I read an article today about a footballer who has came out and told his story of depression following the death of Gary Speed. I was genuinely touched by the article and the majority of supportive comments readers had posted below. The article can be found here:
I think it's good that articles like this are enlightening people to mental illness as there's always been a hoodoo that surrounds it. It's just sad that it's taken the suicides of three footballers in the past 2 years to to get it out there in the media.
I don't think fame is all that it's billed up to be. Sadly there's a long history of people in the media spot light who pass away under suspicious circumstances that often circle around suicide. From Kurt Cobain in the music industry, Heath Ledger in the movie industry and now more recently Gary Speed.
They're all people who come from different backgrounds and who worked in different fields respectively, but they all share one trait: fame.
People come down with depression for various reasons but I can only imagine how difficult it must be to cope with such an illness while constantly being in the public eye.
Depression is an awful illness because there's no visible symptoms. Nobody knows you have it and sometimes you don't even realise yourself. It makes you want to switch off from society and for people constantly in the media limelight, this is where it's argubly worse for them.
They simply can't switch off as easy as a person living an everyday life can.
As sad as it is about the death of Gary Speed, hopefully it can bring to light in the media the terrible nature of the illness and the fact it can affect anybody and everybody. Hopefully institutions and/or helplines can be set up to help famous people who have to cope with mental illnesses such as depression.
I believe depression is not a sign of weakness, but maybe a sign you are more sensitive to things that can affect you than everybody else.