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A lesson in understanding

August 28, 2014 - Linda Lobeck
Understanding, kindness and patience can go a long way when someone close to you is depressed or anxious. We may not really understand what that person is going through, but sometimes just being there to listen is all that needs to be done. With the loss of a celebrity like Robin Williams, the reality of what can happen when someone is depressed is once again news. It’s unfortunate that it takes this tragic outcome to make people aware of this devastating mental illness.

Getting the proper help is the most important thing you can do for someone you care about. It’s usually a combination of counseling and medications and can go a long way in helping that person lead a better life.

A lot of people I’ve met haven't been very understanding about someone that struggles with mental illness. They think someone depressed should try smiling and be more positive and then they can ‘snap out’ of their depression.

But that is not the case, and judging someone who has shared how they are feeling with you can be very devastating.

I’ve had family members and friends who have suffered from depression, and sometimes it’s not easy to understand why this is happening to them. If you’ve never been depressed, sometimes you can be quick to judge that person and give superficial advice on how they can be happier.

When someone chooses to end their own life rather than continue on it is a tragedy. If you know someone that suffers from depression, anxiety or any other mental illnesses, it’s important to be compassionate and understanding and help them to get the proper treatment.

Just because you can’t see their wounds doesn’t mean it’s not real and a struggle for them to get through every day.

In our area, we have the sixth annual Dickinson County Out of Darkness Community Walk for Suicide Prevention planned for Saturday, Sept. 6, at City Park in Iron Mountain.

This group is doing something positive by trying to raise awareness and prevent suicide. Tina Tappy and Carole Waitrovich are the contacts and can be reached by calling (906) 396-7819 or by e-mail at

Knowledge is power — and the more we know will help us to help others who are suffering from depression. By looking at Robin Williams in all of the movies and appearances he made during his career, you wouldn’t have known that he was suffering from depression. That’s why it’s so important to increase awareness and understanding about depression and prevent suicide.


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