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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Can't see the depression for the mustaches...

Depression is a bitch.

It's lonely, boring, dark and it hurts.

I have battled with it for as long as I can remember. Right now, I'm good as gold. That is always a fluid statement though.

I know I probably seem like the last person you'd find weekly in the fetal position on the bathroom floor at 3am crying hysterically into a pile of towels so not to wake the children. Well I am.

And I'm sure I'm not alone.

I'd like to have a short chat about depression and suicide. Not sexy topics I know. Uncomfortable for many. Too be honest I don't give a shit if it makes the vast majority of people uncomfortable. Enough is enough. I know people, high profile people who suffer from depression. I know everyone of you reading this now have had it effect your life in some form yet for most people it's still the big fat weeping elephant in the corner.

A young man killed himself last week in Prahran, I saw them covering his body on the tracks near Commercial road. You didn't hear about it because the media are not allowed to report on suicides as there are fears it may spark copycats and also it is obviously very distressing for the victims family. Sometimes I think the media should report on it as I think most people would be shocked at just how prevalent it has become. Suicide rates in Australia are ridiculously high, especially amongst young men.

On December 6th, 2008 a man very dear to me killed himself. He was the most talented, kind hearted, funny, humble and intelligent person in my life. He hid his depression from all of us, only those closest to him truly knew the depth of his pain. Ironically, Richard was a comedian. Having said that, I know quite a few male comedians and quite a few of them have battled with the black dog from time to time.
It was Richard's funeral that made me realise I needed tackle my own demons. If it could overpower someone as amazing as him, what hope did I have?

This month, many men have grown mustaches to show their support for mens health including male depression. While I absolutely support the idea behind Movember I just worry the absurd mustache is in danger of distracting from the REAL ISSUE they are trying to bring awareness to. I know a few blokes who have grown mustaches and when I enquired as to how I could donate I recieved a blank stare in response. They were just using Movember as an excuse to put porn star strips above their top lips because "everyone else was."

Statistics show that men are hit harder by depression than women as they are less likely to talk about it. Thats why the suicide rates are vastly higher among men than women. Movemeber is an awesome idea, but it's not enough. I know talking about depression and suicide is, well, depressing. It's not ideal dinner party conversation but maybe it should be.

I just ask that the next time you see a young man looking disturbingly like Adolph Hitler or a young Tom Selleck, spare a thought for WHY they look so ridiculous and ask them how you can donate.

If you are feeling shithouse, so bad it hurts to get out of bed. TELL SOMEONE. Tell me if you need to, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
beyondblue Information Line: 1300 22 46 36

Life line: 13 11 14
Mens Line Australia: 1300 78 99 78

Salvo Counselling Line: 1300 36 36 22

SANE Australia Helpline: 1800 18 

Everyone deserves their little bit of peace.

E x

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