In the wake of Robin Williams’ death, there have been some comments made about suicide that some people just don’t understand. What many don’t get is that depression is a serious illness. It’s not something that you can just turn off and on when it’s convenient for you. It’s not something that you can just snap out of because somebody tells you to be happy. It is a mental illness.
Not all people with depression are suicidal. Suicide is not a requirement of depression, it’s a symptom. A person could be depressed but not think about killing themselves. They have feelings of things not being worth it (for example, not getting out of the bed, eating or planning for the future), hopelessness, negative thoughts about themselves, no energy, and so forth. A person who is truly depressed can feel all thirteen or so odd symptoms, or as little as three. If you do experience these things, don’t wait to get help assuming that it’ll work itself out or get better.
There are different types of depression, such as situational, atypical, seasonal affective, bipolar, major/clinical, psychotic, and a few others. Not all have the same symptoms. Not all sufferers attempt suicide or have suicidal thoughts. The one thing that I will say about suicide, in relation to those who suffer from depression, is that those who attempt or succeed are not selfish. These people have their reasons for doing it, but I guarantee one of those reasons is that they believe that they are much better off dead. My question is this… would you consider yourself selfish if you knew that I was suffering but you wanted me to live anyways?
What you don’t understand is that you don’t truly know what a person is going through when they make an attempt on their life. The constant negative thoughts they deal with in their heads and how they interpret the world is something we could never understand. It’s obvious that the cons outweigh the pros. But accusing those who commit suicide with a mental illness is a low blow. There is always a reason; just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean that it’s not there.