It’s tough living with depression; it eats you alive. You get swallowed up by it and, try as you might, your head starts bobbing and you feel yourself going under. It gets too tough to fight and you just lose all of your energy. You’d call for help, but you can’t because the first rule of depression is you don’t talk about it.
There is shame in suffering from depression. Some people don’t deserve to be depressed; life is too good or you’re too rich. Unless you’ve lived through a trauma, you have no right to be depressed. So you keep silent and don’t tell anyone how painful life is.
And then there are those who are too blessed to be depressed. We are too filled with the Spirit to let depression in. We have a new life in Christ, so how could we possibly be depressed?
I’ve wrestled with the guilt of depression. I’ve accepted the disease only to question God as to why I can’t be cured. I try to stay as silent as possible about it.
But then Robin Williams succumbs to depression and kills himself. I’m grateful that at the end of most of the articles surrounding his death there have been messages for the suicide hotline, that we are aware this doesn’t have to be everyone’s story. But I’m a little enraged that all we’re talking about is suicide and whether or not Williams’ took the “easy” way out. Even now we can’t talk about the disease that killed Robin Williams?
Depression is ugly. It’s a parasite that sucks the life right out of you. And it’s more prevalent than we think. So instead of conversations about what a shame it is to lose such a talented actor or how “cowardly” he was, could we talk about depression itself? Could we have honest conversations about its symptoms and treatment options? And if we insist on arguing about affordable healthcare, could we talk about the price of counseling and affordable options so that everyone can have access to proper treatment?
If you are suffering from depression: you are not alone, you are loved, and
depression doesn’t have to win.