Warning: This article contains discussion of depression and suicide which some readers may find triggering and upsetting.
Like a heavy punch to the gut that leaves me wheezing, every time I hear about a wasted life in the news through suicide, it brings back my own dreadful experiences with depression roaring back with an intense agony, ripping apart old wounds as if they had just been inflicted.
A statement regarding the death of Hollywood actor Verne Troyer at the tragically young age of 49, referred heavily to depression and suicide and to struggles that the star had overcome numerous times but had been unable to win against this time. No cause of death has been officially confirmed but the statement makes it clear that Verne had many demons.
It has always been my experience with mental health issues – and that of many others, I can only imagine – that it lies dormant during good times, just waiting to pounce on you unawares. Even during the highs of life, those blighted by depression, anxiety and many other conditions always have it as a part of them.
A great many of us survive it – albeit with a great struggle – but for many men and women, the impact on the mind and the arduous battles we face in life can prove too much. Suicide is statistically the biggest killer of men in the UK – men of all backgrounds with all kinds of jobs, histories, riches and more.
I still remember with a chilling foreboding, the grip on my stomach when the blackness of depression overcame me. For the first time in my life, I write to a forum and audience of potentially millions that I have made two attempts on my own life. And I have considered suicide a third time, only to be pulled back from the brink by the thought of never again seeing those I love.
It’s not something that I talk about at all and I believe that it is something that would surprise people who know me. And it’s very important to acknowledge that anyone can be affected by depression. I like to think of myself as friendly, I like to make light of every situation and I hate confrontation. As someone who suffers with anxiety and social anxiety, getting into an argument with someone – even on social media or email – leaves me quite unwell.
– Duncan Lindsay
Image source – Flickr.com