Monday, September 10, 2012

If we could tell you one thing...

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I wish I didn't have a reason to know that, but I do. As family and friends of Mike, if we could pass on a message in light of what we have experienced, we would tell you this:

Depression/mental illness can affect anyone. It does not discriminate. It is an illness.  It is not your fault. If you found out that you had cancer, you would go to the doctor and get treatment. Please do the same for your depression or mental illness. 

There are two different types of depression - situational and clinical. Situational depression will improve as your situation improves. With clinical depression, this is not the case. Your situation can improve, but you may still feel depressed. Medication and counseling are key to improving and managing your clinical depression. Depression fogs your vision and fills your mind with a bunch of lies. The difficulty comes in separating the lies and the illness from who you really are.

If we could tell you one thing, it would be that there is hope for you if you suffer from depression. You are worth it.  You are worth it in the eyes of God, your family and your friends. We'd also tell you that God, your family, and your friends will stand by you and support you as you embark on the courageous journey to deal with your depression. You are not alone.

As a suicide survivor, I cannot even begin to explain the pain and devastation I have felt in the aftermath of Mike's death. I have experienced a lot of different types of pain and trauma in my life and this is different. I have not felt this pain before. Confusion, anger, abandonment, shock, deep sadness, and relief that he is safe and healthy again are all emotions I have experienced and will continue to experience throughout this journey to healing. However, I also cannot even begin to explain the pain that Mike felt in dealing with his depression on a daily basis. Excruciating, at best, I'd imagine.

I am in an online suicide survivor support group. Each week, the facilitator welcomes new members. Every time she posts a "welcome" message, I can feel myself getting agitated. Nobody wants to be welcomed to this group. We don't want to be a part of it, but are forced to be as a result of what has happened in our lives. I don't want her to have to welcome anymore members, so I leave you with this:

There is hope. Risk a friendship to potentially save a life. Encourage your friends and family to get the help they not only need but deserve. If you suffer from depression, as you seek help, know that you are embarking on a difficult but courageous journey. It is worth it.

You are worth it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...