“I have a brother. He is manic-depressive, and he has been a mess his whole life.
And I have spent much of my life resenting him and what he put my family through.
To me, he was indulgent, and he was embarrassing, and, quite frankly, he was weak.
And then, ten years ago, I fell into my own depression when I lost a child.
And I learned very quickly that depression is not a passive, lethargic state.
Far from it. It might seem that way to people on the outside.
But to the person depressed, it is an active state of roiling pain from the tip of your hair to the bottom of your feet.
And I think, deep down, you know, probably more than anyone, that Charles Wilkes
didn’t kill your husband. Tim killed himself because he wanted the pain to stop.
He just wanted it to end. I mean, it feels like torture.
That’s why he killed himself.”
I thought about how little we do know about this terrible affliction that affects one in four women (and one in ten men)
As many as one in 33 children and one in eight adolescents suffer from clinical depression. (Center for Mental Health Services, Ministry of Health and Social Services, 1996 U.S.)
People with depression are four times more likely to develop a heart attack than those with no history of the disease. After a heart attack,depression statistics are at significantly higher risk of death or second heart attack. (National Institute of Mental Health, 1998)
Depression often coexists with other diseases and medical conditions.
Cancer: 25% of cancer patients suffer from depression. (National Institute of Mental Health, 2002)
Strokes: 10 to 27% of patients after a stroke suffer from depression. (National Institute of Mental Health, 2002)
Heart Attack: 1-3 stroke survivors suffer from depression. (National Institute of Mental Health, 2002)
Be mindful about those suffering and lend a hand when you see someone under. It might save a life.