 years with depression -- thank God, I have been on the "up" side more than the down. It is a scary dark pit I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Blessings and hugs to you, Logan. Thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. Blessings to you as well, Ellen. It's wonderful when there are more up days than down isn't it? Thank you so much for your comments.

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    2. Its great to have more up days than down days,it helps you to keep more focused.Finding Jesus keeps you from suicide.Finding a good friend that you can trust will definitely help but they are hard to find,but keep looking its worth the look.Writing a journel everyday of what you are going through and what is really reality!Drinking water clears the mind as will and exercise.Reading positive books and starting little goals helps as will!I think what helped me most of all was finding good friend and of course knowing Jesus!

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  8. One of the best descriptions of depression I have read. Thank you for writing this!

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  9. Thank you for such thoughtful insight.

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  10. So right on. I identified with every word you wrote.

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    1. I am so sorry that you have to identify with these words. But perhaps a conversation has started.

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  11. Exceptionally well said! Thank you!

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  12. Thank you ! I grew up with a seriously depressed mother and this is a serious disease - The drive to end it all is relentless and to survive each day can be an achievement in itself. The unbelievable strength needed to get through a depression is crushing. Brain disease is a disease as any other. For Robin's sake and the millions of others who have suffered, please end the stigma!! Thank you for this article!

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    1. I am sorry that your mother is afflicted with this. I know all too well the guilt a mother feels when she can't find the energy to paste on a smile for those that need her the most.

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  13. You did the impossible. Accurately describing depression is like explaining the color blue to a person born blind. Even the word itself implies it is merely a feeling that can be shaken off.

    Ironic how a man so talented he could force a chuckle out of a depressed person would die of the same disorder.

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  14. Beautifully said, thank you for writing this. As someone who will always be there, this is just as important for me to read as it is for the person suffering and suffocating.

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  15. You clearly get it. Thank you for articulating so clearly for those who don't.

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  16. Beautifully stated!

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  17. that was wonderful. i know how it is to fight depression. i fight it everyday at every moment. even though i have a job interview i still am very depressed

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    1. Good luck with your interview! Don't let depression keep you from your dreams!

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  18. Nailed it. The feeling, the struggle. So touched by this, thank you for writing it.

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  19. I read all all of the above blog and comments, yet here I am posting this Anonymous 2 . I have suffered for over 30 years with depression, anxiety and at times wondered how I would ever get myself out of the dark hole. I do understand how this happens, because one's mind and reality are not connected to the actual reality. I struggle daily to get through the day, I don't sleep, overeat, and at times feel like I'm alone in my own home with my family around me. THAT IS WHAT DEPRESSION DOES TO PEOPLE!!!! Anyone reading this don't be concerned for me re being so depressed I would consider taking my own life, I have a appointment with my therapist this afternoon....MEDS, AND ONE DAY AT A TIME...THAT's OUR REALITY, having family that don't understand or make off the wall comments that everyone has it tough just don't cut it. THIS IS REAL DISEASE AND NEEDS TO RECOGNIZED AS SUCH, NOT JUST UNDERSTOOD BY THOSE OF US THAT SUFFER FROM IT. I am grateful for your blog and hope one day EVERYONE OR AT LEAST FAMILY AND FRIENDS IN OUR CIRCLE UNDERSTAND OR TRY TO UNDERSTAND OUR WORLD. God Bless Al of u and to the family of Robin W. we are all feeling your pain. Look to the sky, there is a bright star (laughing) up there...as per tweet from his daughter. God Bless All

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    1. I am sorry for your struggle. I am so relieved that you have a therapist, as I do. It is so essential. Keep up the fight and look for the laughing star.

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  20. Great post. Very well stated.

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  21. As the spouse of a wonderful wife who suffered for years and now has finally learned to cope, I find that the only way to help is to reach out listen to them and stay supportive. Recognize that they are suffering and that simple words can make a difference to them. Talk to them not about them go with them to treatments so that you can understand how they feel.

    Self esteem is an important part of who they are and how they feel about themselves it is an illness that is unbiased, anyone who has witnessed the sucking of life from a once vibrant human being can understand what I say.

    Stay with them, hold them, love them and most of all help them.

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    1. I lov love love your last line. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  22. I've been at the edge and came back. I have fought the depression away three or four times now, with substantial help. Each time I think that now I have the tools and the skills and the knowledge and the resources to stay healthy. Right now the world is good and I am satisfied. I hope that I stay there. But it is work nearly every day when the darkness nibbles at the corners of my happiness. So far, so good. Thank you so much for this.

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    1. The darkness does nibble at the corners...always. But I have found ways to keep it at bay. It is work isn't it? Thank you for your eloquent words.

