Robin Williams passed away yesterday. Underneath the 30+ years of film and television roles was a man who hid his demons well.
I know what it is like to have those same demons. They are what Sally Brampton refers to in her 2009 memoir, Shoot The Dam Dog as “The Throat Monster”.
The Throat Monster is insidious. It does not stay on your throat for long. It wraps itself around your mind and your consciousness. It tells you everything you’ve ever done wrong. It constantly repeats that you are alone in the world, that there is no reason to wake up in the morning.
You may have it all. Supportive family and friends, a solid career, maybe even your children that you adore and would do anything for. But you still feel like there is nothing to live for.
I have lived with depression for years. I look in the mirror every day and I see the stranglehold that the depression has on me.
I know that I am not alone in my feelings. If you feel the way that I do, get help. Not just for you and your loved ones, but for the rest of us. If you can get help and find the joy in life, then maybe the rest of us can.
The number of people who suffer from depression is in the millions. Depression does not know sex, race, creed or religion. Many sufferers feel ashamed and try to keep it to themselves.
Sally Brampton, a former writer and editor of several well known fashion magazines, is one of these people. She bravely bares her soul in her 2009 book, Shoot The Dam Dog. Unlike many of us who choose to keep our depression hidden, Sally keeps nothing hidden in her fight with this debilitating disease.
She describes in great detail her childhood, her present life up to the publishing of the book. She speaks of the many forms of therapy from the basic talk therapy and anti-depressants to the more severe hospitalization and shock therapies. Her research is not only based on personal experience, but also studies done by doctors and universities about depression and the many methods of treatment that exist.
What hooked me was the end of the second chapter. Ms. Brampton speaks of the good things in her life. Her successful career , her family, her boyfriend. She has it all, but is depressed. We live completely different lives, but I understand her. I know what it is like to have everything, but to feel like you have nothing.
I highly recommend this book, especially if the reader or someone the reader knows is suffering from depression. It may just start them on the road to recovery.