HHP 008: Who is a Robin Williams in Your Life? Hike Healthy Podcast, Helping you take control of your lifestyle

I was at work at the hospital when I saw the newsflash on the screen.  My first thought was, “what a loss”.  Robin Williams was dead.  As more details came out over the next few hours, it was apparent he had committed suicide.  The Internet circuits started burning up with posts and Tweets about the passing of a legend.  I was thinking about other people in my life who are closer to me and who, I knew, had thought about suicide in their lives….
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Click on the Read More link below to continueHow grateful I was that they received help before a tragic ending like Robin Williams.  I wanted to do something to help.  This becomes particularly important for me as it recently affected my brother.  He was a marathon runner who competed in the Boston Marathon two years ago.  He crossed the finish line just 9 minutes before the terrorist bombs went off.  This was very traumatic for him.  He returned last year to run again and try to conquer the demons that lingered.  He suffered from Post traumatic stress and tried to deal with it on his own.  A couple of months ago, it all unraveled.  He decided to check himself into a hospital fo help.  I know his story is not so unique.  Many, many others suffer from depression, panic attacks, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and plans and more psychological difficulties.  So, the idea for this episode of the Hike Healthy Podcast was hatched.  I gathered information which, I hoped, would be helpful for anyone who knows a person racked with the despair of depression or suicidal thoughts.  I hope you learn from listening to this podcast. I hope you are able to help someone with the information in this podcast.  If you are the one who is struggling, please share this podcast with those who know and love you because they want to help you and this may be the answer to their prayers!

The foreign language clip in this podcast from my friend, Ivan is: Russian.

One of the talks I got some of my material from for this podcast is from Jeffrey R. Holland, you can listen to or read it at this link. (Like a Broken Vessel)

Episode Transcript
the beauty that surrounds us. Here is your host, Paul Shoemaker.

Hello and welcome to the HikeHealthy podcast, I genuinely appreciate you spending some of your valuable time here. As a health professional who desires to help everyone be more active, I’ll provide you with tips, stories and information to inspire, educate and help you escape the average and pursue the unusual, an active lifestyle with better health.

Helping you be more active and take control of your lifestyle.

What is going on in today’s episode? We’re talking about what some may think of as a taboo subject. Some people don’t know how to talk about it or are afraid if they do talk about it, it will happen to them or a loved one. The topic is depression and suicide.

Lance’s friend, depression, bi-polar, lost purpose and let go of his spiritual base. He even served as a bishop of a church congregation. He had recently received a promotion at work, for years, he had self-medicated with a painkiller addiction, he ended up committing suicide as he had lost his job, continued with his addictions, had underlying psychological issues and quit going to church.

Robin Williams – had his demons that he had self-medicated himself for. We all know of his amazing comic talents but there were issues lurking in his life.

Spiritual base is so important. (steven r. covey)

Talk from church:
It’s defined medically with terms like Axis 2, MDD, it may be called anxiety or panic attacks there are dozens of names.

It’s treated with counseling, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Xanax, and other therapies.

It can consume a person’s life causing them to be reclusive.  Those who suffer from severe levels of these issues often describe themselves as being numb, being in a dark place or anhedonistic (which means unable to feel joy, pleasure or happiness), at times they’ll stay in bed for extended periods of time.

Sharing disclaimer:

Sister’s descriptions from a time when she was in this darkness:  “Depression is the epitome of your body and soul drowning with no hope of ever resurfacing and at times the true desire you never do come up again for air.”

Look around you right now, is there someone near you who struggles with this?  The National Institute of Mental Health estimates 20 percent of us suffer some sort of disabling mental issue. The challenge is, you may not see it, there is no limp, there is no weeping wound, these scars are often on the inside.

I speak from a perspective which is very close to this topic

• As a Nurse
• As a brother to siblings who suffer through these issues
• As a son to a mother who battles depression

This pain in people’s lives is often considered a stigma and it weighs heavily on them.  It does not come with an easy fix.  If ignored or left to its own, it can lead to lost jobs, marriage breakups and, tragically, death of ones own doing, suicide rates in some diagnoses range from estimates of 15-25%.

Some recent events have raised awareness of this progression of life and more people are talking about it. I hesitate to cause it a problem or disease or stigma because of the negative connotation of those words. For many, it is an unavoidable issue which naturally follows some unpreventable life events or tragedies.
Because of this higher awareness, more people are sharing their experiences and thoughts.

Just recently, news of the suicide of another talented individual, in part attributed to depression, has saturated Facebook, Twitter and the grocery store newsstands.

