A clown on the outside

Sometimes, we are all clowns: We appear to laugh on the outside while we are crying on the inside.

A lot of great celebrities who were comedians, and who could make people laugh, appeared to be joyful and happy, but suffered great depression and anxiety; namely, Robin Williams, Bill Hicks, Larry David, Jim Carrey, Drew Carey, Stephen Fry, Russell Brand, Rosanne Barr, Sarah Silverman, and Amy Poehle (just to name a few). I am not saying all comedians suffer from depression, but a lot do. They entertain us and make us laugh while they are torn apart on the inside with doubt and despair.

Ordinary people do this too. We go on in life laughing and appearing happy, but deep down we are wreaked with depression and hopelessness. We cannot see anything beyond the pain. At times, it is so bad that there appears to be no hope and life becomes a dread to the point where it is hard to get out of bed; never mind washing, get dress, eat and continue with life’s humdrum existence.

For some, it is unbearable, and they cannot continue, and they take their lives.

For others, we hit rock bottom and after numerous suicide attempts, we realize deep down that we wish to live. We seek help either through counselling, or drugs, or both. I hit my rock bottom and ran away (another cry for help).

Although I realized long before, I refused to seek help. I was afraid that any Doctor that I saw would put me on drugs. I never contemplated why this was such a threat to me (being on drugs); nonetheless, I found this prospect to be terrifying (at least terrifying enough to prevent me from seeking help sooner). After this event, I sought help in organizing my life. This was the first time I relied on others to help straighten my life out. The mess of which was the cause of my low self-esteem and as a result the cause of most of my depression.

I got work and eventually went back to school, and with every success, my confidence and self-esteem increased. I snapped out of the hopeless cycle. It was no cure by any means. I still would get blue and I would experience times of depression, but I hid it well. I learned to control my depression. Once I recognized I was depressed, I forced myself to go out and to interact with other people (something I was very loathed to do in my depressed state). I had learned to recognize, deal and preserve through my depression bouts, and I had done this without the need for drugs.

People who suffer from depression are good actors and comedians. We hide what we are truly feeling from those around us. Some of us learn to deal with it and we have come to learn that our bouts are short lived: We do it by seeking help with, or without, the use of drugs and counselling.

Unfortunately, this is not true for all.
—Robert Confiant 5 August 2016

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