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  23. You described my life perfectly, except for one thing. The line "then you are a muddled mother" is wrong. This is not a disease limited to mothers, or to women. I am a grandfather who has struggled with depression all of my life. It is not a disease of muddled mothers, but of people. Thank you for your thoughtful article.

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    1. A muddled mother is just the name of my blog...usually I write about the hard stuff that comes with motherhood. Last night, I wrote about my depression. You are right. This disease doesn't discriminate!

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  24. When depression decides to stay for awhile, the problem is that your mind is your own enemy. It's so, so hard to stop the voices and the negative self talk, to ignore the pain, to consider that things might improve. I've been lucky...I have medicine that mostly works, and support, and a good job, and creative outlets, and enough money to care for myself and my family. But every time I read a newspaper article about someone who's done something wrong, and it says "he/she dealt with depression issues", I cringe. It is a stigma, no matter what anyone says. Admitting it is hard. People think you're a whiner, especially if your life is pretty good. But none of it matters if that pitch-black bitch Depression decides to sink her fangs into your neck.

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    1. "sinks its fangs" How accurate. Thank you for your words!

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  25. Thank you for your eloquence.

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  26. It's hard to keep from drowning...even if you know how to swim.

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    1. Yes it is, but we must keep paddling.

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  27. I too suffer from depression, I only found out about it 17 yrs ago when I was 40, I was depressed my whole life but the one thing that's different about some people that are depressed is that , some of us, are afraid of dying, even tho we wake up during the night with anxiety and panic and
    each day struggle to get out of bed, there is no light at the end of our tunnel. Some depressed people wish they could die, thus giving them relief, but some of us are so afraid of what the hereafter has to offer, that there is no relief for us. Medication helps, sometimes, but as terrible things happen in our life or you lose a family member to death the depression gets stronger and the fear of death gets stronger. so all we can do is
    pray for relief to come or for the pain to go away. Depression is a horrible disease, misunderstood by many.

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    1. Yes. Misunderstood. But hopefully sharing our stories will help get the information out.

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  28. Thank you. You have written what I wanted to say.

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  29. I am currently involved in a Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario filing for a young woman, suffering from major clinical depression, fired from her job and who has now lost her home. Her employer hired a law firm to represent them and, like so many applicants, we do our best as David to their Goliath, fighting through illness with no money and no representation. One of their arguments is that her pattern of absences was not a pattern because she gave 'reasons.' As you say, "she felt she could not tell the truth about her illness." She was terrified she would lose her job. And sure enough she did. Her employer's lawyer says she did not provide medical documentation of her illness. Why? Because there was an urgent referral for psychiatric care for 10 months before she was able to get an assessment. By then her job was long gone.

    Her doctor's say she is unable to work (more than a year later) and yet ODSP denies her eligibility. The Human Rights Legal Support Centre says that EI can convert her regular benefits to sickness benefits and yet EI will not make that decision.

    Is it any wonder so many who suffer from mental health challenges are homeless? Take their lives? It is exhausting to me and I'm the healthy one. People say there are many resources available ... perhaps so ... perhaps not.

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    1. As long as there is this kind of stigma, there are not enough resources in my opinion. I ache for that woman. Thank you for standing by her.

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  30. it is today, same a the many days past since 2001 , im still in this same day , when im aware of something different its that my children have aged and I never saw it , because today is that same day that wont leave me .... today I have seen that I have aged and wonder when did this happen . I can not say that it will be dark soon because I don't know the difference anymore . maybe those who don't understand will start learning to help those of who suffer from something we cant explain......

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  31. Great job. I'm glad someone stepped forward and said this.

    Jonathan

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  32. This narrative touched my depressed soul. THANK YOU for sharing your thoughts in such a unique way.

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  33. Thank you so much for expressing what so many of us go through day in and day out. I'm waiting and hoping for the day when the sun shines inside my body instead of just on the outside.

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    1. The sun will shine on us. That we have to believe.

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  34. Good Jub Explaining Depression, I myself go to therapy everyday and am on meds and even attempted suicide three times. My Neice committed suicide on 7-10-14, 2 weeks before her 23rd birthday... So Sad...

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  35. My boyfriend and I are both suffering with depression. It's amazing how much better it feels having someone else next to you that understands exactly how you feel, and I understand how he feels.

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    1. It is wonderful that you have someone who understands you.

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  36. WOW!!!!...you have the words that many cannot find....great job...although, I have never had DEPRESSION (diagnosed, anyway), I have fearful thoughts, dreams, anxiety and even pyhsical symptoms.....sometimes one day at a time is all I can handle.......thank you for your kind words to all others....God Bless!!!

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  37. Thank you for your accurate description of this illness. With Robin Williams's death, I hope & pray that he has some rest now and that people are made more aware of this horrifying illness and understand how to help.

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    1. We have to keep the conversation going!

