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    Posted August 13, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    In Memoriam

    The silence of depression

    Robin William's death has affected me like that of no other celebrity. I enjoyed his movies immensely, and grew up watching him. But I don't think that's why. I actually had the opportunity to work with him once, but I don't think that's why either. I think it's because this was the final straw in my frustration with the stigma associated with depression.

    I've been on medication for depression for 15 years. It's something I've always kept as private as possible, and only shared on a need-to-know basis. There are exactly 4 people who know. But 1 in 7 people are afflicted by depression. I have just over 200 friends on facebook. That means that FOURTEEN of them have dealt with depression. And I couldn't tell you who a single one of them is. Why is it such a silent disease? I wish I could answer that. I'm not even brave enough to post this on my facebook page or share with my name.

    One of my closest friends and I were talking just after the news of Robin's death broke. While she expressed sadness that such a great talent had taken her life, she followed that with, "but he had been depressed for a long time." Almost as an excuse for suicide. Well, I've been depressed for a long time. This was coming from one of the few people who knew that. Someone who had supported me tremendously during my bad periods. Someone who I respect personally and professionally. But she doesn't get it. And I don't blame her. We're not educated to get it.

    Why is it not more like cancer? Why don't we know the symptoms, know the risk factors, know how to deal with it? I don't know those answers. I just wish that it would become more acceptable to discuss publicly. Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to share my experience with depression with my friends and family. I look forward to the day when that doesn't terrify me.
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