Robin Williams had success and wealth. He was loved by many, but clearly, he was not understood on the level he needed to be to feel that staying on this plane was tolerable.
The fact that the topic is being discussed is hopeful. However – we have a very long way to go . .
DEPRESSION: If you don’t suffer from it you can’t understand it. I know people are trying to because they care, but what’s not being talked about is the self-loathing and belief that there is no future, no hope, to fill the well of grief that many suffer.
Living in our society, where people have many layers of defense in public, which often expresses in anger and disdain, is a huge trigger for many.
Living in our society where value is placed on personal net worth, career success and relationship longevity, for someone already struggling with their own self-worth these criteria can be devastatingly oppressive. If one hasn’t achieved these benchmarks, the cycle of self-loathing and inability to try – for fear of failing, again, is debilitating.
The constant barrage of messages to ‘be happy’ and ‘go for it’ and that – if you’re not going for your dream you’re somehow wasting your life, dismisses the personal stories of a huge segment of the population.
The truth is, some people will talk about it, some will care, but very few will actually change the way they operate with people they don’t know to take an attitude of kindness and understanding.
I’ve made attempts in the past to share the truth about ‘where I live’ with people when it’s become relevant. The lesson I’ve learned (and, clearly, I was sharing with people who hadn’t the imagination to empathize) is that it is a rare and intelligent breed of human that truly ‘gets it’ and isn’t afraid to look at it.
I have been lucky in that I’ve had a highly gifted counselor, and a friend or two who knows this country a little bit. I have been given tools to evolve up the spiral of my psyche to a place where I understand that many of the beliefs I was given about myself and my life were truly inappropriate to reality. I think it’s nothing short of miraculous that I’ve had these insights, and to someone who has less qualified and competent guidance, and a less innate optimism and joy (which I have discovered under the mountain of detritus piled up by a childhood of neglect, abuse and crazy-making messages) will be hard pressed to come up from the deep cone of despair without a great bit of help.