This, along with the suicide of Andrew Koenig, the son of Walter Koenig, puts faces to the horrible beast that is depression. Depression is not merely the absence of joy in your life. It weighs on you like some gloating daemon, isolates you from those who love you, and makes you ruminate about things such as killing yourself. I've had depressive episodes on and off throughout my life, sometimes worse than others, sometimes for months or even years. I've even had suicidal thoughts, but never for long periods of time, and more impulsively emotional than the ruminous thoughts you find in major depression. I'm bipolar, so I swing up and down, although I tend to stay more down than up. And fortunately medicine has helped me stay functional and on an even keel. Someone with chronic depression is different than that. Sometimes the depression waxes and wanes. Sometimes it lasts for long periods. Sometimes it's relatively mild, or moderate. But some depression is severe. And some depression is intractable or at least very, very resistant to treatment, whether therapy or medication. I've had several people in my life who have dealt with depression, some extremely severe to the point of contemplating suicide. My own mother was severely depressed during her pregnancy with me.
Here's a link to some statistics about depression that show how prevalent it is and how difficult to treat. [Okay, I'm not advocating the website's treatment protocols, but the statistics are based on decent sources and gathered in one place.]
One statistic I read on depression and suicide stated that up to 15% of those who are clinically depressed die by suicide. Women attempt suicide more than men; men, however, complete their suicide attempts in larger numbers.
Please, if you think you may be clinically depressed, seek out help. Therapy and medications can be effective in many cases. And if you are having suicidal thoughts, please call the suicide hotline at:
And remember, you may not think that there are people that care about you, but there are, and they will devastated without you, as these parents are without their sons. Despite the pain, remember that you have self-worth, and most of all, you have people to reach out to in times of need.