Monday, 28 November 2011

Sudden Suicide

Assuming it was suicide..... assuming it was depression ....

When a (now) high profile person commits suicide it will make society look up and consider depression and suicide and I'm hoping that out of the death of Gary Speed (football manager for Wales) that there is greater discussion and acknowledgement of mental health issues.

I think when you have someone who can be seen talking live on TV less than 24 hours before he was found dead, it brings it home:

If depression was at the heart of it I can relate to the way he can look so relatively normal and participate and yet have such huge turmoil going on inside. I can not say anything about this particular case as I do not know the man or his circumstances but I do hope that something really helpful and positive for the world can come from his sudden death.

Mental health should be as central to our lives and as easy to talk about as our physical health and whether we have a cold or sniffle. In reality, to talk about feeling down or out of sorts, or to feel like one is failing or feeling like one is a fraud or undeserving can lead to jeopardising your position. Or to back slapping encouragement that really you are OK and to pull yourself together when in fact you feel like a fragile glass ornament perched precariously on the edge of a steep precipice with wild winds whipping up all round and no shelter or comfort. Terrified, desperate and alone.

Ultimately, a person who commits suicide takes that action and it is their responsibility, but society as a whole needs to take a collective responsibility and to look at what it is that we do, say or expect that binds all of us.


Anji said...

I hope that some good does come from it. When my eldest som was depressed at the age of 16 I was sick of "Why doesn't he pull himself together?" and "What on earth has he got to be depressed about?" I suppose people mean well but it doesn't help. It hurts.

Yes, if he'd have been coughing and sneezing when he gave that interview ....

Doris said...

Thanks for sharing Anji. A silent illness that grips. Your son is older now isn't he .... my daughter was about 12/13 when she was severely depressed and in the end a professional herbalist helped with a concoction that made a difference - or maybe it was the talking that went with the herbalist, or just a "phase". Who can know and that is the problem.

Jo said...

Well said my dear. Depression is so full of can't talk about it because you hate yourself for feeling it, and because you fear people will simply look baffled, or impatient, or worse, will walk away because you are 'complicated' or hard work.

People seem to be surprised that someone can come on tv and seem 'fine' and then kill himself less than 24 hours later. They said the same of David Kelly (they even said it must have been an accident, or murder because he had a lunch date fixed for soon after). Why would they be surprised? I'm not in the slightest. You keep trying and trying and trying for the sake of others - until the day you wake and you can try no more, and then it's all over.