Every time I tried to work on this week’s link round-up, I kept coming back to this link in my bookmarks:

My heart hurts so much over the death of Robin Williams. It feels impossible to reconcile the vibrant, hilarious man on the screen with the news of his suicide. I think that as much as our collective sadness is about mourning his loss, it’s also about the devastating realization that someone who gave the world so much brilliance and laughter could find himself in such darkness.

Depression is not a case of the blues. It’s not a character flaw or a personal failing; it’s a sickness. It’s an overwhelming loneliness and emptiness and hopelessness, and it can feel like you’ll never escape it, because it feels like it is you. Five years ago I wrote a brief post about my own struggle with depression. And then I never mentioned it again on the blog or anywhere else online, because I’m not big on sharing my personal life in a public space, and this doesn’t really feel like the place for it anyway. But I’m believing more and more that when we can, depression is something we should talk about. Because when you’re in the midst of it, when it feels like the walls are closing in around you, it’s next to impossible to talk about it. And because for the rest of the world, it’s very, very hard to understand. So when you can put words to it, it’s worth it to do so. (Allie gives one of the best explanations of depression I’ve ever read over on Hyperbole and a Half.)

I don’t know that one can make sense of a tragedy like this. But I hope that maybe by talking about it, by shining some light on it, we can find the understanding to offer our brothers and sisters who are suffering, more love, kindness, and empathy in their fight against depression; maybe by talking about it a little more, those who are struggling might find the voice to ask for help.

Please, if you or someone you know is hurting, ask for help.

3 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Personal, Uncategorized
  1. Ryan

    I am so glad you had the courage to be vulnerable in talking about depression and the strangle hold it can have on so many. With so many dumping cold water on their heads to raise awareness to ALS…you actually made a sacrifice today by raising awareness to depression in a very deep, intimate, personal way. I appreciate you!!!

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  2. Kate

    Thank you for sharing your very very personal story and talking and making other people talk. Depression is something that is incredibly hard to wrap your head around and perhaps the more people talk about it, the more understanding they will be. Because when you are on the outside looking in, the agony is not being able to fix the people you love and the hardest part is learning how to love and support them while coming to the understanding that you cannot fix it, you can only help in the best ways possible for them.

    My dear friend Heather wrote this post -http://dooce.com/2011/09/29/autumnal-equinox/#ixzz3AUG0j0V9 – a few years ago and her closing lines sum it all up so heartbreakingly well. I always cry when I read it: “Because as much as a person with depression is sad, we are the same measure of angry that we can’t just stop feeling this way.”

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  3. carol

    thanks for this kathryn. your kind, insightful and articulate post is another light in the darkness that Robin Williams death has inspired.

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