Wednesday, August 13, 2014

"But He Looked Happy"

I wanted to open up on the topic of depression. Since news of the recent suicide of actor Robin Williams broke, it's been on tv, the radio, and in the papers. It's being talked about nonstop. Everywhere. 

One comment that I heard was, "But he looked so happy" from one of the people who supposedly knew him best.

Ever heard to not judge a book by its cover? Sometimes, things aren't always as they may seem. 

I've struggled with depression for a long time due to various events in my life. It hasn't been easy, but I'm still alive and standing. There were times when I just wanted to disappear-through whatever means that might have taken. I prayed for God to take my soul. But, you wouldn't have guessed-right? After all, I looked happy. 

I took the necessary steps and talked to a doctor a few years ago and began antidepressants. Upon giving birth, I suffered from postpartum depression and finally when my son was 3 months old, I decided to seek help again. I am so glad that I did. The depression lingered. I kept thinking to myself: I have this incredible and beautiful new baby boy-why can't I be happy? 

It's not up to us sometimes. Sure we can choose to be happy. But, a majority of the time, it is a chemical imbalance within the brain that takes over your mood and dictates how you're going to be feeling day to day.

Well, suicide is selfish-one may think or say. Don't judge someone unless you have walked a mile in their shoes. It's sad. It's so very sad. But to say taking your own life because of such an illness is a ‘selfish’ act does nothing but potentially cause more harm and reveal a staggering ignorance of mental health problems. 

*Depression is a genuine debilitating condition,.The fact that mental illness doesn’t receive the same sympathy/acknowledgement as physical illness is often referenced, and it’s a valid point. If you haven’t had it, you don’t have the right to dismiss those who have/do. You may disagree, and that’s your prerogative, but there are decades’ worth of evidence saying you’re wrong.

Depression is very common-more common than people think. Statistics show that depression effects 1 in every 10 Americans, usually women more so than men. Over 120 million people in the world are currently battling depression and about 60%-80% of those cases can be treated through therapy, counseling, and medications.

Depression statistics infographic

Depression doesn't discriminate.
It attacks people of all colors, shapes, and sizes.
Depression doesn't care about how much money is in your wallet.
Depression doesn't care if you're young or old.
Depression doesn't care if you're a devout Christian.
Depression doesn't care what nationality you are or where you're from. 
Depression doesn't care about all of the good deeds you've done in your life.
Depression doesn't care how many children you have or if you're married. 
Depression doesn't discriminate. 

Be kind to everyone for you don't know what battles they may be going through.

Please share this post. You never know who may need it the most.

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