First, let me say that I am in absolutely NO WAY an expert in ANY shape or form in any kind of mental health issue, so all I can share are my own personal opinions/thoughts/ponderings and NOT anything based on “facts” or “studies” or anything of the sort. Just to make that clear.
I’m not sure if I’d say severe depression makes one lose their sense of right and wrong (I dont think it’s that black and white, I’ll explain later) and I definitely wouldn’t call anyone with depression or suicidal thoughts “insane”. I’d rather say they are ill. Sort of like when you have severe pneumonia. You’re ill. Not “insane”. You need help and support to get better.
I think that once someone is severely depressed enough, they are just so in the darkness that they see no other way out of it than suicide. For them there is no other solution. Or they may think the others are better without them and to them the only “right” solution is for them to be gone. Of course, if you’d ask anyone else they’d clearly know that is “wrong” and dying is never the answer, but for the person who is in that dark place, things may seem different. So as I said, I wouldn’t say it’s something “black and white” about losing the sense of right and wrong. In a way they probably do, but the lines are blurred. They may only see one option as the solution. For them in that moment there IS only one “right” solution.
I don’t know if anyone else here has read the book Brooke Shields wrote about postpartum depression? It’s called “Down Came The Rain”. I REALLY recommend it because it gives a very good idea on what it is like for the person going through depression and what kind of thoughts they are having. (Brooke for example wrote that she was having fantasies of throwing the baby against the wall and watching her slide down. Or she wanted to drive herself off the bridge but it was the baby on the backseat that kept her from doing it.) Also, even though people are now talking about mental health and suicide prevention more than ever, I have not seen anyone mention postpartum depression anywhere and I think it’s important to talk about that too because there is a HUUUGE stigma there too. I mean, you just had a baby and you’re “supposed” to be at your happiest (according to the “society”)…but you feel miserable and feel like hurting the baby or yourself. Imagine how that makes one feel. And imagine how OTHERS make a new mom feel when the new mom is not BEAMING with happiness like everyone expects them to be. If more people would know about postpartum depression and would know the signs and would be prepared for it, it would help a lot of people. So if any of you ever get the chance, read the book! You can buy it on Amazon:
I totally agree that no one should judge anyone suffering from depression for their actions. I don’t think they should get away with everything though, but there should be no judgement. I have a friend who sufferes from severe depression and some of the things he did were unacceptable. I completely understood that in that moment he can’t control himsef and his behavior was not under control, but it still didn’t make what he did right or “excusable”, especially because it put others in danger. So while I totally understood, I did still expect an apology and he also did apologize himself without any prompting once he was better. I do admit though that it was a bit scary at times when he was having a hard time because you never knew when he is going to go into that mode and you didn’t know if he was gonna drive us all off the road in that moment. He’s really nice and a really sweet person and I’m in no way scared of him and I know he would NEVER intentionally hurt anyone. But during the rough times it was sometimes a bit scary because you didn’t know what he was going to do because he could go into very severe depression out of the blue (he was bipolar) and in that moment he wasn’t thinking rationally. So it was a bit scary and difficult for both sides. It’s not easy on anyone. He always went to get treatement though and was hospitalized once it got that bad, so that was good. He’s doing better now. And even though no one should blame or be angry at anyone who tried commiting suicide or died by suicide, I do understand the anger or “disappointment” afterwards simply because it’s a human reaction. And a part of the grieving process. And people should try to understand that too and let those who are left behind feel what they need to feel too and let them go through that process without feeling guilty or ashamed of how they feel and understand that it IS a part of the grieving process. I have had loved ones die because of different diseases like leukemia, etc, And there STILL were days when I felt “angry” at them for being gone. As if there was ANYTHING they or ANYONE could have done and it would be “INSANE” to feel angry, and you feel absolutely stupid and insane for feeling that way. But well, you just still do because you miss them and you DON’T WANT THEM TO BE GONE so you just feel angry. It helps when you understand that it is part of the grieving and perfectly normal so you are NOT “insane” or “wrong” if you feel that way. But there is a lot of “guilt” those who are left behind experience because of how they are feeling. And we should try to understand them too because it is not easy on them either. We should allow them to feel whatever they are feeling.
I think I also read/heard somewhere that often it’s not in that moment when someone is severely depressed when they are the most at risk of dying by suicide (unless it’s a quick impulse) but rather a little after the rough episode when they get a bit better. I read that they are often feeling too paralyzed and tired to actually do anything while in deep depression. They often don’t have the energy to do it even though they might contemplate it. But once they get a bit better and have more energy and everyone think they are finally doing better, THAT’s usually when they are most at risk and when people should be the most vigilant. I have no idea if that is true, but I think I read/heard that somewhere. That once they feel a bit better and have more energy they may have made the decision to do it and have “made their peace” and may actually seem like they are finally “happy” or doing okay, but its only because they feel “at peace” because they are finally seeing a “way out” and think their pain will soon end. So it makes it seem like they are okay when in fact they are not. Again, just something I think I remember reading /hearing but I’m in no way sure if it’s accurate.
I think its great that people are finally openly talking about these issues and I hope everyone will always be able to say how they are REALLY feeling without being labeled or ridiculed or mobbed. I wish we’d all have more understanding and support for others, friends or not, and would try to be kind to one another because you never know how someone’s life really is and what they are going through. And I wish that when we ask others “How you’re doing?”, we’d REALLY mean it and also take the time to listen and not just expect a standard “I’m fine” answer. I wish people could say “Not so good” if thats the case and the one who asked would take the time to ask “Why not” and listen why the other person isn’t doing so good. I think there would be so many problems LESS, if we all just would take a little bit more time to care about others a little more. And by that I mean not just friends and family because those are the obvious ones. I mean a co-worker we don’t know that well or may not even really like or someone we go to school with who always sits alone or maybe is a “troublemaker”. Maybe they are that way because no one ever cared? If all you get all your life is others ignoring you or making fun of you or calling you “weird” because you’re not exactly like everyone else, wouldn’t you too at some point try to shut everyone out as a defense mechanism and start to believe that no one cares? I wish people would try to include everyone more and reach out to those who may not be “popular” or who may seem “weird”. Maybe they are not as weird once you get to know them. Watch this video: “Redneck Catfish Cooley explains how we can all get along” (WARNING! He uses a lot of f words and there’s explicit content so it’s not necessarily for under 18 year olds! But it’s a great video about tolerance and being kind! A great message! I hope it’s okay to post the video here!)