On Friday, former British footballer Stan Collymore took to his Twitter account to detail his ongoing struggle with depression. It was a frank, insightful look into an illness that many of us non-sufferers have no real comprehension of. This morning it was announced that the former footballer and current manager of Wales’ national soccer team, Gary Speed, had committed suicide. He was forty-two. When I heard the devastatingly sad news of Gary Speed’s death this morning, I was struck by the inherent links between Speed and Collymore. Both are giants in the world of British football and both have been in the grips of depression. Unfortunately for Speed, the weight of the illness clearly took its toll.
Approximately 30,000 people die by suicide in the United States every year. That figure is the same as the population of San Marino and needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
If you are depressed or having suicidal thoughts, please talk to someone and seek medical help. You are not alone in your suffering and there is help available. We are all fragile. Seeking support is not a sign of weakness. In the words of Stan Collymore, “You’re not mad, crazy or weak. You’re poorly, end of.”
I don’t know Stan Collymore but I just read his post and along with Hyperbole and a Half’s post, it’s some of the best descriptions of going through depression. There really is an odd comfort in knowing that you’re not the only one feeling like this, especially when so many people seem to be able to get through the day and have their shit together on a regular basis.