Depression and addiction are terrible diseases to deal with. Suicide is not always (and rarely is) a result of “giving up.” It’s hard to understand how the brain works when it is chemically altered unless you’ve been there, and even then it’s hard to explain. Addiction is often a form of self medication and a symptom of something else. It should not be seen as deserved, continuous punishment for the initial steps that lead to substance abuse. It truly is a disease. It is not something anyone wants to keep doing once they’re in deep. Depression is not a choice or a byproduct of laziness. It often leads to substance abuse.
To judge anyone harshly for suicide, depression, or addiction shows a lack of understanding, no matter how close to home your experience may be.
In light of the bad news I encourage others to take this time to process and understand the struggle that people with mental illness go through. It isn’t easy, it isn’t our fault, and it isn’t always a success story. That does not make these people weak.
Understanding does not equate permission. It is merely a part of experiencing true empathy.