We lost another music legend this week, and so all the people ride out on their high horses, tsk-ing and shaking their heads at "prescription drugs".
You know what? It wasn't the prescription drugs that killed him. It was the illness that brought him to the point of taking more than the prescribed dose, affecting his behaviour.
Whenever I look at a Prince, or a Chris Cornell, or even an Amy Winehouse, I can't help but think, "There but for the grace of God go I."
Because I'm one of the lucky ones. I've never been tempted to take more than my prescribed dose of meds. I've never been tempted to mix them with alcohol when they're not working well enough.
My temptation, and my addiction, is food. But, somehow, that's not as frowned upon, is it?
Broke up with your boyfriend? Eat a whole tub of Ben & Jerry's. Boss being a bitch? Here's a packet of Tim Tams. Enjoy your binge.
But excess food is just as deadly as excess fentanyl. It just takes a bit longer to kill you.
Until there is complete healing, meds and therapy can help a depression/anxiety sufferer to function. I can get out of bed and write this because my meds keep the black cloud at arm's length. My psychologist is helping me deal with my emotional eating. But these are treatments, not necessarily a cure, and so everyone does their best. I'm sure Chris Cornell did his best.
I believe I know where my cure will come from, but many people don't share my beliefs, and so they must put their faith in other things.
That's where compassion comes in. How many times does the Bible say, "Jesus had compassion on them and healed them"? I can tell you, quite a few.
Instead of shaking our heads and wagging our fingers, we must do the same. We just might save a life.
(This is a post I wrote on ways to practically help people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or similar illnesses, but most of the points are completely relevant to people with depression and anxiety, too.)