Post-Depression Demons — There’s No Coming Back from the Darkness; There’s Just Living with It

http://montrealgazette.com/pmn/entertainment-pmn/bourdain-suicide-a-reminder-of-celebrities-distance-from-us/wcm/f73aa812-4866-4c5a-8e8d-1d7777e61b14

The above article begins to once again begins to show what we knew of Anthony Bourdain was just what we saw on the screen. “I just hope no one finds out anything further about this. I want to remember Tony the way I knew him,” said Andrew Zimmern on Don Lemon’s CNN show last night. That was also when it suddenly seemed inevitable that we’d find out about a tortured soul at best, or an action so distressing and terrifying that the only way out seemed to be to hang yourself in a hotel room in France at worst.

Pain for the Dead and the Living

There’s just so much pain in people who kill themselves, where death seems the only viable option — the only form of escape. Even in today’s apparent “progressive” society, people are usually shunned when they come out as being depressed or mentally ill. There is no “respect” for depression as an illness as there is for cancer, MS, heart disease, diabetes, etc…..

Thankfully, suicides now are reported as suicides, even if they are still seen as shameful. They are no longer hidden or masked as something else. But although the media has made that leap forward with celebrities, most cultures and ethnicities shun people feeling depressed and just call them lazy, spoiled, people who want to live off others or , worse, the state. So many times I’ve had to zip my mouth when otherwise good, intelligent, and educated people say ignorant and hurtful things. The most common thing you’ll hear is how “spoiled” and “lazy” mentally ill people are and how they need to just be “pushed in the right direction” because mental illness is what happens when you’re lazy. I usually stop being agreeable and they shut up.

When I saw Anderson Cooper’s chin trembling and heard him again speak of his brother who killed himself 30 years ago, and how not a day goes by without thinking of him, I realised how lucky I was not to have had anyone I knew personally having taken their life.

Post-Depression Demons

Like an alcoholic, once depressed always depressed. You’ll also find that the depressed have a lust for life. So many times we have heard of the unending need to create and be important. From Van Gogh to Bourdain and many others, when you let the creativity die, when you “laze”, there is no more life. In their case, this is often literal. Robin Williams was considered a genius by many and he would go to bed crying every night, needing a shoulder to lean on, non-metaphorically.

For most sufferers of mental illness, even after “overcoming”, there exists a plateau. Instead of hills, there is just an ice-covered desert that keeps on going forever. Unlike the mountainous landscape, this one needs to be filled. Luckily, most depressed people are very creative. They are the emblem of the suffering painter, the lonely writer, the misunderstood miser who writes and creates in places and at hours that others find inconvenient because the others need to sleep and eat and shit at a certain time. They need to hold their bladder till coffee break. In short, they hve succumbed to the unreal. They have succumbed to how society has been structured for them. Thsi is why they are not goid storytellers — they have no time to tell stories. Ironically, the people who see through this plastic existence either suffer each day smiling at the ignorant, or become mentally ill. This sounds simple, but it’s the gist of it. Whether we’re born with a depression gene or not, it is still the gist of it. Reality is how it is perceived.

For a short time in my teens, I experienced depression. Luckily, I have been in post-depression mode ever since and it wasn’t as severe as what I’ve been hearing people going through lately. I haven’t had a symptom in thirty years. I’m lucky. Somehow, I’ve learned to balance the real and the fictional. I have established a line that I do not cross. But I understand how one can snap. Who knows what happened in Anthony Bourdain’s hotel room before he hung himself? As well, it should be noted that a depressed person will magnify a bad situation many times over. The pain may run so deep that the simple actions needed to get rid of the bad situation can’t be performed because it just takes too much energy.

Frightening. Yet very real.

Cries for Help

Please be aware of the signs of people who may be suffering from depression. This might help.

This is the suicide prevention hotline and also info for going into rehab.

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5 Places I Had to Back Down from Visiting This Year

There were many places I was looking forward to visiting this year. But more than ever, there is danger in the world. If it’s not crime, it’s war or robbery. Then there are the rampant outbreaks of disease and/or poisonous food and water. The planet, as well as the people on it, are getting ill. I had to forego the following cities/countries/areas because of imoending danger to my safety or health.

1. Marseilles, France

The pride and joy of French summer vacationing, Marseilles has turned into an urban wastelnd in terms of the inadequate power of the government to control major crime. Many have told me this is the doing of the fascist nationalists who feel tht Muslims in the banlieues have taken over the city. In turn, there hve been drive shootings, shootings on public buses, and juat good old-fashioned beatings. Although tourists aren’t targeted (at least white Christian tourists), the chance of being an innocent bystander here makes it too dangerous to properly enjoy your vacation.

2.Valparaiso, Chile

A city of deep roots and culture, a destination for art and bohemia, Valparaiso is suddenly too dangerous to visit. Petty crime is at an all-time high, and there is an increase in muggings and kidnappings. Yes, Valparaiso has become that bad. Again, if you’re careful you’ll probably be fine. But the whole pointbof visiting this magical place is to be free, right?

3. Peru

Peru is one of the most fascinating countries in the world. It has mountains nd valleys. It has different cultures living side by side. It has maybe the best variety of food in the world. And it has Macchu Pichu. The ancient kingdom of the Incas has fallen on hard times. Tis not one thing that sticks out here, but just a general disintegration of Peruvian society s a whole. The good taht was there has collapsed and been overtaken by desperation and hardship. Young women, even girls, sell their bodies for a few dollars. There are killings on the streets. Robbery is rampant. There seem to be badly-organized syndicates trying to run the place.

4. Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Phnom Penh is quickly evolving into a 21st-century city. While the rest of the country is still trying to heal from genocide, Phnom Penh seems to have successfully put that behind it and is breeming with potential. So I reserve my airbnb, find a reasonably-priced ticket, and decide to visit in the more mundane rainy season, feeling I can be at one with the Mekong. Then came the alerts. E-coli, vaccine after vaccine needed, food poisoning, water poisoning, etc. But that didn’t ward me off. What made me back off was the new spread of Dengue fever for which there is no vaccine, forcing people in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand, more than anywhere else, to wear long pants in the humidity and heat and always have to make sure their mosquito repellent is on. In Thailand, I’d be fine because of the more modern infrastructure. In Cambodia, there are no good medicak facilities and the best doctors are there from France. I give the government credit for advancing gheir society economically and for curbing child prostitution, but a lot more needs to be done. Not in my 20s anymore, it’s hard for me to go to Phnom Penh at this time.

5. Kathmandu, Nepal

I figured I needed some fresh mountain air and a bit of reflecting and finding my inner child. That’s no longer easily done in Nepal. The streets have been flooded and the food and water have been graetly compromised by mother nature’s wrath. With only an elite few places to stay in and the need for an iron stomach, there is no way I can visit Nepal. Along with parts of neighbouring India, Nepal may never recover from this disaster. Does anyone care?