The Call of Depression
My heart weighs heavy as I process, two of our greats, choosing to leave this world. Suicide is a deeply complicated decision, that most often, is not made on a whim. It’s hard to wrap your head around. From the outside, how to understand that the brain could be that powerful, and, it would seem, that personal will - would, could, should – have prevented…something. Anything.
That’s just not how it works.
I’ve been a mental health therapist for twelve years, And in my own therapy for over twenty. What I can say with certainty, is that no one wants to fight with their own mind. It’s not a choice, a weakness or a determination of personal heartiness. Quietly, it works its way into the psyche, haunting the most brilliant of minds.
Despite the label (be it depression, bi-polar, etc) the feeling of hopelessness carries a gravity that is unfathomable. It is malady of the mind. There is no moment to pause and say, “yeah, but your life is amazing.” Your thoughts are dark and heavy, and not thinking of reaching out.
Between the denial of mental health issues and the shame society places upon it, it’s not something, unfortunately, everyone is comfortable talking about. I think most of that is a shift in generational family dynamics. There were no, known cures or true remedies for emotional issues until the 1950’s. It would be easy to assume, without the empirical evidence, that the patient would be able to control what was happening.
They can’t. Science has proven that it is indeed, biological.
Know that there is help. So many, like me, are in this field, so others don’t suffer, as we once had. If you are close to someone you believe is struggling, be there for them. Reach out & ask if they’re ok. Love & kindness will ease the awkwardness. I promise.
If you don’t know where to start with finding help, look at the benefits your health insurance might offer, most often they will have a list of providers that they cover, at a nominal co-pay. Sometimes your company will have an EAP (employee assistance program) where you can get a small number of visits to assess your concerns. If you have a huge deductible or no mental health benefits – look up therapists that have a ‘sliding fee scale’. Your local universities may also have a psychology program, possibly interns who could see you at a lower fee. You can always speak to a primary care physician. Don’t be afraid. They have experience with this. And you are not alone.