Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


‘He Was Ill’

posted by Beyond Blue

“One only needs to have a family member or friend with a mental illness to understand that there is nothing rational, predictable, or fair about these diseases…. He was not down or blue, he was ill.”

That statement was just released by the family of comedian Richard Jeni regarding the actor’s suicide last Saturday.

Today the family of Brad Delp, the lead singer for the band “Boston,” confirmed that his death was also a suicide.

“He was a man who gave all he had to give to everyone around him, whether family, friends, fans or strangers,” the family said. “He gave as long as he could, as best as he could, and he was very tired. We take comfort in knowing that he is now, at last, at peace.”

Whenever I hear such loving and poignant statements about someone who has taken his or her own life, I think about William Styron’s words: “The pain of severe depression is quite unimaginable to those who have not suffered it. To the tragic legion who are compelled to destroy themselves there should be no more reproof attached than to the victims of terminal cancer.”

The eminent novelist of “Sophie’s Choice” and “Confessions of Nat Turner” penned his memoir, “Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness,” as a response to the public’s reaction to the suicide of Primo Levi, the Italian-Jewish writer and chemist who had survived the Holocaust. The scholars who admired Levi wondered how he could have endured years of torture by the Nazis yet break under depression.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve paged through Styron’s book to validate my own pain and anxiety, to know I’m not exaggerating or making it up as some friends and family members (and all insurance companies) would like to believe. Just as seasoned parents say “You wait!” to the pregnant lady in front of them at the checkout line, a person can’t begin to appreciate the harrowing darkness of depression unless she’s been there.

And so to the families of these sad tragedies, I extend my love and support. I pray that Richard and Brad have found their peace, and I pray that you might find strength and comfort in knowing that so many of us depressives join you in your sadness, in your grief, and in your fight for this cause.



  • http://www.myway.com Patricia E. White

    It is unfortunate that, there is much mental illness and depression in our world. People are afraid of being percieved by others of the labeling of being different, and not perfect. As parents many are in denial of their children or themselves as being depressed, or having a mental illness. The only perfect person, s “GOD”. The bible says judge not, and be not judged. If people would just accept the fact that we are all different in many ways, and to accept people as human beings. GOD LOVES ALL OF US UNCONDITIONALLY. WHY CAN’T PEOPLE EXCEPT THAT IF WE LIVED IN A WORLD OF PERFECTIONIST,”WHAT WOULD OUR WORLD BE LIKE TODAY?”

  • http://HASH(0xcf0d07c) anon

    I went through depression for just a little over a year..It generated from the loss of my spouse. I’m not fully understanding of “depression” but I believe that clinical depression is rather different from the type I suffered. It’s a horrible cross to bear and I sympathize with anyone that has to deal with it daily.The tragic thing is the pain that it incurs to send people spiraling downward and over the edge to commit such horrendous acts like suicide. It scares me as I know of someone who has this illness and I constantly worry about them. It seems that this has been tried before and therefore who knows if they’d try it again. I just hurt so much inside for the extreme emotional pain that is experienced for these people and not being able to help..Prayer is certainly a good thing but they need more than that. They need someone to care and love them, really, deeply care for them and be by their side to let them know that they are worth so much and more. Further words won’t come right now as just this has upset me so that I can’t concentrate on what to say…God help us all…..

  • http://HASH(0xcf0dc04) Annette

    I will keep their family & friends in my prayers. I can relate as I have battled depression for 15+ years now. It is not something that I share with everyone as people tend to not fully understand and make wise cracks about it. Having not wanted to be alive for more years than I wish to share, I thank God for continuing to give me the strength to not give in. So, I take it day by day keep praying hard. When things like this happen, I just wish that they could have called someone, anyone, to cry for help. Sometimes it is easier to talk to perfect strangers than friends & family. For me personally, I do not want to burden friends & family as everyone has their own obstacles to deal with. But I know, if it came down to it, and I was at the edge, they would welcome my call and come to the rescue. Thank the good Lord above, that has not happened. Hopefully the unfortunate circumstances of these two wonderfully talented individuals will educate more people about depression and they will take it more seriously and not make comments about something far deeper and darker than they can ever imagine.

