I know I said this was going to be "snark week" on the blog but while today's post is about something that has me all riled up it is something that isn't a joking matter. In general, I'm not a fan of posting on social media when a famous person passes away, I'm sorry folks but we're not all public figures who need to release a public statement when there a tragic event, it's odd to me but whatever. While many posts in response to Robin Williams death have been sweet and in fond rememberance I'm a little disturbed by what I've seen in my newsfeed expressed by several people - an extreme lack of sympathy / understanding of people suffering from depression.
I don't condone sucide, and I find one of the most tragic circumstances of death to be when one cannot bring the joy they bring to others into their own life. But calling it selfish or cowardly is incredibly cold and unnecessary. I think of depression like a cancer of the soul - sometimes there is an underlying cause such as a death, break up, loss of job or other periord of hardship ; but other times it is caused for absolutely no reason at all. Typically depression brought on by events gets better over time - and sometimes with counseling and medication but depression for no reason at all is very hard to deal with. For those of you who have never dealt with depression you are very blessed. It can feel like living in a fog just going through the motions of life with no joy, it can suck all the energy from your existence to the point where taking a shower and putting on clean pjs is a barely manageable and the only activity of the day, it can cause an overwhelming feeling of sadness that manifests itself as literal pain but a pain that cannot be treated traditionally because there is no physical cause, and worst of all it creates a vicious cycle of withdrawal , guilt and furthering depression as a result of said withdrawal and guilt.
I have a feeling most people would be sympathetic if a terminally ill cancer patient choose to end their life before the cancer, or opted out of chemotherapy and signed a do not resuscitate order yet somehow depression is not given consideration as the disease that it is. People who have never experience depression often think the depressed should just "snap out of it" , but it's not that simple - this is also an excellent way to further the guilt cycle I mentioned. Losing a loved one is very sad and one of the hardest things to deal with emotionally , and how the person died at the end of the day doesn't make them any less dead. As much as people can try to describe it the reality is that only the person suffering from depression can know what they feel, and judgey speculation doesn't change the circumstances.