Posted by: Spacehamster74 | 09/21/2009

The Black Dog haunts the most unexpected people

I should disclose that I probably had depression during my teenage years, and I did seriously contemplate suicide at that point in my life. The only thing that dissuaded me from killing myself was an old adage from one of my favourite Star Trek characters Dr. McCoy: "It takes more guts to go on living, than to just give up and die.".

Looking back on it, I think my affliction stemmed from the same place as any other adolescent: A search for identity and for meaning in life. Not having any friends at all didn't help. I didn't even have a girlfriend because I thought I was so ugly and stupid. I've been dancing with the Black Dog throught most of my life, and it's only during the last few years that I've finally been able to resolve these issues. What's amazing is just how far I've come as a person once I was able to move past all those false assumptions I made about myself.

So it always surprises me when I discover who has been affected by depression. The last person I would've expected was Liberal Factional Warrior Andrew Robb

Robb showed his warrior qualities on Tuesday in a party room  battle
against hard-liners determined to lock the Coalition into opposing an
emissions trading scheme no matter what.

His speech was calm, reasoned and forceful. He gave Wilson Tuckey a whack. Colleagues were full of praise afterwards. What
they did not know was that, before he rose to speak, Robb's stomach was
churning and he was in a funk, thinking: “I can't do this.''

Later that day he went to see Turnbull and unburdened himself of a secret. This
strong, talented politician _ touted as a possible leadership
alternative to Turnbull in some newspapers just last month _ suffers
from a depressive illness.

One reason why I was never able to resolve my own problems until recently is due to my own family's perceptions that mental illness is a personal embarrassment rather than a genuine affliction that needed to be treated by Professionals.  So it's encouraging to see that even a leading Politician like Andrew Robb can admit that he needs help.

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