  • http://HASH(0xcf0ee24) Suzanne

    Thanks, Therese, for such an outpouring of love for the families of these two talented men who felt the only answer was to end their own lives. I have a very good friend who suffers from clinical depression (among other diagnoses), and we talked about his previous attempts. I tried to put in words what he must be feeling; it’s as if the Devil (or some dark force, like depression) gets in a depressive’s head and it’s almost a compulsion to end their lives. It’s like “I have to kill myself to heal myself.” If this compulsion is not nipped in the bud, then there will be an attempt – and sometimes, like these two men – they succeed. My friend uses medicinal marijuana to get him over the suicidal thoughts; for him, it works. I’ve known him through several “dark moments of the soul,” and after he “hibernates” for a couple days, he comes out of it a stronger individual. But – he will never be “cured.” As mentioned earlier, it IS an illness. Reaching out to family and friends is ALWAYS helpful; but I understand why Annette wouldn’t want to “burden” her family with her “problems.” But, believe me, Annette, they’d rather sit down and talk with you alive, than bury you. I guess all I really wanted to say is the families of these two men – and all depressives – have my prayers and are in my thoughts. God Bless.

  • http://HASH(0xcf0fc50) kris

    Annett You took my feelings and situation and put them to paper. Especially not wanting to burden family and friends. Yes i’m seeing a therapist and taking meds and I still don’t care. Like you I just keep going. It is good to know i’m not the only one. Thank you kris

  • http://www.myspace.com/19jimh75 Jim Howley

    My name is Jim and I was born biologically female but never felt like a female. I am transgender and I have tried to kill myself over more than 10 times…pills, carbon monoxide, intentional car crashes…but today I realize I have something to do in this world and that is why I am alive and typing this. I was put on this earth to teach people about what some Native American tribes call the “Two Spirit”. People like myself have been revered throughout the ages in native cultures where it is said we have the ability to walk in both worlds…we were made shamans, healers and medicine men of tribes…we were above all respected. Unlike western culture that by and large deems people like myself outcasts. I urge you if you have an inkling of curiosity to view my MYSPACE page…it explains everything…and feel free to add me as a friend…one can never have enough of those. Peace, Jim

  • http://Noname No name

    I’ve been dealing with depression since I was a young child. I was abused repeatedly for “not being normal”, as are considered my siblings. I went to differnt grade schools as not to enbarass them.I was abused in school for being “different” and ended up in a mariage from hell that lasted for 13 years. I couldn’t go to the local woman’s shelter because he worked there!I’m still battling my depression, years later, and finding it difficult, if not impossible to find help. I have Epilepsy on top of the depression. Anti-convulsants cause depression – Anti-depressants cause seizures. Nobody seems to know what to do with me….Public help? My last therapist (a nun) told me that “it was my purpose in life to suffer”. I don’t buy that for a second!My family shuns me (I apparently embarass them) as did most of my friends when I had a breakdown some years ago.I don’t know where to go from here. Any Suggestions?

  • http://HASH(0xcf1242c) Chris

    Dear No-Name- I would go to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. It’s a place to start. I’m not sure what kind of treatment they have for your problem, but they can suggest somewhere if they can’t handle it. They have the brightest and newest young doctors’ in the country. It’s a world-reknown facility. I’ve had family members go there b-cuz they didn’t know what to do and the local doctor’s just don’t have what they have there. My prayers are with you, my friend. I, too, have depression. I didn’t know I had it ’til 17+ years ago. Then it got really bad after a non-successful back surgery, which left me disabled. It’s an uphill climb–and sometimes you slip and fall, but by God’s Grace, you get back up and try again. My Faith has kept me going. I pray that you keep Hope in your heart and mind, and that you may find the Peace that only God can give…. Chris*

  • http://HASH(0xcf1355c) katy

    This is a very enlightening blog. As someone who has dealt with depression and anxiety for the better part of 30 years, I say that there may not be a cure but you can get ‘better’. My advice is to read all the information you can get your hands on from the neuroscience in the brain of persons with this illness to the thoughts on meditation and medication…in short everything. For now I seem to have found the right combination of medication and lifestyle to avoid suicidal thoughts, somewhat. Keep searching. Killing yourself is not as easy as one might think. Believe it or not, your survival instinct is stronger than your self-destruction. Much as mental illness convinces us that we’d be better off dead our inherent natural instinct is to stay alive,so try the best you can to accept that and go on. I view mental illness as a societal norm. I prefer to think of myself as gifted and eccentric. Makes me feel better.

