Death is never the acceptable option
In Ireland last week a programme aired about depression on one of our terrestrial channels. It centred around three well-known Irish personalities who have struggled with depression for most of their lives.
Watching the programme as someone who struggles with bi-polar, I felt it was in fact a lost opportunity. The three personalities who spoke of their own difficulties were eloquent in detailing their struggles, but I do think the programme could have done more by way of presenting facts too. That being said, something is better than nothing. But what has appalled me today, what is making my blood boil today, is the following:
On a well-followed afternoon radio show in Ireland today (5th November), a caller was talking about how difficult it is being married to someone who is suffering with Depression. There have been many blogs on this subject before and I do agree, it must be desperate to feel that lack of control while all you can do is sit and watch someone you love suffer or worse still, be on the receiving end of their behavior. At the same time, as I have also said before, however difficult it is, it is not as bad as being the one struggling with depression in my opinion.
But the caller said during her comments that she felt sometimes ‘there are things worse than death’ for someone struggling with depression. I was appalled and almost crashed the car I happened to be driving at the time. She was talking about the incessant talk of her spouse killing themselves and that to end his eternal suffering and struggling might not have been the worst thing for him.
With this one sentence, in my opinion she has managed to put back by years the plight of those struggling with depression to gain some sort of compassionate understanding and inform a public not quite ready to see depression as a debilitating illness that happens ‘to you’ and not something you have any ‘control over.’ Not only was I appalled by her comments, I was disgusted that the shows host did not challenge that statement in any meaningful way. This is a human being we are talking about. Lets for a moment, replace the word depression with cancer. Would it ever be suggested that someone struggling with cancer give up the fight and just kill themselves instead, because that’s the easier option on them? Instead of cancer if that’s too disgusting a thought, then put in any illness you want here and then rethink what that comment would have sounded like suggesting that the worst that can happen is not death?
I can only sympathise with this womans experience, but I can totally empathise with her husband because as someone who has struggled with depression for the past twenty five years, I know it’s not an easy road to travel. It is one of the hardest things in life to put one foot in front of the other and keep going when every fibre of your being is screaming at you that you are worthless, your life is worthless and you will amount to nothing. But to continue to walk this path is ultimately the better option than death. Death is the end, from here there can be no getting better EVER. My fellow bloggers, I would ask that you let me know what you think? Am I being too hard on this woman, am I being overly sensitive to what was suggested here? Can anyone tell me why ‘depression the illness’ is still so misunderstood and those who struggle with it, still so misjudged? And how can that statement ever be true?