Yesterday, August 11, 2014, a bright light in the world went out. Robin Williams has left us. I have been bombarding my social networking sites with posts and decided that maybe I need a bigger space to share how this amazing man’s death has affected me.
I read that 1 in 10 people suffer from depression. While we’re not sure what the exact thought was that caused Mr. Williams to take his own life, many media outlets say he was “battling depression for decades.” Wow. Decades!
I am not prone to depression, but I am prone to addiction.
severe despondency and dejection, typically felt over a period of time and accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.
a condition of mental disturbance characterized by depression to a greater degree than seems warranted by the external circumstances, typically with lack of energy and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life.
the act of lowering something or pressing something down.
The “act of pressing something down” struck me. Many times our culture does this “pressing down” without us seeing it at first. We have an idea, or a way of being. We create a certain way, we say a certain thing. But if it doesn’t fit right, or look good/healthy/positive, then it can be depressed. It can be pressed down so low that the person feeling it can’t breathe anymore. Figuratively and literally.
What can we do to actively not participate in pressing down ourselves or someone else?
We can find our people, we can talk to a therapist, we can boldly act, create, say, and share. We can start to create the type of culture that doesn’t depress or oppress. We can lift up, we can support, we can encourage.