Wednesday, February 21, 2007

12:37 AM Posted by: M., 7 comments

I have just started work on a documentary film that is about childhood and teenage depression. It was commissioned by a non-profit organization in the Bay Area. Tonight we had a meeting with the organization to talk about the film's vision in line with the mission of the non-profit and it was an amazing meeting. The head of the organization's son has repeatedly attempted suicide which is something I can't imagine going through. Also at the meeting was a professor and clinical psychologist who treats people for depression. Apparently two of his patients attempted suicide over the weekend. And also there was a lady there whose daughter has repeatedly attempted suicide. The woman brought her daughter's journal to the meeting because her daughter wanted us to hear some of it. Her journal was titled, "THIS IS WHY I NEED MEDS!" So, the woman read a passage from the girl's journal ( I think the girl is around 14 or 15) and it was one of the most moving/disturbing things I have heard. I won't give details at all because that would violate this girl's privacy--but it was just such a shocking experience to momentarily go into the head of someone constantly struggling with this.

If Christianity is real, it must hurt God so much when people are depressed and commit suicide. I am not saying that they are bad--I am just imagining what it would be like to be God and create humans, and some of those humans live on earth and decide it is so terrible that they voluntarily choose to end it. They reject the gift of life. Hearing the girl's journal, I could almost see why she wanted to end it--her reality was a constant torment--not necessarily in circumstances, but in her mind. I don't understand how God can let the world sustain in such disgusting conditions. But if he is God, he can do whatever he wants to I guess

I am really looking forward to working on this project.


Bobo B'nai said...

Take it from someone who has experienced it on a personal level three times in his life...

Suicide is the ultimate expression of selfishness.

What a suicidal person is saying is that things are not going my way---good or bad---and so I'm going to make people stand up and take notice of just how bad I pity myself.

The only victims are those left behind to wonder what they could have done to help (or what they did to hurt) that person, thus the victory on the part of the one who took their own life.

And yes, I've stood at the edge of the abyss myself for several months years ago. The old adage that "God will never allow more than you can bear" is bunk and scripturally unsound. Time and again the Bible tells of people brought to the end of themselves so that they may fully place their trust in God--or not.

We have a generation raised to believe they are nothing more than a cosmic accident. Add to that the fact that everyone under the age of 34 was allowed to live by the mother's choice and you have the makings of a sorrowful group of folks, without hope for nothing beyond this and the ability to blame their birth on someone else who could have saved them from the pain they're enduring.

We're only seeing the outer breezes of a whirlwind sown long ago, a tree of bitter fruit about to give its harvest to us, ready or not.

exapologist said...

That strikes me as a spectacularly simplistic, callous, and irresponsible response to suicide, especially with respect to cases in which the person suffered from immense depression due to factors beyond their control.

marie said...

Thanks a lot for that reply, Exapologist.

Depression results for a multitude of chemical and circumstantial reasons beyond the control of those who suffer(e.g. anhedonia, depletion or oversupply of neurotransmitters, familial instability, traumatic experiences, etc. etc.) --ESPECIALLY when it is children we are talking about. One of our interview subjects is 8 years old and has already attempted suicide. These aren't just people that are merely "having things not go their way," they are victims perpetually battered by the torment of existence. It was made ever more clear to me when I was able to meet some of these individuals and sample their journals and personal stories...

I do not believe that this depression is the result of people being hopeless because they don't have a "purpose driven life."

exapologist said...

BTW, have you seen the book, "The Reason Driven Life"? It's an excellent counter to "The Purpose Driven Life".



Bobo B'nai said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bobo B'nai said...

I would agree that my response is spectacularly simplistic, I tend to think in those terms. I believe the cure for many things is simple, the only roadblock many times being self sufficiency.

Callous and irresponsible I would have to disagree with. I've been there, plotting my own demise for months so that it could be judged an accident thereby leaving my family financially set and without reason for guilt. That it was so calculated shows that I was in full presence of mind even at the darkest hour. I didn't rejoice over the grave of my three friends either. In each case, the same hope offered by God in Christ Jesus to me was offered them. I mourn their loss to this day, two of them were friends since childhood.

I'm sorry for the 8 year old, Marie, my heart goes out to that little one. You both will be in my prayers as you will be walking in some very dark places in your research.

As for "The Purpose Driven Life", that book is one of the reasons why I am "roadwearyexpastor". I was removed from my congregation for my objections to it.

Marie, I would also add that I understand that there are some forms of chemical imbalances that would create this kind of deep depression. Because of my Biblical view of a fallen creation given over to disease and aging, such things are entirely likely. Again my prayers are with you and that little one.

Peace, BC

marie said...

Thanks BC,

I am really sorry you have expeienced such depressive periods before. I'm hoping this film can help everyone see depression through a more real, open lens and that it can help us all understand more about the disease holistically to then help those suffering from it start to understand it and get some form of treatment.