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  38. Susan Davidson PhDAugust 12, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    Thank you for your wonderful blog. Your reaction matched my reaction. Just suggesting that people with depression should be talking to friends misses the gravity of the mood disorders. Robin Williams had bipolar disorder. He had the means to get the best care available and yet he died from his illness. We need more financial support for research into these brain disorders. As a clinical psychologist, i want you thank you for your insight full words. I will share them.

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    1. Dr. Davidson,
      Thank you for your wonderful words. I am so happy that you will share them.

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  39. Dear Logan - I hope all people that suffer from depression or know someone that does comes across this blog. I myself have an anxiety disorder and have lost "friends" that could not deal, I think it's especially difficult when you're diagnosed during your youth. My friends wanted to party and have fun and I was in survival mode. They sort of looked at my like I was crazy when I explained what I was going through so I stopped talking. Even family said to stop thinking so much and get past it, well if it was only that easy.... I am an adult now and I talk about life with anxiety and feel proud of what I've accomplished. I can't thank you enough for you words, God has blessed you with a true gift.

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    1. You comment is a gift as well. Thank you so much for sharing it.

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  40. Thanks for saying it like it is...so many try to explain what goes on when they are feeling down but they just can't seem to put it to words...Thanks for sharing with us today.

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    1. You are welcome. Thanks for your comments.

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  41. Yes. I found that no one really talks about what it feels like. Thank you for writing this. I wrote my bit earlier today: https://www.facebook.com/notes/dea-kowalczyk/depression-a-thought-rambling-inspired-by-robin-williams-rip/10152222421376956
    Let us keep fighting the daily battle.
    Many blessings! <3

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  42. First Logan, I want to thank you for sharing your struggle. It cannot be easy. Second, you provided some great insight to a disease that is so hard for others to understand.

    I posted earlier: "You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to."--Dr. Sean Maguire/Good Will Hunting

    I wish that Robin had been able to embrace the "good stuff" around him. A special soul that touched so many of us. Proof again that what you see may be hiding great pain and sorrow.

    Keep trudging Logan.

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    1. Michael, thanks for your beautiful words. I love the quote. I'll keep trudging. What other choice do we have?

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  43. Thank you for posting. I too suffer from depression as it is a side effect from the PTSD which I have been living with since being a small child. The fact that people are now having a discussion about this illness helps those of us who suffer from it. Maybe some more understanding and compassion can come from this tragic event!

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    1. We need to keep the discussion going Kim. Please share the post if you haven't already. Thanks for sharing with us. Keep going.

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  44. I know depression. I also have a 22 year old child who could have written paragraph 4. In her case, we discovered she had Lyme Disease and Babesia. Lyme can cause severe depression and many people are misdiagnosed and just live with it. It also causes many types of pain. Babesia gave her horrific, vivid nightmares. I know this is not nearly in all cases but just in case it might help someone, I wanted to post this.

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    1. Interesting, Rhonda. I never knew. Thank you for posting. I hope it helps many.

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  45. What an insightful post. I have two full time jobs, as a Mom and a marketing director, and I have struggled with Depression for years. It is an exhausting disease which seems to rear its ugly head when I am going through life challenges and changes. What is so hard is maintaining everything on the outside while listening to the constant internal dialogue of self doubt. I am lucky, I have an incredibly supportive spouse who will listen to me, and listen to me, and listen to me so more. As all who struggle through this know, there are no easy fixes, and it is a daily battle.

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    1. It is a daily battle. Keep going. You are beating it. There are no easy fixes. We just have to keep going.

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  46. Thank you for your eloquent and honest sharing. You've shared so many important insights here, and have already done so much to help those of who don't suffer with this awful disease understand....and you've helped to give voice to countless others who are too firmly entrenched in the darkness right now to utter these truths. Wishing you light and a warm friendly hand at every turn, and continued grace and bravery to fight the fight.

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  47. I have read so many posts and blogs relating to this. NONE that spoke so eloquently or made me understand my anger/disappointment in the others. This is a PSA to all of us who have experienced and/or are still experiencing depression. (Really...does it ever go away?) Thank you.

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    1. Amy, thank you for those amazing words. Please share the post so we can keep the conversation going. I am not sure if it ever goes away. Someone commented earlier that it is always gnawing at the edges of happiness. I have to agree.

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  48. Thank you so much for this! I needed that!

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  49. Thank you for telling everyone what it is like. In a crowded room you can feel all alone, and not understand why. Or feeling that you've let everyone down when trying to do your best. Or just runaway and hide from every one and everything. I understand why someone would consider suicide. I'm trying to learn to live life though and learn what to do to make the madness a little more tolerable with DBT.

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    1. You can feel alone. This post is meant to have us feel a little less alone. I hope it helped.

