5 things to do (and not do) to support someone with depression

“It can be very difficult to explain this alternate reality to someone who does not have mental illness. Please try to understand that rational thinking will not work because logic literally doesn’t exist in the universe we currently inhabit.”

I found this list to be very good. A quick, accessible resource for anyone looking to support a loved one living with depression. Full list is HERE

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Robin Williams Was Loved, but Love Doesn’t Cure Mental Illness

This perspective was one that I feel sorely lacking from the current discourse on mental illness brought into the light by Robin Williams tragic passing yesterday.

“There were a lot of comments on Twitter about how much Robin Williams was loved and what a shame that he didn’t know it. I didn’t know Robin Williams, but I bet he did know that he was loved. I know that I am loved. Maybe not on a Robin Williams scale, but I have friends and family who would do anything for me, and I absolutely know this. But there comes a point where love does not matter…..Mental illness is an indiscriminate killer, one that I have been outrunning for years. So many of us are, and not all of us survive, and a tragedy like this reminds you how real the danger is. One problem is, it’s easy for most people to go back to forgetting.”

Check it out in full HERE 

Resources On Depression

After the passing of Robin Williams today I felt it especially poignant to compile some kind of listing of resources for those suffering with, knowing something suffering with, or wanting to know more about what it is like to suffer with depression. Seeing the outpouring of love on my social media right now for Mr. Williams makes me wonder if that would have made a difference in his decision to end his life today.

If you are suffering you are NOT alone. Please check out some of the references below. I will continue to provide updates with new links as I find/receive them. Any that you would like to share in the comments would be truly appreciated!

Suicide Hotlines

5 Myths about Mental Illness 

Jumpers – Words from survivors of suicide attempts on the Golden Gate Bridge

Mothering with Mental Illness – One mother shares her experiences parenting with mental illness

Connex Ontario Health Services Information (CANADA)

Canadian Mental Health Association

Partners For Mental Health – Helping end the stigma surrounding mental illness, great resource for shared personal experiences with mental illness

Stephen Fry’s Response to a Fan

My Mental Health – Great general resource

“But to have everyone express shock and wonder that you’ve got a mental illness only serves to increase your sense of alienation.” – One man’s experience

And another’s…

And this persons experience, complete with illustrations

Video – What Causes Depression?

Ted Talk on Mental Illness (Stigma, health, experience, etc)

Self harm prevention tumblr – http://www.tumblr.com/search/self%20harm%20prevention

Taking Care of Yourself While Supporting a Loved One

This woman’s experience as well

21 Comics That Capture the Frustrations of Depression

21 Things No One Tells You About Being Depressed

Robin Williams and Why Funny People Kill Themselves – “Be there when they need you, and keep being there even when they stop being funny.” <—-THIS (cracked.com)

 

 

One of the most accurate descriptions of what it’s like to suffer with depression that I’ve ever heard – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUHcc7ipGt0

Substance Abuse and Suicide Risk 35

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10 ways you can help someone you love if they suffer from depression

A great starter list for anyone struggling over how to help a loves one suffering from depression. The author writes from a very personal narrative so please excuse the gendered advice, but I appreciate the sentiment and ideas. What has helped YOU combat depression and/or support a loved one who is suffering?

loving someone with depression

Opinion: For Ians Sake – Change (police and mental illness)

“Every officer reading this knows it’s true. But what do we do? Nothing. We are trained to have answers, to hide weakness, and to control situations. We are the ones who respond when help is needed. So we cover it up. We hide our emotions, gloss over the problems and hope we can ride it out. Any attempt to seek out help voluntarily results in a stigma and is essentially a career killer for us. If we end up having an emotional breakdown and are ordered off duty, we are marginalized and abandoned. We have witnessed this happen to friends and colleagues before us.”

Anonymous, but frank and honest. While this career is a choice, sometimes I feel made for personal fulfillment rather than a desire to serve and protect, it’s important to have supports in place because the reality of this experience when lived professionally is quite difficult. Like most people in dominant culture, there is a stigma that comes when officers seek help, when showing any ‘weakness’, when dealing with increased signs of mental illness. The solution is not to shame these individuals then put them in a crisis situation with a deadly weapon. We’re all human and deserve compassion and a chance at understanding.
What are your thoughts?

opinion piece – for Ian’s sake