Yesterday, I heard this often with my patients, I received an email from a blogger friend too, with the same question.
Robin Williams had everything, success, friends, money… With all of that he still let go, he had all that to hold on to… and yet it was not enough.
I have none of that, why should I continue, what do I have to hold on to, what do I have to look forward too.
I had a lot of practice answering this yesterday.
Depression can strike anyone. Yes we often perceive depression striking someone that has hit a wall, perhaps lost someone, or lost a job. this is true, but that is called situational depression. This depression, most of us have felt it at one time or another, is not usually very deep, though at the time, when we experience it, we feel it is.
Depression can strike anyone, success has nothing to do with it. We know this also.
How we cope or deal with this is different with everyone. Some will not seek help, many. They may self medicate with drugs, or alcohol, over the counter medications or combinations of all of these. What ever helps them cope. Mostly this does not work, though we may feel it is.
As I said in my last post, a mask is put on to hide how the person feels. For many reasons, stigma is a big one, but to not be a burden too. When you experience depression, true deep depression, you do not really want people asking how you are, cheer up, annoying you, as it is so easy to do… to annoy you. So the mask goes on. You can hide behind this.
So we don’t know you are suffering with depression, when things become dark we do not know.. so we can not help.
Depression lies, it is very good at this. It distorts reality for you, it feeds upon itself, grows. So even though you have what others would think is a great life, success, money, family, friends…. you also have depression and it is lying to you, distorting your perception.
There are many ways to treat depression, but they are not successful when you hide behind the mask. Oh the mask is ok to put on now and then, it helps to keep from swatting someone that does not understand.. and tells you to just snap out of it.
Take the mask off now and then though, and let someone in. When a treatment, medication or therapy has not worked, ask about others. It is easy to go home and just say that didn’t work, nothing works.
Consider how you are self medicating, is this really the best way?
I am not nagging, I am not judging, depression is a very powerful thing.
Even when you are a great comedian, actor, someone that makes people laugh so much, it can still take hold.
It is not hopeless though, there are so many ways to help, treat. Why should you bother when someone like Robin did not?
You have been in that dark place, you have felt the pull, you know what it is like. He felt it also, but gave in.
Don’t give in, there are no go-arounds, no “do overs”.
Depression lies, do not believe it. If you feel you are not gaining on it, feeling better, tell your doctor. If have not told your doctor, do so, allow someone to help.
If you have had help and it is gone, or you just can not find help… keep trying. Your GP is a good start, an anchor. Use them to get more help. If you don’t have a GP, as many do not, the hospital can help, find a doctor there that can point you the right way. Don’t fear going there to ask for help.
Why should you fight on when Robin did not?
Because you are worth fighting for, Robin was too, if only he took the mask off.