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  50. Growing up the only thing I knew was to tuck my depression away and not talk about it. Now that I am trying to face it I get so excited and overwhelmed when I read something that describes what depression feels like! Not what the medical books tell us it feels like... but what it really feels like!! As painful as this is it is so accurate! Thank you for writing this <3

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    1. I know what it's like to tuck my depression away. My family was and is ashamed of me and what it does to me. But I have those that understand. They're love is invaluable.

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  51. Reading your blog opened my eyes to your reality. I have friends and relatives who have been diagnosed with depression. Until I read your blog, I didn't have a clue how hard it is for them. Thank you!

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    1. I am glad I could help you understand.

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  52. I hear you hon. I have been there, still am there. I have been on the floor and would be with Robin if it weren't for my daughter coming home three days early. I struggle every single day now. No meds, no exercise, no good diet makes a darned bit of differance at times. It is a dark, empty hole. It makes no more sense to say "get over it" in depression than it does to someone with cancer, ALS, heart disease

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    1. I am so happy your daughter was there. Keep going.

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  53. Thank you Logan, no truer word has been written.. I'm a member of this dark club & although there are more bright days than dark ones, when the dark ones come the hole is a little deeper every time :-( love & light to you x

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    1. The dark club. I like it. It's not a great club to belong to, but we have to stick together.

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  54. One of my good friends suffers from depression. So much of what you have written she has said to me at one point or another in her low times over the years.

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  55. This is the absolute best description of depression I have ever heard. Thank-you so much for sharing. Brilliant message that will hopefully help so many to understand

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    1. I appreciate your words. Thank you so much.

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  56. Thank-you for this amazing blog. So many people do not understand this disorder, your words will help get the word out.

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    1. Please share. The conversation must continue. Thank you.

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  57. Many thanks for putting words to feelings that many of us share. Six eyes have kept me alive--those of my daughter, my rescued dog and my horse. Knowing that no one would/will love them as I do/can has kept me from activating the end of a long, pervasive disease. Eight years of the best doctors, meds, and talk therapy that the US has to offer has helped; yet when I learn of a friend or celebrity who has committed suicide--all those plans and deep emotions come to the surface. Thank you for your honesty and words that so many of us understand. I appreciate you.

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    1. I am so happy you have those six eyes.

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  58. you know everyone's depression is different too, and for those who find something to hold onto to try climb out of it, and they have support, there are many more who do not have any support, who don't know where to find support, who struggle as you do without a doctor, or therapist, or family. Those people are the ones we wish to call someone, or go to an emergency room, or their doctor. The ones who think "I am the only one, and everyone is going to think I am crazy if I tell them what I am thinking and feeling." So yes, if you personally know someone you care for that you can be there for and you are strong enough for both of you do it. But know too there are options, they aren't perfect, but they are available, and they also care, not as personally, but there are times people need to be kept safe and one person cannot do that on their own. That is the other side of the coin.

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    1. Very good points made here. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. We need more conversation.

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  59. Thank You so much for this blog!!! It is like you were describing me..I have struggled and battled depression for about 25 years, and sometimes there is no hope, no purpose, no light, no feelings what-so-ever, except despair..I'm on meds, but they only do so much, and I've learned over the years to take the bad days with the good..When I have an extended period of bad days, I try to keep telling myself that "this will pass, just hang in there"..But as so many here as said, you feel the struggle every day.

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    1. I am glad you found us! I am sorry you have extended periods of depression. This will pass is the best thing to say. I say it as well.

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  60. So very well said and so, so true. Thank you.

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  61. Thank you for this insightful blog! I will use it to educate friends and family...and foe.

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    1. Ha ha! I wish you luck with the foe! ;)

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  62. Your description of depression is pretty much what I have experienced. I am one of the lucky ones, my fog & heavy weight of despair seems to have lifted. Im still scared that it will drag me back down but am enjoying my life right now.
    I think people forwarding on the suicide hotline and requesting people get help is a good thing. We have been on meds, vitamins, seen therapists & phyciatrists but there are so many people out there that are just living with their depression and not try to treat it. To many times I have heard of a life lost to suicide and famiy and friends had no idea anything was ever wrong, that their loved one would even have considered it.
    Depression can kill but if you want a chance to heal you need to be able to ask for the help you need.

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  63. Oh, yes. It is indeed a deep and dark place. For me, I think I kept going because I knew I had a physical problem that was not being diagnosed or treated correctly, which added more layers to my situation - more stress, more anxiety, problems with the HMO fighting me every step of the way. The hole seems to get bigger and bigger and you keep sliding.....for me, I knew, as the person above - I could not opt out for reasons of my grown children who had lost their father to suicide years after we divorced, my animals needed me daily and were often the only reason I got out of bed. My faith beliefs are somewhat private but knowing I believe in something bigger than me.....helped. My friends. My friends are the family I choose. They were my stars in the darkness and I am eternally grateful They know this.I still struggle but with a good MD, meds that do help, and my above mentioned support system I can and have made it. Likely on meds for years to come. It bothered me at first but now it does not. Last but not least - I am stubborn as hell. I knew if someone could figure out what my problem was and the way to fix it I could hope. Hope was out there, just not easy to find. Absence of hope is a helpless feeling. A bad place to be. We all need hope. Blessings to all who have been down in the dark.

