I read an article by Jeff Gissing this morning on MyBigJesus.com that was my favorite thing I’ve read since we heard that Robin Williams took his own life. It’s short, so no excuses not to read it. The idea is simple – depression sucks, and it isn’t our job to judge people who deal with it different ways. The last line, “let’s ask God to soften our hearts toward those who suffer.” really spoke to me. How often are we quick to make a judgment or an assumption about someone? How often to we make a generalization without knowing the facts?
I’m sure I know people who struggle with depression and don’t tell me. I’m sure there are people in my life who have battled it and battled it some more. In ignorance I’ve probably made a judgment I shouldn’t have; I am also to blame. Yes, there are meds for depression. No, they don’t work for every person in every situation. Yes, there are other ways to deal with it. No, those don’t always work either. But I also know that there are people willing to help. There are places you can go, people you can call, and One who always desires to help and be there for His children.
I will not say that there is a perfect cure, or that a solution can always be found. I know that isn’t the case. But I also know that if you aren’t looking for help, you will rarely find it. So take the first step. If you know someone who struggles with depression, or other mental illness, help them take the first step. I know that if someone I loved was struggling, I would want to help them. I would reach out and take the step for them, if possible.
So throw no stones, pass no judgment. It’s unfortunate that celebrities get the worst of our scrutiny simply because their lives are all over the media for us to see. But we don’t know the details, the length of the struggle, the depth of the depression. We can only offer to help fight the battle, and honor the lives of those whose battle is over.