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The Insensitivity & Ignorance Surrounding Depression…

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In light of the great actor/comedian Robin Williams death, I want to share this article from Tonja Renée Stidhum. She so eloquently describes depression in way that is easy to understand. On social media I’ve run across people saying that since Robin Williams had everything, he should not have been depressed. That is a very insensitive and unkind remark. Depression is a disease that varies in severity and type. We simply cannot judge a person because we are not in their mind, heart or soul. We can only go by what we percieve (which can often be an illusion). Everybody smiling isn’t happy. Now with that said, there is something we can do. Reach out to people. Sometimes just talking can help you or others sort through some of the chaos in the mind. Consistent isolation isn’t good for anyone. We have to be giving of our time, effort and energy. Let’s make a conscious effort not to judge, but to help. And if you are hurting, don’t be afraid to say so and get the help you need.

Here are some highlights from Tonja’s article:

You know how someone can have a bright smile, but sad eyes? I always felt that way about Robin. And according to his publicist, Robin had been suffering from a severe case of depression. I believe his depression had been reported prior to that, as well. That part hit me the hardest. Because I can relate. From social media to reality, people know me as the “funny one.” Yet, like many comedians, there’s something dark lurking beneath. There’s a reason why comedians are oft-colored with the image of the showman onstage and the depressed alcoholic off.

For me, depression is quite the bitch, equipped with my very own sultry voice. She tells me I’m unworthy, unwanted, weird, an outcast, untalented, abnormal, forever alone, unloved, unattractive, a burden to others, and that everyone would be better without me. Some days, I believe the hell out of her. Other days, I don’t. Other days, I (rationally) know she’s full of shit, but I let her voice prevail. I think that’s the most frustrating part of it all. The rollercoaster. One day I’m legit super-confident and ready to take over the world and the next day I’m crawling into bed wanting to forever sleep away the hollow ache of my empty heart…

Some facts about depression:

  • Although major depression can strike people of any age, the median age at onset is 32.5, according to Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
  • Depression is more common in women than in men, according to Washington University.
  • Men with depression are more likely than depressed women to abuse alcohol and other substances, according to Jill Goldstein, director of research at the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Depressed men may also try to mask their sadness by turning to other outlets, such as watching TV, playing sports and working excessively, or engaging in risky behaviors, Goldstein told Live Science in an interview earlier this year.
  • Men’s symptoms of depression may be harder for other people to recognize, and the illness is missed more frequently in men, Goldstein said.
  • Men with depression are more likely than women with the condition to commit suicide, Goldstein said. Men with depression may go longer without being diagnosed or treated, and so men may develop a more devastating mental health problem.
  • Symptoms of depression extend far beyond feeling sad, and may include: loss of interest and pleasure in normal activities, irritability, agitation or restlessness, lower sex drive, decreased concentration, insomnia or excessive sleeping and chronic fatigue and lethargy, according to Mayo Clinic.

The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

You are loved. You matter. Stay Lifted.

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This entry was posted on August 12, 2014 by in Epiphanies!, Stay Lifted! Inspiration & Encouragement.....
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