Depression and suicide (Brad Delp)

What’s the current medical story on depression and suicide?

I’m really having trouble dealing with Brad Delp’s death. He had kids, he had a sweetie and was planning to get married. He had one of the great rock voices–and, from what I’ve heard, true musical talent as well. Dang it, what happens inside someone that leads them to choose to cash out early?

This is the issue that most non-clinically-depressed people just don’t get. The depression is always there, on some level. It has nothing to do with the particular events in one’s life. Of course, when things aren’t going well, it just exacerbates the problem, but even when things *are *going well, the depression is still there. It affects every single aspect of one’s life.

And when the person notices that he or she is still depressed, even when things are going very well for them, then whatever hope the person might have can be extinguished. “If I’m not happy now, then I’ll never be happy”, they might think.

Depression is, and I speak from personal experience, a demon that has it’s claws stuck in you from day one. It’s not like someone can talk to you about ho things are going to get better and then everything will be ok. It’s deeper than that.

I compare it to sexual preference. “What do you mean?”, you say. Well, if you’re a heterosexual male, you like women and that’s that. Now, it would be like me sitting down with you and trying to talk you out of liking women.

It would be like me saying “you just have to start liking men, dude, you can’t like women any longer, if you do, you’re life will go down the drain.” To me, that’s how strong depression was, it’s part of you, it’s who you are at the time you are suffering from it.

My point is, no amount of words will get that depression to leave you, just like no amount of words will change your sexual preference.

I know that was a weird analogy, but I’m just saying, it’s who you are. Depression is there to stay.

It’s very a debilitating disease.

It is not easy to understand. The best way that I can explain it is: it hurts and it hurts and it hurts and the only time it doesn’t hurt is when you are sleeping. And you start to think that death would be like sleeping forever.

It isn’t that you want to die, it is that you want the pain to stop.

Feelings do not operate on logic. To expect them to do so is a mistake.

I would expect that women would understand how chemistry can twist your perception better than men can. Anybody who’s been rendered aweep by the hideous tragedy of having dishes to do (i.e. no earthly valid ‘reason’) for a few days a month is taught very explicitly how changes in the chemicals that course through body and brain can affect thinking.

That is actually a good way to put part. Back when I wasn’t treated appropriately, I went through a period of 6 months or so where I wanted to sleep virtually all the time. I went to bed on Friday night and didn’t wake up until Sunday at least twice. It was torture when people would wake me up and the yelling made it even worse. I asked to be put in a psych ward just so that I could sleep as much as I wanted. I told my wife and doctor that I planned on committing a violent felony just so I could be thrown in prison and I could sleep as much as I wanted. After we found the right medication, those things went away rapidly like in a couple of weeks are even less.

Depression is very much a physical disease and it has little to do with the normal feelings of being sad. The crying, extreme lack of energy, and nutty talk may look like it to others but it is very different. There doesn’t need to be anything objectively wrong for depression to occur. Sometimes, bad events can help it along however.

Another thing regarding the OP: Having loved-ones doesn’t really change anything for people who are suicidal; they may actually make it worse. It’s easy to convince yourself that your loved-ones would be better off without you.

Or that whatever pain and damage that will result from your suicide is irrelevent since you won’t experiance or be aware of any of it.

I’ll bet you found out that it doesn’t work that way. They make us do stuff.

While you are sick with depression, it certainly takes over every aspect of your personality. For those fortunate to find the right combination of medications and/or counselling, the symptoms can go away.

I was first diagnosed in about 1962, but it wasn’t until prozac was invented that I became acquainted with who I really am.

One of the saddest things about depression and suicide is that depression affects the part of your brain that is responsible for judgment. So that part of you which would be deciding to commit suicide while depressed is not functioning properly. No one would want to commit suicide because of a temporary chemical malfunction. Yet we tend to think that everything is as we perceive it at the moment.

If you are depressed, try another kind of medication, try another counselor or a psychiatrist until you find the right one for you. If you are suicidal, tell someone. If you are contemplating suicide, call a private psychiatric hospital now. They will usually talk with you.

(I’m using “you” in the general sense here.)

That is, of course, why you need to stay alive until you’ve outlived everyone who knows you. Then you can kill yourself and not cause any pain or damage.

Or, if you really want to help things along, just move to a new country and slowly cut off contact with everyone. After a year or so you should be good.

Or commit suicide. I don’t see why everyone has to live.

That’s a very callous thing to say.

Leaving aside the fact that it’s morally reprehensible, it’s also strategically shortsighted. Calling the professional is the wiser move since you always have the option of offing yourself if it doesn’t yield results.

Everyone does not “have to live” but individuals should want to explore every option before making the final choice.

Bad form sir.

I think this is what I’m asking about. Brad was not exactly hurtin’ for cash or friends (I wouldn’t think). Why didn’t he get help?

I understand that when you’re depressed it seems that nothing will help, but dang it…

Sometimes nothing will help. That’s just the way it is for some people. Sad, indeed…but that is the reality.

The good news is that there are so many choices now that didn’t exist 20 years ago. They don’t work for everyone but I think medicine has come a long way in helping lots of people feel better.

The other thing to keep in mind, and this is secondhand information (at best), is that sometimes when stuff isn’t going well and someone is depressed, they wish to die but don’t have the energy, etc. to actually do something about it. If they get treatment, especially certain types of prescription drugs, they now have the energy, etc. to make the choices to end their life.

See paradoxical effect of various drugs for depression.

People make choices all the time without exploring every option, some even have life-changing, or life-ending, effects. What makes the choice to kill yourself any different?

Of course, this is provided you follow what I said in the first part of my post. Make sure your death won’t matter to anyone, then kill yourself. If it’s too late and you’ve already become famous, then I suppose you have to keep living out of an obligation to your fans…or you can go under the radar for a year or two and quietly commit suicide in another country, where no one knows who you are.

Depression for me was one big grey nothing. Basically, nothing brought me joy anymore. My favorite foods no longer tasted good, my favorite songs didn’t sound the same, I couldn’t enjoy ANYTHING. When I wasn’t feeling anguished, I was basically just bleh. I couldn’t enjoy even the little things we take for granted-like sleeping in, curling up with a good book, or watching a silly movie.

Moderator Note:

You know, your useless post really doesn’t contribute much to answering the OP. Perhaps you didn’t realize you’re in General Questions? Try to keep your answers in line with the OP as much as possible.

samclem General Questions moderator.

Sorry. I shall try to refrain from discussions of that sort in GQ in the future…it doesn’t belong here.

It’s possible he wasn’t aware he was clinically depressed. Yeah, I know, that sounds strange, but even with a degree in psychology I personally had a hard time realizing that the thing wrong with me was actually clinical depression.

Also some people have a such a hard time understanding that you can’t control it. My mother’s initial reaction was “Just snap out of it. Stop it.” There’s a possibility that the people in his life either didn’t take it seriously or even didn’t notice it or think it was serious.

It’s hard enough to deal with when you have the support of the people around you. It’s nearly impossible if people constantly tell you that you have no reason to be depressed. Or “you’re just being overly dramatic.” Or even better, “Get over it.”