  • http://HASH(0xcf13dbc) Tessa

    To everyone who has wrote, I am a wife of someone who has depression as well as panic attacks and anxiety attacks which I have not figured out which one is worse. He has been without a job now for over a year and a half and it keeps getting worse the longer it is for him to be without a job. He has been on so many medicines that I am not sure there are any out there that can help him any more. I am sure there is some out there that can help but they all have so many side effects that he doesn’t like that eventually he takes himself off the meds and then we are back to square one. I my self have tried to not yell at him or treat him like a baby, and try to help him out the best way I know how. I have family memebers thta don’t understand fully and I try to make excuses for him but I guess realy I don’t fully understand it either. All I know is I have to be there for him and try to be as supportive as I can be while he is trying to work this out. It just makes it hard to pay bills when we only have one income and have 4 kids and a grandbaby and one on the way all living at home. He has tried to get disabiltiy and has been denied twice in the last 15 years. I love my husband of 18 years and I will always be there for him no matter what I just hope and pray that one day there will be a med that he will like and that works and he doesn’t take himself off of it so it will have a long lasting effects on him so he can get on with his life. My prays to everyone out there that knows someone or is someone that suffers from any kind of mental illness cause you don’t see the mental illness as you would see a broke leg or something like that. It is a really hard illness to deal with and to dignose. Good luck to everyone and GOD bless. Tessa

  • http://HASH(0xcf140bc) HASH(0xcf13ff0)

    My 20 year old son has suffered from severe anxiety and depression since his early teens. He has been off and on many medications, most of which he stops taking because they aren’t helping and the side effects are bad. He’s also had many therapist, and just started with a new one. I (and my son) are estranged from many members of my family due to their judgement and condemnation of him. If there is only one thing you do if you know someone who suffers from a mental illness, please, be compassionate, even if you don’t understand. To judge and condemn what you don’t understand doesn’t heal, it doesn’t “kick start” someone or “wake them up” or whatever else you may think it will do to “change” the person; it only compounds the problems.

  • http://HASH(0xcf14f44) HASH(0xcf14e9c)

    As someone else wrote above, I was diagnosed the first time when I was 12 years old, with major depressive disorder/suicidal ideation. Over the course of many, many years, the diagnoses changed, or didn’t. I ended up on a psychiatric disability in 1994, with major depression/si, panic and anxiety disorder, ptsd, and a few others I can’t remember. I am not able to take anti-depressants; my reactions to all of them have left me in emergency rooms, etc.; my allergies and resistance to most pharmaceuticals is extreme. I’m now 55. I continue to learn coping skills, more ways of dealing with these “conditions,” and I suppose the good news is, I haven’t attempted suicide in some 25 years. My heart goes out to all of you, whether the diagnosis concerns you or someone you love. It is a hellish road. I do not believe for a second that it is “my lot to suffer,” though I’ve also heard that one. I don’t know what I believe any longer, except that there must be some reason I’m still here. Perhaps one day I’ll know what it is. Peace and blessings.

