I didn't think I would be writing another entry here this soon but I feel I have to after learning of Robin Williams alleged suicide last night.
A lot of people think they deal with depression. Chances are you don't. Depression, and mental illness in general, is too often misunderstood and pushed aside. Depression is one of the worst kind of mental illness. It is dangerous. I don't know what Mr. Williams was going through, all I can do is relate what depression is to me. What true clinical depression is.
I have read people who have written that they have been there ... once in a while. Once in a while. Depression does not leave you. You learn to live with it. You learn to hide it because people will not understand and will tell you that it will pass, things will get better, pull yourself out of it. Depression does not heed those words, it doesn't even hear those words. Depression stays.
Depression stays and drags you down. Drags you down deep until you don't think you can go any deeper/ It is indeed a dark place but unlike any darkness you have ever known. You feel totally alone and in a way you are, because nobody knows where you are in that darkness. They don't see that darkness and so you continue down the road of what they call life all alone and so sad.
Depression grabs a hold of you and won't let go. There are medicines that can help ease the grip but they don't make the depression go away. After spending a certain amount of time in this darkness, and getting dragged down as low as you can be dragged, a strange thing begins to happen and this is when depression becomes dangerous.
You get so use to being alone. You are alone even in a crowd of people. You are alone even with a group of people who know you well, and care about you, you are alone in your family and they don't have a clue what is going through you mind, what this depression is putting in your mind. Then things start to change in a way. The depression starts to bring thoughts into your head and convinces you that these thoughts are logical. Taking your life is logical. It makes sense. It is the right thing to do for everybody around you.
Sometimes it is SO logical you actually think that your friends and family will understand that you did the right thing. You did what you had to do and they will be happy for you. This is the danger of depression. You make plans, you chart out a timeline, and you make preparations to do what is the logical thing to do.
Confusion starts to creep into your head but the depression allows you to justify your thinking. All of a sudden you feel like you are getting better when in reality, the depression is pulling you down ... down to the end and you think you are right and everyone else isn't thinking the right way, they aren't thinking logically the way you are.
Then, if you are lucky and people pick up on subtle signals that the depression has got you and you have given in to it, they stop you and they put you away. They lock you up to keep yourself from harming yourself or others until you can get out of the feeling better stage of logic and are brought back up to the level of knowing you were wrong and you find yourself once again in that lonely dark place trying not to fall back into the logical part of depression ... or the part of depression that makes you think you are being logical.
You begin again to fight the depression and you begin to be alone and you start to hide it once again but it is always with you. You fight to go on, but every single day, EVERY SINGLE DAY you wake up to start the fight anew. and when the day is over and you have survived once again, you fall into a sleep that isn't too restful because you know you have to wage the fight once again the next day.
THAT is depression. Depression isn't feeling low or blue for a few days or even a week or month. Depression is there always. Depression becomes a constant companion and for some that suffer from this horrible disease, depression will win and the logic of taking your own life will take over and no one else will see it coming. Then the people you know will be dismayed and shocked while all the time, you were doing the right and logical thing.
I know. I have depression. I have depression every single day. IT may ease up at times, but it is always there.
Everytime somebody famous, like Robin Williams, take their own life, people say how horrible depression is. Unless you live in that darkness, you don't have a clue.
I know. I have been there. I am still there. And I will be fighting my constant companion until the day I die.
Rest in Peace Mr. Williams. You fought a battle that in many ways is un-winnable.