Like most of you reading this blog, I woke up to probably the most upsetting entertainment news I can remember. After being found in his Northern California residence on August 11th, 2014, Robin Williams was pronounced dead by asphyxiation, almost certainly done by his own hand. CNN published an appropriately titled article that I think perfectly reflects our sentiments, “Robin Williams can’t be dead.” Depression is unfortunately a feeling we all feel at one time or another to varying degrees. Sometimes the result of a present or past mistake, a series of unavoidable events, an addiction or even mental illness, it is a feeling I think we have all felt, and therefore can at least partially personally sympathize with those who suffer greatly from it. Also unfortunate is the fact that depression so often proceeds and follows domestic relations matters. This writer is not an expert on depression, but will attempt to provide in this short article some common signs, symptoms, and resources for those out there who feel so totally alone.
We do not act ourselves when we are depressed or upset. We act irrationally, and do things that actually prolong and magnify our pain. Following are some common signs of depression provided by HELPGUIDE.ORG.
- not sleeping or sleeping too much
- an inability to concentrate or finding that previously easy tasks are now difficult
- a feeling of hopelessness or helplessness
- an inability to control negative thoughts
- lost appetite or the inability to stop eating
- greatly increased irritability, short-temper, and/or increased aggression
- greater consumption of alcohol than normal or engaging in other reckless behavior
- thoughts that life is not worth living
If you experience any or all of these symptoms, especially the last, it is important to utilize some of the resources available to help you.
The title of this blog is “You are Not Alone” because that is indeed the case. Nationally, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance provides a free 24-hour hotline (1-800-273-TALK (8255)) manned by experienced and knowledgeable counselors that can help in the event of depression. More locally, the Crisis Care Center in Cincinnati also provides support around the clock (513-281-CARE(2273)). If you are hurting, and especially if you have considered hurting yourself or others, please utilize one of these resources. They are all completely anonymous.
Depression springs from a myriad of sources, and as previously mentioned, the nature of domestic relations disputes frequently makes our business result in depression. In our area of the law, people’s families as they know them end, their finances are sometimes strained, relationships change greatly, and there is sometimes great uncertainty. Domestic relations matters can also make it more likely for an abuser to level abuse against their victim(s). While there may not be anything to be done about broken hearts and strained resources, the people at the numbers above can help you cope with the changes happening in your life, and even help you find safety if home no longer proves safe.
The loss of one of the world’s great entertainers prompted us to write this article, and the problem is not self-contained on the West Coast. A large segment of our country suffers from depression daily. While depression may seem like such a personal cross to bear, it is not something you have to deal with alone. Even when you have friends and family that can help, sometimes it is helpful to talk to a new neutral voice that has no stake in you other than hopes to heal. I hope this article has been helpful to those who may be suffering, and at least one additional asset for the rest of us praying for those suffering.