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Chris Cornell? No! Not Another One

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We have just experienced another loss that is heartbreaking

How could this happen? How come no one saw this coming? Why is the biggest question?
People are all over the internet posting about the loss. Some are trying to make sense of it. Many don’t even want to acknowledge that is was a suicide. How could this Icon as depressed?

Why is that so hard to believe? If it was suicide, is it any different from any other person committing suicide? It is to some people. They saw him as a creative genius with a voice like no other. He had a beautiful wife and kids. Plenty of money. A beautiful home.  Why would he be depressed? He never looked depressed. Many with depression are brilliant at not exposing their inner feelings. They know ways to hide it. They can make the outside look almost perfect…even when it isn’t.

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There are people out there who you could call PHDP. Perfectly Hidden Depressed People. I personally, believe he could be one. Is that a bad thing? I have a feeling there are a few people out there reading this and getting defensive. Why? Does it make him less of an artist? Does it lesson his abilities to touch you with his songs and voice? I am so sick of the stigma out there about depression. The belief that they are weak. The belief that getting help is embarrassing. “I don’t want to take medication because it will change me.” “I don’t want to have to take pills for the rest of my life.” This is such bullshit. This is why I make the clothing I do. Putting it all out there and screw what others think. It isn’t a crutch. It’s a way to get back to you. This stigma makes them feel like they are a burden if they need help. Who wants to bring that into someone else’ life?  What if they decide this problem is so much work that they just need to get away from it. You get enough courage to put yourself out there and they leave. It doesn’t matter who you are, that can be heart breaking so they hide it. They push it down deep inside. The problem is that it will start to leak out and in ways that aren’t healthy.

Many substance abusers are self medicating. It can be drugs or alcohol but it aids them it dealing with that deep down feeling like you could be a burden. It isn’t always related to depression. It could be so many things. Usually, regardless of what it is, it hasn’t been dealt with. My youngest was always in trouble in elementary school. Screaming, out of control.I could tell at the beginning of the school year. The teachers would look at him like he is so cute. At Christmas I could see they hated him. They had no patience with him and he could see it too. He was failing everything. Imagine that. Everyday being punished, every one seeing you get in trouble in class, no one wanting to be your friend. You are failing, you are a failure. I just knew that the kid they were seeing wasn’t my kid. For fun I gave this son a ritalin. It blew my mind. I teared up. He was much calmer. He was able to focus and stop himself. I sent him to school with the ritalin. Overnight, everything changed. He became a straight A student. Now the teachers liked him although I could tell, he remembered when they didn’t. He started to have confidence. I went to the doctor’s so thrilled with the results. I talked about how mean and judgmental people could be. How could you put your child on medication? What are you doing? The doctor said to me, “You see that kid on medication. He is calm, loving and patient. That is who your son is. He is not the out of control, screaming boy. Ritalin did that. Imagine how much better he must feel and how it felt for him to be yelled out for years and be labeled a failure.” The comments never bothered me again.

Is medication the answer for everyone? No, I am sure it isn’t but how will we know if we continue to go along with society and make others feel like they will be ostracized if they need help. Life is hard, especially these days. Suicide can be prevented. There can be little clues to watch for in people. Just like autism, no one is the same but the hidden signs of depression have a few common traits. One that is definitely the case here could be that they usually are Uniquely Talented.They can express themselves in such amazing ways. They have such intense feelings and are able to express them artistically like no other. They are able to expose the good and the bad parts of the soul in such beautiful ways that you can feel it, physically. They can be very philosophic about life. What is their purpose? We all want to have a purpose. What should I be doing? What can I do to make me have more of a purpose? They want love and acceptance like everyone else but deep down the depression makes them feel like they don’t deserve it. They end up keeping quiet. You may notice that your talks and meet ups are pretty quick and consist of generic conversation. This is a way of not letting you see how they are feeling. They build a wall, like many of us do, to avoid getting hurt. They are afraid if you know the truth, you will think less of them.

The really shitty part is if they are depressed and they aren’t getting help, like many things in life, it will find ways to come out. A common go to would be alcohol, drugs, problems sleeping, not wanting to eat. No imagine if you are already dealing with all these hidden sad feelings inside and you work very hard to keep them under wraps. Throw no sleep and no eating into that mix. What do you think will happen? How they will feel?

They could lash out at others. When that happens there usually is some anxiety with that. They may start to have affairs, lose interest in having sex, just be tired all the time. You may notice that they are just a little less optimistic than they used to be. Their attitude is just slightly leaning towards being a little too realistic. This can go along with feeling guilty. This guilt does not make sense. It can be blown out of proportion and it can be about the silliest things, like being born. I know, how are you supposed to see these things? You have seen him happy and excited. They can have those times. Unfortunately once those moments are over they go right back to way they have been feeling all along. Over time, depression can and will get worse if it isn’t dealt with. Imagine how it would feel to achieve all the fame and adulation that Chris had. Everyone in a crowd cheering for him. Everyone telling him how fantastic he is, how talented he is. How much of a difference he has made in their life. Now imagine… coming out and telling others you are depressed and can’t shake it. You feel guilty because you think it sounds like you don’t appreciate everything you have (which is not true). Do you want to tell anyone and bring them down?

28th Annual Bridge School Benefit Concert - Day 2
There may be a time where the walls are down and they will say something that will show you that there is more going on inside. It may be subtle. When someone never talks about their feelings and thoughts, it’s real easy for us to blow them off because it isn’t how they usually are. That may be the time to pause, listen and hopefully encourage them to get help. If you are able to get through to them, help them make the appointment and then make sure they go to the appointment. A lot of times after going to sleep they can talk themselves out of it. Going to the appointment means they really are depressed, they really are not perfect, they are flawed and weak (to them). It’s a scary feeling to let our walls down especially in the world today where they put such negative connotations on mental health. As far as I’m concerned, we are all a little fucked up. We all have our moments. Why can’t we just put that shit out there and turn it into just another characteristic. If we continue to hide it, it just encourages others to. We are all just people, human and just for the record.. I take medication, my kids take medication and my dogs take medication too so feel free to judge away if you want. I really don’t fucking care.

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