This is a bit of a sensitive topic for me but not because it is something I don't want to talk about, the elephant in the room so to speak, but because there are so many preconceived prejudices and misinformation concerning depression, suicide and suicidal thoughts that it gets rather frustrating to hear things from people who have no personal experience regarding either. I have to say something on this topic however as there have been some really annoying and childish perceptions and comments recently towards depression but I'm doing it in my own area so as to not derail other topics. These are also based off my experiences and just to give a little insight to those who don't know.
I suppose the opening disclaimer should be that depression is a personal experience and it affects many people in many different ways and there is no "way" to "handle" somebody with depression. The way depression affects me is not necessarily how it affects other people, which sounds very obvious when you read it but you would be surprised at just how many people think depression is all the same and that we are all going through the same thing.
The first thing that should be universal when somebody you know has depression, or any illness or ailment of any kind, is to have empathy. So while it is true that it affects us all differently it's not a contradiction to say that you should empathise with all who suffer through this terrible curse. However I do not know if you can fully understand it without experiencing it yourself but that is a debate for another time. Understanding goes a long way and some of the childish comments I read that "people with depression can choose a positive way or a negative way to deal with it" or "well I have a half glass full outlook on life" really miss the mark on what it is to live with this. Having a "positive" or "negative" way to deal with it is just that: a way to deal with it. This is a life changing event that can ruin everything you cherish and love. It is not a case of failing to be positive or having a glass half full outlook on life, I find that the worst part of depression is the confusion it causes. If I don't have a full grasp on what it is I go through then I can't expect others too, and I don't, but hearing things like "it's just positive or negative" is outright offensive. I deal with it how I deal with it best and as a human I make many mistakes and I have to learn from that but now I have to make depression mistakes as well and deal with that too.
"Are you ok?"
"Do you want to talk?"
These are common questions asked of people who have depression, that while they are well intended, kind of miss the mark and when truthfully answered it is very rare for an average person to be able to relay back any appropriate advice. Yes, we would like to talk however most of us just want to talk normally without reference to depression. No we are not okay, but what now? You can be there for someone without needing to play the role of an amateur psychologist and just be a friend. I think that the mistake people make is that they want to use talking as time for asking questions about depression when the person does not want to talk about that for various reasons of their own choosing so instead they become distant and quiet and they begin to feel that nobody understands or can relate so the cycle goes on. This isn't true for everyone obviously but it's a recurring concern I've noticed among people in various support forums that feel as though all they want is to be seen as normal by their friends.
I also despise R U OK day too and it feels like what has noble intentions has just become another catchphrase that people say on social media one day of the year to get their good deed in for the day and gain some likes and retweets and whatever else is out there to feel good about themselves. Thank you, but I'm not okay and I've already had a look at beyondblue so you can find your karma elsewhere away from me.
I don't really know where to begin describing exactly my own experience and battles with depression but I do know why they call it battle; because it you think you have defeated it at one time and after a period of time of feeling good it will then return, often harsher than before, and the battle continues. It's my personal opinion that it cannot be cured but it can only be adequately managed by either being dope up to the eyeballs on pharmaceutical drugs and becoming a dependent zombie-pawn for billion dollar corporations or you can find enough distractions to occupy your mind with. I don't have enough distractions and I'm certainly not going to be a zombie-pawn for a pharmaceutical company so I'm kind of fucked.
I'm pro-suicide and I'm not afraid to admit it but I will keep this part brief. I didn't ask to be born, that I'm aware of, but I certainly am in control of it. I don't see why people should have to suffer in various ways just to appease those around them who usually have no clue about the struggles that they go through, through either no fault of their own or just an inability to pick up on the signs. I've seriously attempted before and I will again but my own moral judgement on the act leaves me with no remorse for those that I will "leave behind" and I feel that if anybody actually does love and care for me, which they don't, then they would understand the choice I came to.
I find that attempting suicide can often be a spur of the moment decision taken when our minds are racing at a million miles an hour and so the attempt at suicide is often rushed and not done correctly which sees us with far more failed attempts than successful ones. I would like to see the ability for anybody of an adult age who is able to make informed and conscious decisions about their life able to choose to end their life legally in a safe and controlled environment as well those who are terminally ill and at a certain age who feel there is no point in continuing. It's not a popular opinion but it's something I feel strongly about and perhaps we would actually see a reduction in attempted suicides with the knowledge that a certain death is accessible and those with any doubt at all can back out of their plans but those who are determined can safely go through with that.
I don't know if any of this makes sense and it probably doesn't but oh well.