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    1. Blessings to you as well. I am so thankful for your words.

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  64. Thank you for writing this blog. I have had so many in my family fight depression. Even myself. What people don't understand is that it can hit anyone at anytime. Circumstances in life can put you in a tail spin and before you know it, your down. I only wish people would understand that talking to a counselor is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. Counselor's are not there to judge you, they are there to listen to you and help you find ways to overcome situations in your life.

    I lost a 24 year old son to suicide and it was the most horrific thing I have ever had to endure in my life. The pain is still as strong as the day he passed and I know it will always be there but, without my family, friends and a great counselor, I would not be here today. I hope you and all these people here find that strength to make it thru another day and hopefully many more days.

    Again, thanks so much for sharing your story with thousands that needed this, including me.

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    1. It is one of the worst parts of depression....you just never know when it will strike or what will trigger it. I am so sorry for your son. I pray you can find some kind of peace.

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  65. I was diagnosed with situational depression in 1997, with a breakdown, and it had been building up for months. But I didn't see it or see it coming, and no one else saw it either. It took months to pull through it and that abyss is never too far away. I know what it looks like when I stare deep down into it. It is nothing compared to clinical depression (what sterile terms! situational and clinical? really?) but it does give me an idea of what you all go through with the clinical depression, and I've been there for friends who deal with it. Thank you for the blog - I've shared it because I know my clinically depressed friends have tried e-ve-ry-THING they can to deal with it. <3

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    1. Sue, than you so much for your thoughts. I am so glad that this post has started some kind of dialogue.

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  66. Thank you so much for writing this and so eloquently putting into words what I cannot.

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  67. Well done and well written and may you walk with love and light
    and many blessing I to suffer and know exactly what you mean
    Hugs and love

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  68. Hey,

    I've one friend that is severely suffering from depression. I've always stood beside her, when other friends gave up on her and other people said to me that i shouldn't pay as much attention as I have. I recognise everything you wrote in this article in her. This article makes it clear to me, that what i'm doing is the right thing. Thank you!

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    1. You ARE doing the right thing. Thank you! Thank you!

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  69. It's my friends who have gotten me through. We don't pretend we are okay, we are just real with each other and love being together no matter what. Thanks for your writing.

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    1. I am so happy you have your friend. It's so important isn't it?

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  70. I just discovered this article and I think you are truly a beautiful soul. You have certainly captured the true realism of depression in a way that many people may be unable to put into words...

    Thank you Thank you Thank you! As a mother who battles clinical depression and anxiety, I will certainly be linking this blog to my favorites to see what you have to share next.

    :) Keep on truckin'... You are amazing.

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  71. Thank you for posting this. It has given me a little more insight to what my friends could possibly be feeling. For someone that has had lots of 'intersting' things happen in their own life and to still be able to get out of bed each morning and talk myself out of feeling sorry for myself, I truly couldn't understand how others couldn't do the same... now I think I understand a little more. Im thankful that I have that strength and thickness of skin so that I can help my friends in their hour of need as they helped me once. Broad shoulders and a good ear go along way to helping those that need it, and my friends know that I will always be there for them. Thank you for the lesson, it was well received.

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  72. Please read and share! Most powerful piece of writing that I have ever read. Im so proud of my wife!

    Logan I will never treat your depression as a personal attack on me! I understand that depression is like any other disease and you have no control over it. When you are in you are in your darkest hour, I promise to hold you close and be by your side. I will do what ever you need from me and I will never leave you, no matter how hard it gets. I love you

    Way to go Logan!

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  73. Nowadays people only come to other people to ask for something they need or to complain about something you did. If you were the funniest in every party & are now just sad, not even depressed, they don't wanna be around you.
    A time ago I decided to be alone. To live in the middle of nowhere, because that solitude is of my choosing.

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  74. Lost my dearest sister to this terrible disease. Went to therapy for over 30 yrs
    Have been fighting this 'illness' for decades. Take meds everyday, keep a
    personal journey,{of my appointments, achievements, accomplishments, etc} ie
    laundry, picking up mail. I buy a new journal every year, that way. If I had a bad day or forget. after a replaspe. Everything is in my journal. So keep on keeping on. Never give up{in a positive way} God IS right there with you.
    The depression and anxiety almost took my life more than once.
    Hang in there........................

