How to help

With the news of Robin Williams’ suicide, I’ve been pondering and reading all of the articles on depression, sharing them when I find a good one or one that makes me shake my head either from relating to it or from the shear irony of it all.  As with most tragedies that affect a large group of people, the “experts” come around spouting on about what people “should” do or signs for loved ones to look out for.  I understand the reasoning behind it and I see the benefit however I wonder what friends and family think of it all.  The person that’s depressed is putting a lot of pressure on them.  It’s not the responsibility of loved ones to take on the onus of finding and providing help for people that have found themselves in a bad way.  I’m not trying to victimize the victim.  Really.  I guess I’m trying to say that loved ones hear.  They see.  They know.  But perhaps they’re just as afraid.  They don’t want to lose their loved one just as much as the person going through the mess wants to act upon it.  The problem is not that people need to pay attention.  They already know.  They just don’t know what to do or how to help.  I bet more than one person that reads this knows someone that is depressed.  I also bet that more than one person that reads this knows someone that has thought about killing themselves.  You can’t drag them to therapy.  You can offer to listen but how many actually talk?  They don’t.  They smile and say they’re ok with tears in their eyes.  I’ve also suggested therapy to relatives.  It’s as easy getting someone to go see a counselor as it is getting an elderly person into a senior community.  Wait, that’s a different discussion altogether!

My point, I suppose, is that none of it is easy.  I mourn the loss of the kids from bullying.  I mourn the loss of Robin and the countless others that succumb to the demons.  I empathize with the partners, parents, spouses, family and friends of them all that couldn’t fix it for them.

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