Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Living With Depression.

I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said; about suicide, the 
prevention of suicide, or the loss that everyone suffers as a result of the 
suicide. Especially when we lose someone as special a person and performer as 
Robin Williams. 
I was still a teenager when I first stumbled upon Mork, the tv alien who was 
played by Robin Williams with an over-the-top comedic outrageousness. I didn't 
watch a lot of tv back then. But, 'Mork and Mindy' was exceptional. And, Robin's 
unique talent made it so. I can only imagine the out takes were just as 
hilarious. And, his stand up routines were captivating. It seemed as though he 
really was an alien comic who could exude such spontaneity and wit I'd never 
seen before on earth. A huge loss for for so many that found his genius to be as 
unique as it was human. 
I agree with those inside and outside of the medical profession. Depression is 
and should be considered a disease. No more or less so than cancer or any other 
medical disorder. 
I just read how suicide trumps many other causes of death. Including car 
accidents which have been addressed with seat belts and a growing assortment of 
technological advances in automobile safety. The stigma depression still 
carries, I believe, is a significant hurdle to overcome. As with so many 
emotions, we've been indoctrinated to believe that there are good ones and bad 
ones. And the bad ones we not only hide from others, we deny to ourselves. And, 
so we do not acknowledge, let alone share, these experiences which could 
otherwise provide us with the perspective and permission to be healthfully 
Education is key. We've got to learn to treat people with diseases such as 
alcoholism and depression with respect for what they're going through. Rather 
than asking what's wrong when someone expresses their inner most struggles we 
must learn to ask "how can I help?"  Empathy, rather than apathy, is a quality 
we are born with. It should be reinforced in our educational system. As we learn 
to see empathy and understanding as qualities to be proud of we will grow, 
personally as well as a society that deals increasingly effective at intervening 
and interrupting the most tragic outcome of such insurmountable pain.  

We're each a miracle in a galaxy of miracles. We are each no more or less a 
miracle than every other person on this planet. And, as such, each one of us 
deserves the love and respect we all treasure.