THE RECENT death of famous actor Robin Williams brings back into focus the levels of stress and depression that many go through, particularly (but not only) in the business profession, military, entertainment, and even pastoral/ministerial sectors. In other words, popular people on the front line!
The global economic system is now driving people into serious depression. Studies show that suicide rates are at extremely higher levels among males in comparison to females.
Oftentimes, people equate a happy face with being okay, and a sad or expressionless face with being down or depressed. It really takes discernment to recognise what is really happening in someone’s life.
Most of the popular people often pretend that everything is OK, because they have to maintain a certain status or a certain persona in the presence of friends, colleagues, or those around them. Quite often, many readily receive from, but very few seek to give to, them the genuine care and even encouragement and true support they may need. Even fewer take the time to make that effort.
When persons fall on hard times, the very thought of being broke again – the fear of losing job, money or assets, loss of real estate – the fear of failure and the loss of friends are almost devastating and extremely discouraging. All these can drive a person into depression and suicidal thoughts. Many will start to take drugs and/or alcohol to escape the realities they face. However, that is no real solution because it does more harm than good in every way!
From a spiritual perspective, and from counselling with people who are struggling with depression and suicide, and those who fall on hard times, some may say they feel like they no longer belong to society. Others say they feel like a burden to their family, friends and to society. Others will say that because they are no longer in the limelight, their ‘friends’ don’t come around – especially those who were in high-ranking position and are then separated (let go) from the organisation. Some say persons they once worked with, pass them on the street as if they don’t know them! These are some of the things that drive them to the brink. They go through serious rejection.
On the flip side, there are those who, on the way up, push aside or step on some people and when faced with adversity, guilt, embarrassment and rejection overwhelm them.
I always encourage people to keep simple friends – those who are willing to stand with you in good and bad. Those are true friends!
People will come around you when you are climbing and walk away if you fall, and when hard times come people will see you as a burden, not as a blessing! Then you become the topic of their conversations! It is critical to have a spiritual foundation.
DO NOT COMMIT SUICIDE!
Everything in life has its ups and downs. No season remains the same. Every situation has an expiration date! Always remember Job! He lost all, but he recovered twice the loss! Whatever you have lost, there is always the potential for you to recover far more. Your latter days have the potential to be greater than the former (Job 42:12).
Whatever doors close, remember that greater doors can open. Remember, your life values far more than anything!
Committing suicide will not solve your problems! It will be the beginning of problems! There is nothing called rest in peace (RIP) when one commits suicide! Think about your loved ones! During your time of depression, don’t focus on yourself, focus on helping other people. It was when Job prayed for his friends that his breakthrough and relief took place. Suicide is an act of murder (Hebrews 10:26; Exodus 20:13; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20; Hebrews 13:5-6)! Committing suicide means you have rejected God’s love and God’s salvation.
Always remember that your struggle is a result of your purpose. Pray! Seek someone you confide in to speak with. Depression is a spirit (Isaiah 61:1-3). A simple thing such as praising or playing music that glorifies God can bring even immediate and positive change upon you.
You are a winner! You are not a loser! When problems come, all it is doing is revealing your capacity and potential and allowing you to see what is within you to come out! It is also revealing those who are true and genuine around you!
There are many who have lost everything and they have come back greater – Colonel Sanders (KFC founder); R.H. Macy had several failed businesses before the mega chain Macy’s became successful! Soichiro Honda was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation for a job when he was interviewed for an engineer position. He was jobless for a long while but then he started making scooters of his own at his home, and with the encouragement of his neighbours he started his own business – thus, Honda today!
Don’t be afraid to start over.