Our world lost a great actor today, but I don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about the struggle he faced with an often times silent, and many times deadly, disease.
The Center for Disease Control sites 1 in 10 adults suffering from some type of depression, with women suffering at twice the rate if men. Save.org states that 15% of clinically depressed individuals will end their own life. Depression is a disease. It is a disease that attacks individuals from every walk of life, and from every social status.
Depression and suicide are things that are very near to my heart. My childhood was spent watching my father suffer from depression, and ultimately committing suicide. So, I know personally the toll it can take on an individual. I have also, personally, suffered from depression at different points in my life.
It is a disease that persists beyond the realm of understanding. Many times, no amount of positive thinking, Bible reading, or happy chants can make it go away.
Depression has a face, and I would be willing to bet, it has the face of someone you know. Depression is the new mom, too tired to function. It is the newly divorced individual, searching for a way to exist in a new life. It is the CEO, drowning in stress. It is the cheerleader, hiding behind a smile. It is the star football player, pressured to be perfect. It is the pastor, preaching to the masses. It is an award winning comedic actor. It is a woman. It is a man. It is a young person, an old person. It is you. It is me. Depression has a face. It has a name. It is a disease that, even in it’s lowest forms, can rob you of true joy. And yet, in our advanced world, it continues to rise at astronomical rates.
Depression is not something to hide from. It is not something to ignore. It is not a reason for shame or guilt.
If you suffer from depression, I beg you to seek help.
Call a crisis hotline 1-800-273-8255.
If you know someone who suffers from depression, please never make them feel bad about asking for help. Be a positive support system for those in your life who may need help.
Be the change that helps to remove the stigma from this disease.
Today, I will start the movement by standing tall and saying, I have suffered from depression, and I am not ashamed. I know this was a disease that was out of my control.
Will you please join me in being the change this disease needs?