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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Depression is not a life choice, it is an illness

Can we now address this very serious issue?

Yesterday, the world lost the greatest comedian ever to walk the face of this earth.  The man was a charming man, he was a humanitarian, and a talent to be sure.  His presence filled the room he was in with joy, yet he died alone.

He suffered.

He suffered from depression and drug addiction.  His drug addiction was likely caused by self-medicating for depression.  He was open about his problems, yet he suffered in silence.

He will be missed.

Maybe as a society, we can now address the disease of depression - before it takes another precious life.

We have money to send to foreign countries; we send aid all over the world - it's a wonderful thing.  We should help one another; it's the right thing to do.  But maybe we need to take a step back and help our own sick, our own hungry, our own homeless.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in Americans.  The most recent statistics state that there were 39,518 suicides reported in 2011 or one person every 13.3 minutes, this according to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  According to a 2010 fact sheet by The American Association of Suicidology released in 2012, "Major depression is the psychiatric diagnosis most commonly associated with suicide."  Our veterans account for 20% of American suicides, with those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan having suicide rates four times higher than other veterans (Face The Facts USA),

Depression is not a life choice, it is an illness.  Until we as a society recognize this fact, this illness will continue to claim thousands of our loved ones each year.