Why is it so hard to ask for help when we’re depressed?
Robin Williams was found dead yesterday from an apparent suicide. Asphyxiation.
About 24 hours before he was found, I had thoughts running through my head of how I could choke off my own air supply — could I just tighten a belt around my neck? Would that work?
Dunno, don’t care. I stopped that line of thinking, emailed my brothers and my sister, and asked for their prayers. It was about all I could do. Told them I was safe, but really down. I think that was true – I couldn’t really kill myself. But I didn’t want to sit there thinking about it, either. I broke off a piece of an Ambien and went to sleep midday Sunday, hoping I’d wake up in better spirits.
It helped pass the time, but didn’t fix my depression. In the evening my little brother texted me, asking if he could do anything. Did I want to come over? No, I couldn’t fathom leaving the house.
Then, with all the strength I’ve mustered in any action of the last few years, I texted him to ask for a priesthood blessing. I dropped the phone and started bawling – it had been so hard to ask for that help.
He was at my door within ten minutes. We visited for an hour, during which I bawled and told him the things that had triggered this latest depression, and then he gave me a blessing of comfort. (If you’re not LDS, I’ll let you google.)
It’s been 36 hours or so now, and mostly I’m doing better, but Robin Williams! Dammit. Here’s this hilarious guy that people love, in so much pain that he takes his own life. Had he been asking for help, at least? Or had he been suffering through it with no support? I hope it’s the former, but the thought of the latter breaks my heart.
Man, what if my spiral had continued Sunday? What if I hadn’t emailed my siblings? Thankfully I don’t own any guns – no rash decisions here – and thankfully my pain hasn’t ever gotten so bad that I could conceive of leaving my kids fatherless.
Thankfully I believe in God, and another life after this one – one where my existence will continue, no matter how much I try to destroy it. Knowing that I can’t stop existing, only living, is a crucial thing for me.
I don’t know why asking for help is so hard. But if you’re depressed, maybe it’d help to talk to somebody who understands the pain? Or to a stranger? Either way, if you’re depressed, and especially if you’re suicidal, talk to somebody. You can email me at this address if you like – firstname.lastname@example.org – and I’ll try to get back to you soon.