  • http://HASH(0xcf16734) LISA

    I HAVE FOUND THESE BLOGS RATHER COMFORTING, BELIEVE IT OR NOT. I HAVE SUFFERED WITH DEPRESSION FOR ALMOST 50 YRS. I NOW HAVE 2 ADULT SONS, ONE WITH SEVERE ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION, AND ONE WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER. THEY HAVE BEEN DOING THE DRUG SCRAMBBLE FOR ABOUT 7 YEARS. BIPOLAR CHRIS IS FINALLY ABLE TO FUNCTION IN COLLEGE, BUT THE OTHER ONE IS STILL STRUGGLING. THEY ARE BOTH IN COLLEGE AND HAVE HAD TO WITHDRAW AND START OVER MANY TIMES. AS A MOTHER OF THESE FINE MEN, I AM CONSTANTLY CONCERNED BUT PRAYER HAS SURELY TAKEN MUCH OF THE WORRY AWAY. LIKE THE OTHERS POSTING HERE, I HAVE HAD TO LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE MOST PEOPLE THINK YOU CAN “SNAP OUT” OF DEPRESSION. EVEN AS MY FAMILY HAS DEALT WITH THIS, MY EXTENDED FAMILY HAD NO CLUE AS TO THE PAIN WE BEAR. ONLY AFTER I HAVE REPEATEDLY EXPLAINED HOW AND WHAT WE WERE FEELING DID THEY FINALLY REALIZE THE EXTENT. I HAD WONDERED FOR YEARS WHY GOD ALLOWED ME TO SUFFER SO, I EVEN ENDURED CANCER BETTER THAN DEPRESSION. NOW I REALIZE THAT I AM THE PILLAR OF HOPE AND UNDERSTANDING FOR MY BOYS. IT IS WONDERFUL THAT MENTAL ILLNESS IS NOW BEING ADDRESSED. THERE IS ALOT OF INFORMATION AND EDUCATION ABOUT IT OUT THERE. I FIND TELLING THE “NORMAL” PEOPLE ABOUT IT HELPS THEM TO UNDERSTAND IT BETTER. MOSTLY I TRY TO MAKE THEM REALIZE THAT THEY WILL NEVER TRUELY UNDERSTAND IT UNLESS THEY EXPERIENCE IT, BUT TO TRY TO ACCEPT IT AS AN ILLNESS AND HELP THEIR FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES.

  • http://HASH(0xcf0bc74) Nina

    I was diagnosed 13 years ago with severe depression and manic tendacies. They now call it bi-polar. The first 4 years were the worse. I am now on the right combination of medicines. If it were not for the support of my family, I’m not sure I would be here today. The meds make it so I can push that weight out of my way (at least for awhile). I will say a prayer for those whose bodies are rejecting the medicins. May the Lord give you the strength to keep pushing forward. Also for the families who love us and help us through each day. God Bless

  • http://HASH(0xcf177b4) Diane

    Therese, thank you, for this article. I too believe Richard Jeni and Brad Delp are at peace, now. God understands. I suffer from depression and other mental illnesses. Often I am hanging on by a thread. After reading your article, I know there are people out there who understand the devastation of Depression and other mental illnesses. Thank you,

  • http://HASH(0xcf18ec4) Teresa

    To Tessa, please get a disability lawyer who handles cases like your husbands. They dont get paid if they cannot get him disability. My friend used a lawyer and it worked after being rejected twice. I suffer from major depression myself and sometimes I do not understand how I can continue. I open my eyes in the morning and all I see is gray. But with the help of prayer and the ongoing awareness of how it would hurt my family, I simply do it “one day at a time”. The poor men who took their lives had reached the end of their strength to do this, and hopefully, they are at rest now.

  • http://HASH(0xcf191e8) Carol

    I cannot tell you how glad I am that I came across this. I am 60 years old now and have spent most of my life in the “DEEP DARK HOLE”. I finally found someone that has been able to help me. They finally decided that I am bipolar and found the correct medication. All of you please keep your faith in God , He will help you. I still don’t know why I am here but at least I am not planing a way to leave.

