O’ Captain! My Captain!

The whole world, it seems, is aching with sadness at the loss of Robin Williams today. It was the first thing I learned today and will probably be the last thing I think about tonight. His comedy, acting and his kind and good spirit will always be remembered and help to make his death that much harder to come to terms with, despite not knowing him personally. However these facts aren’t the main reason for my resounding feeling of heartbreak. It’s because depression has once again taken a wonderful person into its grip and not let it go.

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Depression lies. This is something everyone must remember, whether you understand it or not. Explaining a mental condition is the same as trying to describe the colour blue to a blind person – you can’t do it. And even describing your condition to someone else who suffers with it can be hard because they’re not the same. Each case as individual as a fingerprint.

You can be as popular, successful, wealthy, kind, privileged as you could imagine but still suffer with depression. And it doesn’t have to be because of guilt due to having too much, or strain due to fame or any of those things. It can be for no reason or for a reason you don’t yet know about. It just exists, and manifests. It feeds on you and will often try to persuade you that the world would be better without you in it. Depression lies.

As soon as I found out the news, this morning on Twitter, I was immediately comforted by The Bloggess, as I often am.

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This girl knows what she’s talking about, felt her Motherly instinct take over and tweeted to protect her droves of fans who suffer, some in silence. And I was comforted. I was also proud of her because she saw the need to say what she had to say and then remove herself from the situation.

The amazing thing about today is that depression has been headline news. It’s been thrust into the conscious of the whole world and in a time when so many people are trying to cut out the stigma attached to mental illness, it’s amazing to have so much discussion and education happen in one day. If you can take a positive away from something so tragic, this is it. Of course not all people get it:

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But these people would never listen if you tried to educate them.

If you take one thing away from all this it has to be that depression can effect anyone. The most important thing is to talk about it. Find a friend, a partner, a kind twitter friend and tell them. The bottom line is depression lies….. but it can be pretty convincing sometimes.

If you feel like you need to talk to someone, please follow this link for helplines that the NHS have provided. There’s always someone who will listen. If you don’t suffer but you know someone who does, give them a call, meet them for a coffee – see how they are.

2 thoughts on “O’ Captain! My Captain!

  1. Fantastic post. As a society, we are so quick to condemn anything that we don’t understand or deem to be ‘normal’. So many people choose not to acknowledge depression exists, and are so quick to condemn it because you don’t always bare visible scars or have to wear a cast or have to endure chemo. Thus, people with depression feel it is something to be ashamed of. You can’t educate people who are unwilling to learn, but you can offer a hand to someone who is in need of help. Let’s hope as a result of this loss and others like it that those in need of help are able to receive and ask for the support they need.

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