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  75. Logan...I to have suffered through the good, bad and ugly days of depression. For many years I have not gone to social activities for fear of not being good enough. Having been married for 37 years my husband still doesn't get. I do get out of bed , go to work, care for grandchildren and cannot seem to let go of the horrible feelings on a daily basis. Your word help me to realize that I am not the only person to live like this. Thank you for your honesty.

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  76. I myself know depression too well (suffering most of my 50 years) from various degrees and right to the pits of it's deep darkness. Been there and it's miraculous that I am still living considering my attempts to silence my mind & unbearable pain. If you must live on best thing you can do is talk about it to support & help others. So people can know they are not alone or the only ones who suffer. I have been judged, criticized, rejected and hated because of it. I have tried every therapy, medication, diet, exercise, prayer.... I will say I am managing it and "stable for today" and thankfully have had a stable few years for the most part. But I know it's always there on my shoulder, "I must always be on guard for I can be at my happiest & even think I am cured of depression but no! There is no cure, all of a sudden just out of the blue or triggered (PTSD) "it attacks me again". IT IS SCARY HOW QUICKLY IT CAN KNOCK YOU DOWN AGAIN AND SEND YOU INTO THE HORRID DARK HOPELESS PITS OF HELL. Meanwhile you put on the FALSE MASK to please the (family, friends, employer...) the world because no one understands. They say how could you...they shame & guilt you into deeper depression if you dare tell them your pain & feelings. Or they say why, you don't love me, I can't make you happy, you don't love your kids.... HOW COULD YOU EVEN THINK OF ENDING IT? It's not about them or that. So you wear the MASK and all of a sudden "should you die"...they say but how, why, I thought he/she was so happy. So True, depression is not for the weak, and too many find it so easy to judge, criticize, complain about being dragged down and then just abandon a depressed person . People don't chose to be overwhelmed by depression and it does not discriminate. You may not relate or comprehend now but when you least expect it, it can grab hold & over power your mind no matter how you may presently believe you are immune to it. So don't be that weak judgemental person, reach out and be someone's rock and light for one day you, your child/love one, or friend may be the one in need.

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  77. Thank you for your post. I have had depression and anxiety - and panic attacks at times - for my whole life (but didn't really know what it was until I was in my thirties). After reading your words, so many thoughts are running through my head... How upset I was when I had a second bout of major depression and realized that one is never "cured," the weariness that I so often feel from managing this disease and hiding it from the world (I sometimes can't wait to get in bed at night so the day will be over and I can hope for a better one tomorrow), the loss of friends who didn't want to listen and be there for me, and most of all... having to listen to the world talk about how it's as easy as "getting help." "Just get help, you'll be fine, etc., etc." As you said, many of us in this dark club get help and have been getting it for a very long time. We still have to fight every day. I wish us all the best.

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  78. Thanks for sharing!!!! Will pray for all that at the end of the day, light will shine.....

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  79. Every person I know struggles in some way. Life is cyclical in nature, we all have good days, bad days, feel loved and abandoned at some point. Depression reaches beyond the normal cycle of good and / or bad and can consume a person. I've struggled, but thankfully had support and love bolstered with a million reasons to be grateful, even if I didn't recognize and truly feel it at the time. My dearest, most beautiful and beloved friend struggled with debilitating depression for years. She endured the polyanna suggestions to think positive, be positive, smile until it hurts, fake it till you feel it, and although I understand the sentiment behind those suggestions, i understand better that it is not as simple as all that. It's like telling a person suffering with cancer to just be positive and think their illness away. When that doesn't work we can add even more self recrimination and guilt to the situation. Although I still do not understand the depths of my best friends emotional turmoil, she knows I am here, will listen and sit with her, will never judge her and will love her through anything and everything. It may not be enough, but it's something. The best thing in life to hang on to is each other.

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  80. Thank you everyone for giving me hope. God bless you robin Williams for all the laughter and tears I experienced over the years watching you. My thoughts go out to your family. May this tragic event help others in their struggle

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  81. Only those who live it can ever understand completely! .Sometimes courage is not a roar it is a quite voice saying I will try again and again!

