I am one of the fortunate ones.
My Dad died on September 3, 2001.
The Towers fell a week and a day later.
In the days that followed, I noticed that I would stand
in my closet in the morning and I couldn't decide
which shirt to wear. I would stare at my choices and be
unable to just pick one.
I lost interest in everything.
I didn't feel depressed.
I didn't feel anything.
I eventually ended up in a counselor's office, but I wasn't sure why.
"I'm not sure how this works.", I told her.
"Just tell me what's going on.", she replied.
I didn't think I had much to say.
90 minutes later I stopped talking.
"What do you think?", I asked.
"What do you think?", she replied.
"I think I'm depressed."
I came out of it. I get sad from time to time, but nothing like
But I have seen deep clinical depression in loved ones.
Total breaks with reality.
Friends and family have the very best of intentions when they say,
"But you've got so much to be happy about!!!"
"Just count your blessings!!!"
"Snap out of it!!!"
It ain't that simple.
Depression and mental illness aren't tangible.
We can't see it.
It's in the mind.
It's like a ghost that sneaks up on you.
Pay attention to those around you.
If a friend or family member asks if your wife/husband/Mom/Dad
are OK, perhaps they see something you don't.
Maybe an intervention is in order to motivate a loved one to
seek help for a problem they don't even know they have.
The tragic death of Robin Williams has raised awareness of the
seriousness of mental illness. We can hope that such awareness
will lead to lives being saved.
But we must...
STOP THE STIGMA.