The out pouring of love, respect and grief over the death of Robin Williams, is I hope of some comfort to his family. There have also been some negative comments about how suicide is selfish and what did he have to be depressed about. It would appear that the writers have never experienced depression or had a loved one with depression, they have no idea how lucky they are.

I truly hope that Robin Williams death may lead to others talking more openly about their own internal pain and anguish. Because I do understand what it is like as I have depression, it is nothing to how it has been in the past but every now again the black dog (the nickname given to depression) arrives uninvited and unwanted. Sometimes I unwittingly let the black dog in and it takes me a while to realise what I have done. Other times I can feel its shadow covering me and I take the actions that I need to keep it at bay.

Everyone experiences depression in their own unique way, some are far better at hiding it then others. So what can you do when you encounter someone who is depressed? Listen. Truly listen and be there for them, support and encourage them to seek help. Help to get this hidden illness out into the open more and end the stigma that society has attached to mental health issues.

If you are experiencing depression than please do your best to speak with someone. I know the black cloud can seem as though it will never lift but please believe me it can for most of us, given time, care and attention.

Because let’s be honest here, if someone you love had an illness such as diabetes would you tell them to “get over it” or “pull themselves together”. Depression is an illness that you can’t “get over”.

Just because you are struggling with this does not mean you are failing and help is out there, please ask for it. This video from MIND has people with depression talking about how they manage:

Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 (24 hours)
SANE 0845 767 8000 (6pm to 11pm)
MIND 0300 123 3393 (9am to 6pm)

I’ve previously blogged about the black dog and this is also available on my website.

For a no obligation chat please either email or phone me, because it is good to remember that nothing has to be the way it has always been.