  • http://HASH(0xcf1a1b0) ilene

    William Styron’s words: “The pain of severe depression is quite unimaginable to those who have not suffered it. To the tragic legion who are compelled to destroy themselves there should be no more reproof attached than to the victims of terminal cancer.” really touched me… to read that helped me relize that other people have experienced the same feelings i have but couldn’t explain!!! i’m now on meds for as long as they last… i know how hard it is to understand, as my husband is bi-polar & refuses medication.. even with my past it is still difficult to know how to deal with his problems. Many people over the last 27yrs don’t understand why i don’t leave him(sometimes i’m not sure myself). it appears to be inherited because my mom was sick & so was his uncle. for this reason we purposely didn’t have any children. We just keep reminding ourselves that WE ARE SURVIVORS!! and take 1 day at a time. some good some bad. the meds help but don’t completely reduce the suicidal thoughts. i guess i’m just trying to escape from the pain of the illness!!!knowing even that helps a little, that it the illness & not me. thank you for letting me share these feelings(i have to laugh here it reminds me of my codependents anomomys days) laughter really does help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://HASH(0xcf1b230) Joyce

    I finally was diagnosised with bipolar and schizoaffective, personality disorder , obsessive compulsive disorder. I have a lot of mixed emotions right now. The past week and a half have been in a depression. But the logical side of me says to cheer up, but something is dragging me down. Negative thoughts keep coming up and I can’t seem to keep the positive for very long. The doc says we are going to keep the meds the way they are and I feel the need for more of something or maybe less of something. I’m not getting much done on a day to day basis. I’ve been journeling but even that doesn[‘t help much. I was very ill this last time I lost weight severely, anorexic and almost died they threatened me with tube feeding if i didn’[t start eating and i’m eating now even tho alot of the time now i’m not hungry.. I feel like no one knows how I feel and I’m doing ;my best to be happy. It’s just not happening.

  • http://HASH(0xcf1c1a8) Ibolya

    I have been bi-polar for more years than I care to remember. My parents were and from what they tell me, so were theirs. After 15 years I’m medicated. Suicidal, I don’t think that ever leaves if you are prone. What keeps me here? My husband does not deserve to find me that way. I take myself off medication regularly…just to see if I am still “sick.” I have had people back away from me. I have had the “snap out of it, you are just looking for attention.” My husband and daughter hauled me back from walking onto a highway in NC. I could not understand why they wanted to save me. I just wanted the pain to stop. In my manic phase I have gardened from 6:00am to 12:00am seven days a week for four months. In my down phase I didn’t have the strength to put stuff in the washer or hide the crying marathons. I am a writer and one day a friend said, put it on paper. I did. It is my sanity. I feel my depression is the gift, not the writing. I can show others what we feel, what the symptoms are, where and how to get information and help. Now God and I have a book in print, poetry about my struggle with the disease. I try to educate and have. We suffer. We find comfort from others who are like us. We are more of a threat to ourselves than others. It took me years to convince my husband he had were depression. The hardest thing to remember when you can’t get any more bottom than you are is, your brain chemicals are off. I asked my Dr. if she was bi-polar or depressive. She said it was none of my business. The …. it isn’t! All the book smarts, tests, hours of lectures and your vacations to detox will never let you know what it is like where we go all because of brain malfunctioning. Or having your family call you every 10 min. on a suicide watch. My husband keeps the trigger guard on the guns locked. He hasn’t figured out how I can cook without large kitchen knives, though. WE NEED TO EDUCATE THE REST. If we make one, just one understand… My Dr. learned a lot about bi-polars she never learned in school. May we all find the peace we seek and the help we need.

  • http://HASH(0xcf1ce7c) Jazzmax

    Suicide is a temporary insanity–when everything inside yourself turns upside down in an emotional bend of which you have no control. People do not realize it’s power or how it hits,or the signs that it is coming. It slips slowly into your life without you realizing what is happening..down a little, and a little more, and so on. You adjust as if it is pro quo—not realizing that it’s not.I have battled with depression on and off a lot of my life…and I have spent many years strong and thankful and joyful. This has given me a perspective. I have come to know depression and how it affects me very well. When I start to have symptoms I see a Doctor. After years of strenth and positive emotional being I developed PMMD. The depression from that almost killed me suddenly! There’s not a lot of warning in the days preceeding your period!

Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild wind can rage through your life leaving you much like the

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate measures to control a mood disorder, that faithfulness

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from the drama queen at the water cooler). Why? Because we

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a third, stuff her full of refined sugar and processed f

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer is difficult? What if, instead, everything looks dark,

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.