© Chuck Duboff
It’s hell. One moment life is good, peaceful, joyous…then suddenly, it is like a vulture swooping down and taking control of your life.
As one who has suffered from depression my whole life, I can only say that it is exhausting beyond words. I follow all the recommendations: I take my medicine every day, exercise intensely every day, I write and share my emotions, I talk with those who will listen…and yet, I function knowing that at any moment my life can be overtaken by the darkness and emotional pain of Depression.
I have shared the story with friends of an Olympic athlete, minutes away from competing in an event, who had the Darkness of Depression over take her thoughts; it took everybody around her, coaches, friends, family to get her to compete…
Trying to explain the irrational thoughts which overtake one’s mind is like trying to explain why one colour is more beautiful than an other. It can be a spoken word, an innocent look, the lyrics of a song…innocuous though it may be, it has the unmitigated power to destroy a life.
It is easy to rattle off a list of some of those who face the demons of Depression: Brad Pitt, Jon Hamm, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Simon, Owen Wilson, Catherine Zeta Jones, Princess Diana, Johnny Depp, Darryl Strawberry, Stephane Richer, Harrison Ford, Joey Votto…the Rock- Duane Johnson suffers from Depression.
I have struggled for so long trying to explain to people that it is not a choice that we have…all the medicine, all the exercise, talking and writing…does not stand a chance in the face of Depression. Once it attacks…you just prey you can ride it out and not do too much damage to your life; and you hope and prey that those who care, those who love you will try, as difficult as it is, and understand. Getting upset with an individual who is battling the dark days only exacerbates and lengthens the episode.
Many former students have come forward and thanked me for writing about my depression, as they too battle the Dark Days of Depression. It has allowed them to talk about the struggles they also face. If you are engulfed by the dangerous thoughts, try with every fibre of your being to talk…the thoughts are irrational and difficult to confront, but, hopefully you can get through the Darkness and let some brightness ease the pain.