Think you know depression? You see someone’s face but do you know their heart? Worst still, you don’t know what’s going on in or if there’s anything misfiring in their mind. Behind the jolly, happy smile, there may lurk a sad, depressed soul.
When he is an actor we say he is just spirited or a great ‘method’ or ‘character’ actor. However, if he has a history of depression maybe being happy and manic is his way of dealing with the condition.
If he is always ‘on’ and never seem sad whenever you see him, it could very well mean that he is struggling badly to contain the demons that drive him to the pit of hell. Smiling, laughing, joking, being the life and soul of the party, could very well be his only ‘medicine’ for his condition.
He already knows how people treat sad people and he does not want pity. He does not want to be seen so weak as to need the condescending, but well-meant, praise or support of others paying only lip service. He would rather put on an act and smile the biggest smile he can muster; and troop the best show possible. Make them laugh, make them laugh, don’t you know that the world wants to laugh?
Hold the custard pies though: those are for a different kind of clown. Nevertheless, there comes a day when some clowns just cannot stand the pretence anymore and the laughter has to end. Then they take their own life.
However, the laughter does not end. The laughter starts a new cycle as scores of new fans discover that clown’s talent from the re-runs and clips from the media retelling the amount of joy he brought to millions
It is such a pity he could not find that same joy for himself. The very same one he brought to countless others…
If you are depressed or need help dealing with depression contact any of the following sites in your country. I’ve arranged them alphabetically. They are all willing to help, give free advice and generally be there for you. If you know of a place in your area that should be included in this list, please let me know.
Canadian Mental Health Association
Jamaica Mental Health Advocacy Network
South African Depression & Anxiety Group
The Friendship Bench – Zimbabwe