12th February 2010
No, not me……I don’t do depression. I have my down days just like everyone, the tears flow sometimes or I curl up into a ball and nurse my sorry feelings for myself, then I give myself a bloody good kicking and get up and get on with life. Life is for living after all, but then I count myself as one of the lucky ones because so far in my life, (*touches wood, crosses fingers, but never legs!) I have never had depression.
It’s an illness, just like arthritis or diabetes or any other chemical imbalances, but then it’s not like those illnesses at all, is it? There is no injection to right a wrong for depression, yes, there are some drug therapies but they are only ever short-term fixes. Long term solutions are much harder to come by but like the above mentioned illnesses, depression, if left untreated, is just as debilitating, maybe even more so in fact as and it robs a person of themselves. It steals their personality, their knowledge of whom they are, their ability to be themselves, to be mothers, fathers, lovers, brothers, sisters etc. It affects their ability to concentrate, to interact with others, to work, to play, to relax, to eat, to sleep, and even to love, it reaches into the very essence of who you are and messes with it.
For those of us that have never had it, it can be rather mystifying, I mean come on now, pull your socks up and stop feeling sorry for yourself, snap out of it, what have you got to be depressed about, stop moping about and get up and get on with things……. All sound perfectly reasonable to me, but to someone with depression those words get flipped around in their head and they hear…..you are rubbish, you are a failure, you’re being pathetic. They may seem to respond, they may even look like they have heard and understood you, they may even agree with you and say, ‘I know you are right’, but deep down inside you probably just delivered them a full body blow!
Yesterday Alexander McQueen was found dead in his apartment in central London. He had hung himself. He was an award-winning, highly successful, designer of women’s couture clothing. He had a thriving business empire at his feet, wealth, success, a talented man, with what appears to be everything to live for. Yet the death of his Mother 11 days ago appears to have caused him to sink into a dark depression which ultimately led him to taking his own life. I can’t imagine being in that place, where death seems preferable to life, the darkness within your mind must be so totally enveloping that it shrouds everything else around you, all hope, love, and faith in who you are, gone.
Depression is ugly, crippling, destructive, damaging, and cruel, it is an invisible thief, creeping up and stealing people into the darkness. It turn successful, happy, capable, intelligent people into wastelands…….I know this because I have watched it happening before my very eyes. I have witness its power, its strength, its control, its stealth attack on someone I care about. It stole that person from me, not to death but too a place where I could no longer reach him. He fights on, and I hope that he will find his way back to himself…….unlike McQueen.
Ps….if you know someone who is depressed….reach out, you maybe a life line and if you are that someone…..tell someone, anyone, don’t let it steal you away!