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DeArmond shares story on depression to help others understand Beasley

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Diabeetus, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    I read this blog on the KC Star's site and wanted to say I thought Mike was brave to put himself out there like this.

    My dad dealt with depression, and the less stigma there is around it, the better.


    I come not to criticize or praise Michael Beasley, but to empathize with him.
    Yahoo Sports is reporting the former Kansas State basketball star, now a member of the NBA Miami Heat, is being treated for depression-related issues at a Houston rehabilitation facility. The Associated Press is reporting the same contention.
    When I read those accounts today, I wanted to throw up.
    Because I’ve been there. Three years ago, I spent a night in a psychiatric care facility under observation for depression.
    It may have been the worst night of my life. They took my shoestrings, my belt. Informed doctors and nurses take depression seriously. I felt exactly how Beasley apparently felt when he left a cry for help on an Internet account:
    "Feelin like it's not worth livin!!!!!!! I'm done" and "I feel like the whole world is against me. I can't win for losin’.”
    It doesn’t matter why you feel that low. It matters only that you do. And trust me, you do.
    I spent only the one night under lock and key, of my own volition. I spent several weeks in day-long group therapy sessions and it is those sessions that I honestly will tell you saved my life.
    My last day of group therapy, I told my fellow sufferers that I would carry a part of each of them around with me for the rest of my life. The part that helped me gain perspective again.
    It is why I’m sharing my experience. I was helped off a ledge by others sharing their experiences with me.
    I don’t begin to know a thing about what demons are chasing Michael Beasley, if indeed there are any. Depression’s causes and symptoms are as varied as the different people you’ll meet walking down the street.
    Some depressives are alcoholics or drug addicts. Many, like me, are not.
    For me, depression was - and on some days still can be - measured by the certainty that beneath my feet, just under the ground upon which I stand, lurks a deep, dark lake knowing no horizon.
    Its surface is not ruffled by waves, or even a ripple. But to descend into the dark’s caress is to give up all hope. Loss of hope, I contend, beggars the loss of life.
    If Michael Beasley is teetering over that abyss, then I pray he receives the help I received. I pray we let him seek that with the understanding I was granted by people at The Kansas City Star, by family, by friends.
    It is the least we all could do.
  2. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Absolutely. Like Cowlishaw's column on alcoholism, a look inside from someone willing to share is a great gift indeed.

    Those who think Beasley shouldn't battle depression because he's rich and famous (ahem) are completely underestimating the power of depression. It's not about what you have, or who you share it with. It's something chemical, and it can completely decimate someone from the inside out.

    Kudos to Mike for sharing his story, and my best wishes to Beasley (and Mike) for the strength to fight it and keep fighting it.
  3. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Props to DeArmond. Not easy to talk about, even harder to publish.
  4. Lester Bangs

    Lester Bangs Active Member

    I would think that the demons that can jump up and bite you in the ass via depression would be much worse for a guy like Beasley, because the problem for many of us who deal with it is that the lows often match the highs. I gotta think he has some pretty spectacular highs.

    You eventually learn how to deal with it but I would imagine it is a lot like alcoholism in that you do have to manage it every day and taking care of yourself has to be more important than the things that cause you to hit the skids.
  5. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    Depression is the real deal, and people who haven't been around it or haven't suffered from it take it too lightly.

    It's same with a lot of other illnesses that are known but not understood. I have a relative with severe schizophrenia, and one night I took him home from a dinner with all my friends in the back seat. As soon as he was dropped off, my friends started cracking jokes about him based on stereotypes they see on TV.

    I didn't appreciate it, and I told them that. The illness had wrecked not only him but it really has crushed my entire family.

    People don't realize it until it hits close to home. So, I'm glad DeArmond voluntarily put a face to depression and described it from his perspective in great detail. Hopefully people understand that depression is much more serious then just waking up in a bad mood.
  6. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    Great blog by DeArmond, and he's absolutely right. Too many people take depression lightly, and it's a damn serious issue.

    Hopefully Beasley recovers and gets his life straightened out.
  7. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Well said by all. Depression affects so many people you'd never expect it to. It's a battle -- every day, it's a battle.
  8. sptwri

    sptwri Member

    Thanks for all the kind words and the understanding of why I wrote the blog entry. It was to help someone who just might find out that they are not the only person who feels so desperately miserable.

    Some people think writing that was brave. Again, thanks, but it isn't about being brave. As I told Wright Thompson, depression thrives in secrecy. When you give it a suntan, it tends to fade day by day.
  9. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    Depression thrives in loneliness -- inner solitary confinement, so to speak.

    What you did was reach out and connect -- the antithesis of that.

    As with Tim Cowlishaw's writing about his alcohol experience, I'd say again that this may be the way journalism is headed -- perhaps this is even the direction it should go.

    The personalized, connected writing with meaning is, by its nature, sort of a cross between solid, first-hand reporting (personal experience/testimonials) that doesn't have to masquerade as journalism when it's done well.

    Instead, it is a professionally done equivalent, sort of, of long-form/narrative social networking, with a human touch and the seemingly "personal" relations that people can empathize with and understand more than the traditional keep-your-distance kind of work.

    I have no doubt that DeArmond has/will hear from hundreds of people regarding this writing, many of whom may never have read a word of his work before.
  10. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    Yes, depression is real. Of that I have no doubt. But I wouldn't mind having one day as a rich, talented, young, good-looking athlete just to see if I could get through 24 hours without going into a mental tailspin. I'm sure Michael Beasley's problems are real. But there are a lot of people struggling to make ends meet, raise a family of four on $50 Gs a year and have every reason to be depressed. Except they have responsibilities and kids and can't afford it.
  11. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    You won me some money, hondo.
  12. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    How sad.
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