Yesterday came the heartbreaking news that Robin Williams committed suicide. Now I just heard Lauren Bacall died this morning. I'm still trying to cope with the loss of James Garner. Slowly but steadily the idols of my life are passing away.
When someone like Robin Williams commits suicide, we are quick to look at their lifestyle to see if drugs or alcohol played a part. The simple truth is, they are human just like we are. Everyone of us gets depressed. For some people it is a life altering disease. It's all well and good for people to say, "Pick up your big girl panties and get on with it."; for some people that will never happen.
Severe depression begins with a chemical imbalance in the brain. It can be as slight as an occasional feeling of emptiness, or as critical as the inability to get out of bed or perform the simplest of tasks. It is influenced by our moods, our work, other people, no one and everyone. The worst feeling in the world is seeing someone you love wallowing in dark depression and there is nothing you can do for them.
It's time we removed the stigma of mental illness and let those who suffer know they aren't alone. For every person who cries out for help, there are dozens suffering in silence. Proper attention to the disease can help - therapy, medications, group sessions, nutritional counseling, these are but a few of the resources available for people in need.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, lost, unable to put one foot in front of another, or wondering if life would be better without you - reach out. Your life is precious, and there are people everywhere who want to help. Don't be afraid people will think less of you. They will praise you for making a stance for your life. It's the first step toward healing.
If you don't know where to start, dial 411 and ask for the Suicide Prevention Hotline. They are available 24 hours a day. Save your life - make a phone call.