Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Laugh Can Hide A Lot

Courtesy of Tumblr
They say "Laughter is the best medicine."  And in some ways, I believe that.  I notice when I force myself to smile more that it becomes contagious.  That people return the smile.  That a day spent with laughter is a day not wasted.  But as I've mentioned before, struggling with depression or any mental illness can make smiles hard to come by.

Robin Williams' death, like most celebrity deaths, shocked people.  But one of the reasons it is even more shocking is not because of drugs or anything like that, but that this man who brought so much humor to the world, apparently killed himself.  Laughter can brighten your day, but it can also be a mask.

Mental illness is not something that can be seen or touched, but only felt by the person who deals with it.  Sure you can see the outward signs, but when someone is happy-go-lucky and smiling all the time, you never know what is really going on inside their head.  That's why depression and anxiety and other mental illnesses are so terrifying and dangerous.  Because people suffer in silence.  Because we can't tell from the outside that people need help until it is usually too late.

I suffered in silence.  I tried to kill myself secretly.  Because I didn't know what to tell people or what to say, or how to deal with the onslaught of judgment for the fact that I was a kid dealing with those kinds of feelings.  Mental illness doesn't pick and choose; it doesn't have a preference for men or women, adult or children.  Mental illness will take anyone.

So please, if you need to, ask for help.  There are people in the world who want only to help bear your burden.  You're not alone, as much as it may feel that way.  Don't feel the need to hide behind a mask.  Please seek help.  Whether you believe it or not, the world would be a dimmer place without you.

You can call a national hotline or find a more local one here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Depression is so painful. ..