Ok so depression has been back in the news. The shitty fucking illness has claimed another victim.
Here’s my take, yes it’s another blog about depression but if it raises awareness and opens discussion then it serves a purpose.
As always feel free not to read.
The sad death of Robin Williams has led to a lot of media coverage, an outpouring of sympathy and then rage against how the media cover such events.
Obviously I didn’t know the man, I wouldn’t say I was his biggest fan but I was upset. As well as being upset the news scared me, really scared me.
The first I heard of it was when a friend messaged me in the morning to say they were thinking of us as No.2 was going into hospital for an operation and then added 'Robin Williams :-( fuck depression'.
I checked the news and there it was in black and white, then went on to twitter and it was all over. Everyone had an opinion and was suddenly an expert on depression.
I don’t claim to be an expert, I have my own opinion and that’s all this is my opinion. Not on Robin Williams but on depression. I can only speak from my experience.
For me this is the best explanation I’ve seen, I’ve posted it before: -
When we were sat on the hospital ward waiting for Meg to go down to theatre and another family was sat opposite. The mother was discussing the story with her daughter. All I heard was “I don’t understand it, look how much he’d done, how popular he was.”
To me this is crux of most peoples thinking, how can someone so popular, so successful do ‘THAT’?
The thing is depression doesn’t give a single fuck who you are. It doesn’t care how many people love you, or how much money you have. It doesn’t discriminate. It can kick anyone’s arse at any time.
The common denominator is that we all have a brain, a brain that can get a little broken.
And on the subject of doing ‘THAT’ it seems such a selfish act and I’ve said before that depression to me is a very selfish and narcissistic illness. It’s all about me; how I piss people off, how I feel, lost in my own head shutting out the world.
But I know when I thought about it and I did, I’ve admitted it before. It wasn’t about me making a statement being a martyr, going out in a blaze of glory. It was genuinely (unrationally) but genuinely thinking people would be so much better off without me. Things would be better for everyone if I weren’t around.
We’re all different I know that, people have different reasons for everything they do.
So why was I scared?
I was scared because I thought it could be me. I’m doing ok at the moment, a dip here and there but generally all right. The fear comes from the thought of the next episode. You see deep down I don’t think I’ll ever be ‘cured’. I try not to think of the future like that but when it’s in the news it’s tough not too. I have therapy and maybe I’ll always take antidepressants, who knows?
I found talking to people I don’t know easier, the Samaritans do an amazing job, I’ve phoned them in the past – 08457909090
I find the group therapy of twitter helpful, although it presents me with different issues.
Anyway there was also the fact that Meg was having her operation on Tuesday. It was the first time I’d been back in a hospital since Dad went him in for his routine operation. That didn’t turn out too well.
The following is an example of how depression hits me, how my brain works.
Tuesday wasn’t about me, it was about being a Dad, a rarely feel like a Dad, I see myself as a child most of the time.
Meg's operation went fine and we waited in the recovery waiting room for her to come round from the anesthetic. As she was waking we went in, she was hooked up to a few machines and was crying obviously in pain and generally disorientated as to where she was.
The problem was I couldn’t be in there, I had a panic attack, went dizzy and thought I was about to pass out. I had to leave.
Now a few days later and looking at it rationally I see it was all too much like seeing Dad again, the machines, the hospital. The thought of losing someone else.
At the though time I stood outside the hospital crying. Crying about what a shit Dad I was, how I couldn’t be there for my daughter when she needed me.
At that point I hated myself again, I’d managed to turn the day into being about me. How I felt. How people viewed me. What a failure I was.
And that’s how it gets you you’re lost in your head, thinking you’re so bad that people would be better off without you.
Meg is recovering and I appreciate all the kind words and messages we received.
As always this isn’t written for sympathy. As they say opinions are like arseholes, everyone’s got one.
This is just this arsehole’s view.