Never mind that thing about my quitting blogging. I get like that sometimes then change my mind. I’m not very rational right now. Anyway:
I’ve been conversing with someone knowlegable in suicide in people you wouldn’t suspect were depressed. I posted what she said about my blog post “My burning question” yesterday. I liked her response, but then realized I still didn’t have the answer to my real question. So I messaged her back and wanted to share what she just now shared with me.
I didn’t know how to reach you other than this or replying again on my blog to your reply and I was not sure you would see it, so put it here. I loved your reply to my blog post “My burning question” and it made me feel so much better. But since ingesting that (which I already knew was true, it’s just that one continues to question things afterward and forget what is true), I realize that, yes, it does not matter who a person is, or what they accomplish, depression does not care and it is an illness. I know this, and thank you for reminding me. But now that I’ve thought about it, that was not really my burning question. My burning question in my blog was HOW can someone accomplish so very much and all the while severely depressed? I’ve been depressed, I have that problem and get treatment and it can be almost debilitating. But my daughter never displayed signs and accomplished much. HOW can one do this an be depressed? I know it can happen to anyone, it’s like cancer, it doesn’t care who it strikes, it’s an illness, but how can one function so highly and all the while want to die? That was really my burning question. She said in her note she had been depressed ALL her life.
June 10, 2013 at 6:23 am
Throughout history, many key influential people have struggled with depression. It’s nothing new for someone with depression to also accomplish great achievements in their professional lives. From the top of my head, I am reminded of Van Gogh cutting off his own ear, Hemingway killing himself, the black dog (deep depressions) that haunted Winston Churchill his entire life, and any number of successful and famous rock stars and comedians who ultimately took their own lives. Whether they are truly diagnosed as being bipolar or not, depression often comes in waves of severity, between which the sufferer can achieve tremendous accomplishments, as if they are working thrice as hard to live entire lifetimes in these brief periods of relative emotional and psychological calm. Below is a link to an interesting list of famous people who have struggled with depression.
June 10, 2013 at 6:48 am
wonderful comment, Buzz! thank you so much for such loving and supportive words!
June 10, 2013 at 6:43 am
I understand, because I wanted to know the same thing after Dan died. He was SO highly accomplished, and he was so completely opposite of what you think of when you imagine a depressed person. He was very much like your daughter, and had never shown any sign of depression. No one could believe it.
The research that I did led me to two possible reasons. The first and the one that seems most plausible to me, is that although mental illness can definitely begin in childhood, it sometimes will manifest in early to late twenties so suddenly and dramatically, that it takes the person by surprize. And they are so over whelmed by such a forceful and debilitating condition that they have no coping skills or ability to over come it.
An analogy would be like if you were fine one day, and the next lost both arms and legs in a car accident. IT’s so sudden and dramatic, that you can’t cope. But, if you had been born this way and lived your life wit the condition, you would have had time to adjust.
I know you said in her note, she said she had felt this way her whole life, but truly suicidal people are not rational in that state and often they exaggerate in their minds the length and severity of their condition. They know this from talking to people who failed in their attempt. Afterward they report a gross exaggeration in their thinking at the time.
After they have gotten treatment, they say that they now remember it wasn’t always like that, but at the time they wanted to die, it seemed their whole life had been a nightmare, and nothing else existed. They report not even remembering that they had family or friends. It’s like those people don’t even, nor ever did, exist in reality. To get inside the mind of a truly suicidal person, at the moment they commit suicide is a very scary and irrational place to be.
The other possibility is that your daughter may very well have been depressed since childhood, but remember, many, MANY people live successful lives with depression, just like many people lead successful, productive lives with Diabetes.
But, if left untreated, both depression and diabetes can become fatal conditions. I promise you, that she did NOT live her whole life with life threatening level of depression. It’s possible that by the time she died, she FELT as if she had, but her mind was not rational. Please believe me, she did not function so highly and all the while want to die.
We have no way of knowing how long she seriously struggled with thoughts of suicide before she died, but I KNOW with all my heart that it wasn’t her whole life.
You can email me any time
hang in there, it doesn’t feel like it now, but it WILL get better. There’s nothing to be done about it, you’re going to feel like shit for quite a while to come. It’s perfectly natural and healthy for you. You must go through grief, and there’s no easy way to do it.
But you CAN and you WILL get through your grief, and you WILL come out stronger on the other side. And you will have your daughter with you still when you get through it. You won’t lose one second of the precious life you had with her.
hugs and love to you AND your daughter.
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List of people with major depressive disorder – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This is a list of notable people who have, or have had, major depressive disorder. A number of well-known people have suffered from the disorder. While depression was sometimes seen as a shameful secret until the 1970s, society has since begun discussing depression more openly. Earlier figures were…
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