Below is a post my younger sister Lisa, 27, made to a local Facebook group for Mom and Dads. I feel it to be important to spread her message, which is one so many desperately need to hear. The feedback she received was welcoming, and it became known of how many people are affected in one way or another.
“The news of Robin Williams passing was shocking, then to learn that it was suicide, AND that he suffered from depression. As many of you know, I suffer from OCD, generalized and social anxiety, as well as a form of depression. If you didn’t know, now you do. I’m not ashamed to admit, I need help, and you shouldn’t be ashamed either. I goto a councillor regularly and was put on meds. A lot of people fear meds, I was one, but I can say honestly, they saved my life. The thing you need to understand is mental illness does not mean you will be on meds for life, the meds are just to help you think straight until you can retrain your brain. It’s all about your thoughts and your bodies chemical compound. I’m not putting this out here to get pitty, I don’t need pitty, I’m doing fantastic!! I’m putting this out here in hopes of people needing help getting help. I have online modules my councillor has gave me access to, I have phone numbers of Dr’s, councillors, hotlines, Sykes, etc. if anyone needs any type of help for them or someone else, please do not fear to contact me for help. When I came out about how I was feeling, I was mis-understood, laughed at, and judged. I took months out of work, had someone watch my lil man, and worked on my mental as well as physical well being. You can too. I’m here for anyone who needs it and will not judge <3″
While I haven’t walked in her shoes, I do know some of what my sister went through. If there is anything that I do understand, it is that depression is a hard thing to understand. In your mind they’ve got the world at their feet, everything they’ve ever dreamt of, and everything anyone would want for.
As we all know, perception is not reality. For whatever reason, when our perception changes, it isn’t always for the better. Sometimes you can switch it all around, and other times you just become stuck, like a cd that skips. One thing I remember Lisa saying over and over is that it’s was like she was in another world. How could that be? That was probably her perception. Everything was so skewed that she’d be in the local hospital nightly, begging for help ‘to make it stop’. She was essentially being traumatized daily.
Now if it’s hard to understand how someone would selfishly take their own life, alter your own perception a bit. Try to understand how if someone is begging for help so outwardly (or not), and cannot cope with facing what hardly any of us understand, and what no one should have to go through alone – but all too often do – our opinions should suddenly become more forgiving.
As stated above in my sister’s case, often it’s not just one straight answer for how, or why, or what becomes wrong with a sufferer. Like there not being one just cause, there is not one straight solution. It’s a process, and it can be a very long one. Recovery is tiring, but living the alternative is so much worse.
This was in no way a cookie cutter problem with a cookie cutter solution. My sister couldn’t work, couldn’t care for her son, and struggled just to keep herself alive. She was a heartbreak to see, helpless, and unsure of everything. Sometimes she couldn’t talk, and sometimes she couldn’t walk. You never knew what to expect.
The best thing that ever happened to Lisa was finding a councillor who she could relate to and trust. Someone who understood what everyone else thought to be crazy talk. This special lady my sister is lucky to have in her life is probably the one who saved her life. She was instrumental in turning my sisters mental health and her overall vitality around. I want to encourage anyone who is going through the same sort of situations to take action in getting themselves a qualified councillor that they trust.
Many changes were made in Lisa’s life, and they included on-going therapy, medications, exercise, and a diet change. These are all things that Lisa has stuck with, and I want you to know that they are all equally important. She isn’t the same person as before, but how could she be. She’s got joy in her eyes, and a curiosity about her that is everything I needed her to have.
Being selfish myself, I couldn’t live the same without her. If you love someone in distress, help them do whatever it takes. We only get one trip, with lots of stuff to face somewhere in the middle, and no one should feel like their doing it alone.
Suicidal? Need Help?
Call 911 or 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au where Lisa gets her workbook modules.
It is a resource she recommends, and continually uses herself.