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  82. To describe depression to those who have never experienced it is a daunting task. You have done it so well & got the conversation going. Keeping awareness up is crucial! I have a whole family, all my siblings & I have bipolar disease, but I am unipolar with only the depressive side. I have experienced this disorder from all angles. I have been directly affected, I have had several family members have scarey attempts at suicide, I am an RN & have worked in the psychiatric area, plus I have run a peer support group for 20 years now! Always dealing in depression in one way or another, I have met some amazing people thru all this & I have found most folks think someone with it are weak when it is actually just the opposite. Anyone who deals with depression, day after day but still lives, loves & laughs is the strongest people I know. To survive this malady & come out the other side, takes so much determination, seeking help & fighting back. The thing that gets to me is the stigma. In the last 40 years I haven't seen it get much better, with folks going to other towns to go to a peer support group because they do not want to be seen going to one in their own town. It is widely accepted that if u have diabetes u take a pill or insulin to help with that. When u have depression the levelss of seratonine in your brain are lowered that is why you need an anti-depressant drug which will bring up those levels to make u feel better. That being the case, why do they not stress that in all the information on depression? Depression though it has that 'mental disorder' all around it, it has physical characteristics as well, just like diabetes & other conditions that are accepted by everyone. So why keep up this STIGMA around depression? It should be treated like all other conditions we get treatment for. If this stigma was removed people suffering this disorder would be free to get help & be healthy without feeling they are less than anyone else. Peer support groups for depression are amazing!! If u can get them together in a room, they talk & help each other soooo much!! Here they are accepted & are with those who have been there & understand completely that darkness they fight every day. The support they give & get from each other is priceless. Losing Robin Williams is more than sad. He touched most of us in some way & he made us laugh. Hopefully with his death some good will come from this, awareness will be lifted & we will be one step closer to acceptance. Depression is the enemy here, not the people who suffer from it!! Thanks for all your great words Logan & all you folks out there fighting this battle, I want the best for u & I pray the world will change to accept this problem in a kinder way. I hope u get the respect you deserve for having to deal with this extremely painful illness, depression. Be well & I hope u all find your happy ending! xo

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  83. My older brother committed suicide when I was in my 20's I'm now in my 40's and I think about him daily- he served in Vietnam and that service changed him I would love to have him in my life buried in Quantico National Cemetery love and miss you Sammy!

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  84. Until you have lived it you can't imagine what it is like. I feel so bad for everyone who loved him so much. May God hold his family close and comfort them now and the days ahead. I can speak from my heart because I have been there, but was able to get help before it got to that point. Thank God for holding my hand and being with me every step I take every day! Please please anyone who needs help seek it today before it goes to far.

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  85. Excellent post! I too am here in solidarity. I have severe depression recurrent and have fought this battle for many years. Unless a person has experienced depression in it's rawest form, they really cannot understand that "just get over it" or "give your head a shake" does not help!!!! If it was that easy, no body would suffer with this monster.

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  86. I'm one of the lucky ones that meds helped. But what you wrote is so true. I never forget that dark black place I was in...

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  87. Thank you for articulating a situation, a feeling, that never seems to end for many of us, unable to find our own words enough to provoke an understanding, an epiphany, in anyone out there, a heartbeat away in what must be open air for them to complain of being dragged down by Time & Proximity alone. I was diagnosed with clinical depression at 29 and could trace back to my early teens signs blanketed by family & social pressure to deny what was going on in me; to then be out of work and finally years later back in work only to be told that I must have been faking it. There was nothing wrong with you. Angry people saying that. But it doesn't leave you. I am not depressed about anything, I am not epileptic about anything, I am not diabetic about anything. There is just the darkness, with a small clearing which may make itself known to me for an uncertain amount of time. That is what I hear when I read your words, Logan; voices from the clearing, wherever that may be on this occasion.

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  88. Having suffered the unrelenting torment of severe depression I know how difficult it is to describe to those who have not experienced this cruel black slough of despond. I am hoping the day will come when we can be put in an induced coma before we kill ourselves meanwhile being treated until our body is back in working order. We can get man to the moon--why can we not mend our minds?

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  89. Having suffered the unrelenting torment of severe depression I know how difficult it is to describe to those who have not experienced this cruel black slough of despond. I am hoping the day will come when we can be put in an induced coma before we kill ourselves meanwhile being treated until our body is back in working order. We can get man to the moon--why can we not mend our minds?

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    1. Such great advice. I have suffered from depression for over 50 yrs. now. Many times wanted to take my own life. It is almost like there is another me within my soul. Really no reason to feel this way. I have been to doctors, been in hospital for depression and taken medication. Not overweight, exercise and still feel the same horror day and night. However, my friends could never imagine someone like me ever being depressed because I smile and appear to be a very strong woman. So there it is...you can't tell by looking at someone. Oh, and calling the hotline one night did not help me. Deep depression is real and having support is very important.

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  90. That is for the best description I have read so far. It touched me to know that someone else understands. Thank you and may your good days long out-number your down days.

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  91. I have lost a close friend to depression and my heart still feels the pain after 3 years.

    Another close friend survived to explain to me what you have written in your blog. I would never be able to explain this to anyone the way you have. It is priceless.

    I believe that you are blessed and have the ability to touch the hearts of those who can not understand. God bless you!

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  92. But what do you do if you dont have anyone that will stay with you through the darkest nights? I have not felt brave enough to call a hotline so I lay and I weep and a wallow in the muck.....

