Thursday, August 14, 2014

Depression and Suicide

I know I haven't posted for a while. I actually thought about making a post explaining why a few days ago but then my colitis relapsed. This I felt was worth dusting off the blog for though. As someone who struggles with depression, and has gotten far closer to the point of suicide than anyone would want to be, Matt Walsh's post made me cry (and not in a good way). He truly doesn't get it. I'm glad he doesn't get it, but it still hurts.

I do believe that suicide is a choice. It is a selfish choice. At one point I wanted to die. I didn't want to kill myself, but I wished one of my illnesses would be fatal so that there would be an end. I knew what that would do to my family. In fact I believe thinking about that is what kept me in the wishful thinking phase rather than truly becoming suicidal because I couldn't do that to them. But at some point that changes. At some point it gets so bad you truly cannot bear it. The only thing that matters is that it ends. It is a selfish choice but one I can't judge, because the pain it causes their friends and family is no where near the pain of continuing to live. In the rare case it is, those friends and family make the same choice.

I don't know if joy and hope are the cure to depression. I think it's more likely that joy and hope are a side effect of the cure. Either way, when you are in the throes of depression you cannot hope. You cannot have joy. You can't and that's not your fault. I remember my own mother telling me I must continue to have hope, and feeling even worse because I couldn't. It's not that I didn't want to, I just couldn't. You can't go down to Walgreens and pick up a bottle of hope and a tube of joy to apply three times a day. But you know what is a cure for depression? Death. And sometimes to the person suffering any cure is better than no cure. I cannot fault them for that.

Here is a good article that made me feel better after reading both of Matt Walsh's blog posts. What did I find helpful? Having hope for me rather than expecting me to hope myself. Letting me know you believed one day I would feel better even if I could not believe it myself. Being there for me, letting me know I wasn't a burden, that you would continue to love me even if I never got better. But mostly it was antidepressants and actually seeing improvements in my health. If I was still so ill I couldn't do anything but lay in bed in agony I don't think all the support and love in the world would have mattered.

ETA: I want to clarify that since I don't know everyone's thoughts who walk this path, I cannot say it is always selfish. I am sure there are some people who believe they need to do this for a reason other than their own self interest. I am also using selfish to mean "concerned with one's own desire or well-being" in a morally neutral way, rather than a purely negative one. Being selfish is natural, and human, and okay. Also there are some instances where it may not be a choice, such as some drug overdoses or being in a mental state where you truly don't know what you're doing. I personally do not consider those suicides even though they may be classified as such.