Depression is Not Front Page News (Depression Help)

Learn how I beat Depression

I published a front page story in my newspaper one time with the attention grabbing headline ‘My Best Friend Died in My Arms,’ it was an interview with a homeless woman who out of her mind with pain and drink was shouting her head off by the square in the large town where I worked. There were a fair amount of people busying about the place, it was just before the recession had started to bite and there were still cars on the road making shopping trips, there were still people walking home from their jobs.

I was the only one who stopped, sure I was a journalist and there seemed to be something up, always the possibility that there is something of news worthy nature when there are tears involved. I sent her home in a taxi and with food for her cats (I say home, but she used to clean herself in the toilets of local bars) with copy that would bring tears to the eyes, it was a good story and one that I’m proud of.

There was information from that interview that I never printed in spite of getting it substantiated. I am neither proud nor ashamed of myself for not bringing it to print. It was just too harrowing, too unbelievably full of doom and despair, and I always prided myself on being the type of journalist who didn’t profit from the doom of others (This story was an exception.) She told me of her friends who had done away with themselves in the local homeless shelter. There were more than 90 deaths in only 15 years as a result of suicide in that shelter, none of which ever made it to print.

Depression help for these people was there, they were in the system, granted they had fallen through the rungs of normal society’s way of living, but they were in a net of sorts. She told me of the horror of walking in on her friend hanging there, a guy who had toyed with drugs, a guy who had chased highs and when the lows came he just couldn’t handle them. She told of others who had merely drunk themselves to death, isn’t that in itself a cry for help, a cry for depression help? She told of her own struggles and through the tears I could see that her days were depressed in a haze of booze and gray as a cloudy day.

I went on and I left her off to her terrible life, checking out the numbers of people who had died in that shelter through a number of non official sources on the street I kept. There were other harrowing tales. There were other people who had been touched by the loss of life in an irreparable way. It is at pains that I have attempted to build a shield around my heart, to stop the ordeals of the people I would interview from ever getting to me, and inciting me to feel the pain they felt.

In many ways it worked and I am ‘stronger’ as a result. Where is the strength though in becoming hardened and emotionally dysfunctional, unable to feel anything really. Speaking so much of pride, should I feel pride in this ability, should I consider myself proud to be able to block out the death, the pain, the heart ache. Tough talk, tough copy tough words that should have been right up there in the left hand column of page 2 if not on the front itself, but too concerned with the formula for news that dictates a car crash should be considered more newsworthy than the loss of life by other means.

Depression in the media is a tough cookie, it is hard to decide the right thing to do, do you publish in order to highlight, or do just incite other people’s misery by publishing. I don’t know and resolved myself to do nothing, it seemed that by doing nothing however that I was faking the hard choice, not making any action is no action at all. Failure to act is failure in itself.

Learn how I beat Depression

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