Many of us know someone who has taken the tragic step to discontinue their earthly existence at their own hand.

Though these are not new issues, they have long gone unspoken, hidden or blamed on the faulty thought that there is simply an unwillingness to square their shoulders and think positively. People who suffer these problems say this is faulty thinking.

One quote outlines the world’s perspective: “The problem with love these days is that society has taught the human race to stare at people with their eyes rather than their souls.” ―

I do not wish to belabor the negative aspects of this topic for we must approach this from the perspective of HOPE.

As the discussion emerges from the shadows, we have wonderful and amazing opportunities to help and recognize the love that should be shown and fostered in our own lives toward others.

Spiritual guidance from scriptures offer comfort:  “bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.”

We and those who face these issues must not be ashamed

One man who suffers with depression says: these issues are a fact of life for some:  “there should be no more shame in acknowledging them than in acknowledging a battle with high blood pressure or the sudden appearance of a malignant tumor.”

I hope to share with you things you can do for yourself and for others who are trapped in bodies, minds, and souls which have chemicals which are askew or experiences which trigger painful, debilitating memories.

I hope you share my belief that it is our place to be of assistance to those who struggle.

1 Peter 3: 8-15 Peter explains how we are to conduct ourselves as disciples of Christ:

…be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren…blessing…knowing that ye are thereunto called…for he that will love life and see good days…let him seek peace…for the eyes of The Lord are over the righteous and his ears are open to their prayers…but if ye suffer for righteousness sake, happy are we!…But sanctify…be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you

Here are words of comfort from one victim of depression from a biblical, spiritual perspective. “Though we may feel we are “like a broken vessel,” as the Psalmist says, we must remember, that vessel is in the hands of the divine potter. Broken minds can be healed just the way broken bones and broken hearts are healed. While God is at work making those repairs, the rest of us can help by being merciful, nonjudgmental, and kind.”

Some practical suggestions as to how we can help:

Be understanding…I mentioned my brother who just spent 5 days hospitalized because he was in a tailspin…here is one recent text he sent me:  I’m hanging in there.  Made it thru my 2nd full work week.  Still waiting for the meds to kick in.  Still kinda blah and low energy.  Just focusing on showin up for work.

I asked my siblings to share some thoughts, about what really helps. I struggle with knowing what to do. I earnestly desire to support and strengthen my loved ones but how do I do it? Here are some of my brother’s ideas:

• -don’t tell me to “just cheer up”  its not that simple
• -do give me sincere, positive words of encouragement
• -do not offer sympathy
• -Invite me to go with you do do some service to get outside myself
• -keep an open line of communication with patience, charity and long-suffering
• -Ask how I am doing, then listen
• -Don’t take words of anger personally
• -Never underestimate the power of a smile or hug

My Sister shared this perspective: share unconditional love and reassurance that I am loved and accepted. Please don’t judge me or criticize me when I am most vulnerable and already feel like a failure. Encourage me and remind me of better times, and that this will pass.

Use uplifting music to reduce stress and be a soothing comfort.

Focus on strengths. Design activities that are within individuals’ abilities so they can feel success.
If you are involved in a community group like a church, include the person in group activities.
Do not argue with delusional ideas or pursue topics that increase agitation. Be aware that stress can make the illness worse.

Warning – don’t just hand something to someone – “here read this article”  Be engaged and genuine out of a true desire to help your friend, relative, co-worker or loved one.

Now, the experts warn that, if we are in a healthy state, able to help, we must not overdo our assistance, we cannot be a help if we, ourselves are ill.  Also, we must recognize the circumstances, stressors and triggers which can set ourselves or those we love into a downward spiral.  Our help when we recognize these warning signs can truly be life-saving.

Now, if you have a respect, belief or comfort from diety, this statement might be of help:
JRH:  “God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve [it]. It is simply always there.”  That love never changes. … It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. Never, ever doubt. Faithfully pursue the time-tested devotional practices that bring the Spirit of the Lord into your life. Seek the counsel of those who have expertise and are interested in your well-being. Believe in miracles. Hope is never lost, trust in happier days ahead.”

As I have benefitted from preparing this information, my eyes are opened, even further.  I realized the magnitude of this issue even more than before.

I personally have the seen that although the struggles with these issues can be devastating, the individuals who emerge from this darkness are some of the most magnificent people you will ever meet, extraordinary men and women who are strengthened by emerging from these difficult tests.  When we are blessed to be healthy and strong, we can serve as outstretched arms, assisting them with the balm of healing.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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