I recently watched a video on You Tube where a young man was giving a wonderful, eye opening talk about depression and suicide. I looked down at all the comments below and I was horrified by so many of them. Now I’ve looked at enough comments on YouTube to know that people come out of the woodwork to say the most awful things by being anonymous on the internet, but I was nonetheless shocked. No wonder people with depression suffer in silence and so many people never tell anyone like was the case of my daughter.
For anyone that has not read my blog, I lost my 23 year old daughter who had just started her 3rd year of medical school to depression. She was wonderful and successful and acted happy all her life. Had friends, had a seemingly very wonderful life. She was doing well in Medical School. I had just seen her, she seemed so happy. Next thing I know I was called by a policeman telling me she had taken her own life. She never told anyone about her depression and she never sought professional help. She said in her suicide note that she had been depressed all her life but hid it from us to protect us from it. So I look at things on YouTube sometimes. But I was so appalled and some of the replies that were put below the video on YouTube.
Many people are either just ignorant and need to learn about depression, or simply do not care and only want to think they know what they are talking about when they don’t.
There were comments like, “Oh, all you have to do is think positive thoughts and you will not be depressed.” Or “How can someone who has so much be depressed. They ought to be happy and think about how little other people have.” Or “you don’t read the bible enough, you don’t have enough faith.” How about the one “When I’m depressed I exercise and that does the trick. All you have to do is exercise and eat right and think positively.” Or “people who are depressed are weak.” “People who kill themselves are weak or cowards.”
I’m here to tell you that depression is a chemical imbalance and you can be a multimillionaire with everything you ever wanted and STILL be depressed. Yes, there can be situational depression that results from a death, divorce, loss of a job etc., but there is the depression that is a chemical imbalance. People that are depressed need a psychiatric evaluation where it will be decided what or if any kind of medicines or counseling should be done. They are NOT weak. It is a disease just like cancer, diabetes, or heart disease and if not treated will cause death.
It infuriates me that the ignorance about depression is so very rampant. If you don’t know what you are talking about, please research the topic. But I believe mostly, people don’t want to know the truth, they would rather pass judgment because it just does not pertain to them. I just hope one day they don’t have to suffer it themselves or have a family member commit suicide for them to see the truth.
No wonder my daughter never sought treatment and no wonder so many people don’t. But no matter what, trying to fight depression and risking the talk of these ignorant people is better than leaving this world. Everyone that suffers needs to stand up, say they have a problem and get help. If all the people that do suffer this problem did that, we would be amazed at how many there actually are.
I suffer depression. I take medicine. I go to a psychiatrist every month. I got help. I was ashamed at first, tried so hard to keep it secret. But the last several years, I simply don’t care who knows. I am a sane and perfectly capable human being. I have worked during the times of my depression except a few weeks here and there when it was really bad.
The ignorance in this world needs to stop. But it won’t. We just have to keep teaching and talking and hoping and standing up for this.
I’m just so infuriated by what people STILL think about depression. I thought we had at least come farther than this.