Robin Williams committed suicide. He suffered from severe depression: FACT
He was selfish. He wasn’t spiritual enough: WE HAVE NO IDEA
Yesterday the inter-webs set ablaze with opinions about our beloved icon’s death. But it was one particular popular, Conservative-Christian blogger (it pains me to link to him, but I want my friends to know what I’m talking about) who caught my eye as soon as he implied Williams wasn’t spiritual enough. If he just had more joy, Blogger claims:
“We are more than our brains and bigger than our bodies. Depression is a metal affliction, yes, but also spiritual.”
I consider myself to have a deep faith in God and an extremely profound relationship with Jesus. Ministry is my life. I’m pretty sure I would die for my faith. Yet, I suffer from clinical depression. Explain, please. Because I don’t get Conservative-Christian Blogger’s logic.
When I was a kid, I wore glasses. At age 13, Mom and Dad said I could get contacts. I loved the way I looked without specs, but I hated touching my eyeballs. I skipped on the contacts and just stopped wearing glasses altogether. You’d better believe I was praying to God for better vision – all for the sake of vanity. It didn’t quite happen.
Fast forward to age 39 when a visit to the ophthalmologist proved I never should have stopped wearing glasses. My eyes are worse now, and it’s no surprise I’ll need additional lens assistance to obtain proper vision for the rest of my life. Never once did I ponder, “If I’d only have been more spiritual, I wouldn’t need glasses.”
Because that would be silly.
I cried in the doctor’s office when he diagnosed me with depression. “It’s not possible,” I sobbed, “I have everything I need to make me happy in life.”
He explained the chemical imbalance of my brain. In my case, having a stroke exasperated the condition. He promised if I began taking a little aqua and white pill, I’d feel a little better. I did.
Four years later, I felt good enough to stop the drugs cold turkey. (Don’t ever, ever, EVER do this. EVER!) I crashed. One night I fell so hard, the weeping and gnashing of teeth was too much for my husband to handle, especially with a 10 month old asleep in her crib ten feet away.
The next day, I was in therapy and back on the aqua and white pill.
14 years have passed since that breakdown. I’ve been to different counselors and tried different medicines in effort to make me the best Andee I can be. Without a prescription, the good vibes in my head don’t connect. (I’m sure that’s the correct medical terminology.) When they don’t, it’s not that I feel sad. I feel…nothing.
When I feel nothing, living doesn’t seem all that important.
It’s not logical.
It’s a depression lie.
I believe Jesus raised the dead to life. I know he’s saved me more times than I can count. But do you understand when I want to give him a little medical help on this one?
Thanks for your support.
***If you believe you have depression, try this brief questionnaire for an initial assessment. In my case, I answered “Nearly Every Day” when I was off meds. If you suspect you have an issue, visit your doctor for a thorough visit. I believe with all my heart that God put us here together for a reason – to love Him and to love each other. This is me showing love for you.