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    1. For me--I searched and searched for the right therapist. I had no one either. It was this wonderful therapist that helped to save me. The Bring Change 2 Mind is a wonderful website full of resources and phone numbers to hotlines. Please use those resources to get through the darkness. Reach out. Dare to ask a friend to stay with you. Be sure you find the energy to get yourself help.

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  93. you my friend have describe depression better than anyone else ever could, I have live with for years and know what it like, you did one hell of a job. thanks so much.







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  94. I have great compassion to all of you who suffer because of depression. I think that that strong depression it is clinical depression, chemical imbalance of the brain and only medication taken to the rest of person's life works. I may be wrong. I have an older friend who takes lithium for several decades to function. What about depression because of life situation, temporary depression that cognitive therapy works very well? My son has kind of bipolar, he has a big cyst over pineal gland, he is depressed from time to time but not to the point to end his life. I see depression as a pain of the soul. Could you explain to me the physical pain you were talking about. I see depression as a psychical and emotional pain, I have never heart about physical pain connected to depression. I just want to understand. I know for sure that if a certain depressed person on medication takes some alkohol (doesn't have to be a lot). her/his brain get messed up an she/he can cut herself/himself because there is no physical pain. I did help to save life of one woman who overdosed, she wanted to die. Then I was the only one to clean that her bloody place and I was OK, but on the next day I have psychological/emotional brake up. I did not want any medication, I used cognitive therapy to help myself. It took me a year to understand myself and help myself (books Eckhart Tolle and other books, to live in a present time and accept whatever we cannot accept as well).

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  95. My beautiful younger sister has been diagnosed with bipolar & has attempted suicide several times since her teens into adult life. She has changed herself to try & escape the misery of living including shaving her head ,starving herself & covering herself in tatoo's. She has been completely mean to all who love her in order, I feel to push us away & prevent the hurt & fear her illness causes us as it does her.Being there & feeling you can't help & support that person you love & grew up with can be a painful & helpless place to be in. I can escape this pain, go to work, take care of my children & step out of the sadness when i put my mind to it. I thank god I can choose to shut the darkness out, my beautiful sister can't & so far any medication has made her either so sedate or ill she then feels immense guilt for not being the mother she feels her daughter deserves. We live in hope that one day something will work for her but until then I can be her big sister,be there ,take some of the pain & help with my niece to ease the guilt she feels. So little. Thankyou for your brave post, an insight into a world I cannot fully understand but am happy to be part off. I hope you will find peace as i wish for my baby sister.

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  96. My boyfriend doesn't understand my depression and i want him to read this post. You put my feelings into words. Thank you.

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  97. Thank you for your advice and sharing your story. There is so much out there that people judge and dismissed in individuals with mental health issues.


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  98. One year ago today I had a gun in my mouth. If not for an unexpected angel who talked it out of my mouth, I'd be dead. He lives 3 his away but still checks on me almost daily - and I've needed it. I've had several bouts since then but am now in a relationship where my guy understands, is patient and won't leave me alone until I get to the other side. I'm beyond blessed with an amazing angel and awesome guy. ...And I'm glad I'm still here.

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  99. As you noted: "Remember, those that are depressed don't want to be that way." Or maybe they do. Your depression seems to give you major opportunity to showcase your prodigious talents and to find so many to sympathize with you. Maybe you don't mind being depressed. I am clinically depressed an have been for a long time. I'm just more pragmatic then dramatic about it....

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    1. Dear sir or madam--you are entitled to your opinion, for what I wanted out of this post was needed concversation. But forgive me if I say that you couldn't possibly know depression and say that someone doesn't mind having depression. Those of us afflicted with this horrible disease only want to be rid of it forever. I am so sorry that your life has led you to cynicism. As for me--I will keep trying to do good.

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  100. While certainly some who posted a link to the hotline/website may have "misunderstood" depression, I assure you, not everyone who posted did. I know, because I'm one of them.
    I have lost years of my life to clinical depression and posted the phone number (as I actually do a few times a year) because I know that it was outside help that saved me.
    I also know that when I was depressed I hid it from almost everyone. (I was never a big socializer anyway, so my absence wasn't obvious.) Most people who knew me would not have known to reach out to me. In the same way, I may not be aware that a friend or acquaintance is struggling.
    Unfortunately, it's unlikely that the people who are deepest in will see my post anyway. It was really for those who are still in the shallow water -- to let them know they are loved and that it's okay to ask for help. The same way I do when I start to feel it pulling me under again.

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  101. Thanks so much for your very accurate description of what it's like to be clinically depressed. I have felt exactly as you describe. Right now, I'm okay, but there's a little part of me that wonders if I will eventually die from my own hand. It's exhausting. Thank you for shining a light on this for others.

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