My heart has broken this week over the loss of Kate Spade and Tony Bourdain. It broke my heart even further to read so many comments on social media about them being “selfish”, “cowards”, only suffering from “temporary problems” and that they should have “just gotten help.” Which they are both known to have done, many times over.
For those of us engaged in the lifetime struggle with depression and/or bipolar disorder, our biggest daily achievement is often survival. Clinical depression is not the “blues” or being sad when a relationship ends (or some other temporary problem)- it is your emotions being hijacked by your own misfiring brain. Don’t confuse the way a depressed person’s thoughts turn inward with selfishness. When you’re waging an internal war, taking a shower and putting on clean clothes may be the only battle you have energy for that day. Instead of blame, please try some empathy for what kind of hell someone must be living in to genuinely believe a beloved child or spouse would be better off without them. That the world would be better place without them. We know that depression and bipolar disorder kill. So does judgment. So does stigma.
Today, I am still breathing. That is enough.