There is a blog I have been reading regarding the suicide of young gays in America. http://talkaboutequality.wordpress.com/
As usual on good blogs most comments are heart-felt and supportive but a few come through that…hmmm…lack class, lack wisdom and are…well showing up the individuals ignorance to be blunt.
Today I read someone opinionating that these young people killing themselves are committing crimes against god, that there are places they could go, and the worst of all that “Suicide is a selfish and cowardly act and any adult who commits it will not have my sympathy.”
There is much that could be said that would, however, be rude. 🙂 And their god is clearly not mine.
But there are also glimpses within these words that I have heard over and over throughout my career that need to be clarified. For those seeking knowledge as to my qualifications please see the page named the same to your right.
It is evidentially clear that the author has never experienced or witnessed severe depression. I have often heard relatives, friends etc of a person depressed say similar things:
“Why can’t they just pick themselves out of it…why don’t they just get busy…etc etc?
Well, the answer is as follows.
In clinical depression the three major symptoms in thinking are hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness. These concepts dis-empower ones ability to act, hence, reaching for help becomes nigh impossible.
Powerlessness. A sense of having absolutely no ability to control anything that is happening. Not external circumstances, not their thinking, sometimes not even their ability to get out of a chair.
Hopelessness. How can you have hope when you have no power. How can you have hope when in your head all is dark, all is despair. Without hope folks we collapse. Over and over I have seen this and depression is a blackness that hides all light thus hides all hope. I think until hope is gone we don’t realize just what an integral part of our psyche it is.
Worthlessness. Why would you ask for help if you are convinced you are not worthy of anyone taking the time to help you?
Furthermore, young folk haven’t had the time to understand that ‘this too will change’.
So they sit in absolute agony, told by folk about crimes against god, feeling abnormal, feeling no one will understand them. They understand that their being ‘different’ wounds the very people they want to impress; i.e. their parents.
And on top of all that they are dealing with out-and-out abuse.
Suicide is a dreadful choice. Of that there is no doubt. But it is an even more dreadful statement about the way the community treats each other…be it via active prejudice or by taking no action.
So please understand.
When a person is feeling this way they can’t put up their hand for help. It is up to us to keep an eye out for those that are vulnerable. And it is up to us to create a community around us that is inclusive of all.