Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Face of Depression

This is the face of depression.


Robert Enke (1977 - 2009) was a professional soccer player (for Hannover 96, not our favorite team but one we favor because they are our northern neighbor), and goalie for the German national soccer team. He was strong and fought hard. But behind his smile, he also suffered from depression. Last week he took his own life.

Only now are reports emerging that this man, who appeared so determined, kind and full of life, struggled. He struggled to fulfill the expectations laid upon his shoulders. He struggled to cope with the death of his two year old daughter. He struggled to hide the dark feelings inside.

I, and the German, were both shocked and touched by Robert Enke's passing. If a man who appeared so strong had problems, who else do we know struggles everyday? How alone did he feel that he could not go on? No one should have to feel that alone.

But depression is a scary, dark secret that no one talks about. It is dealt with behind closed doors. Often society demands that you "deal with it" or "get a grip on yourself." For those who suffer from depression, this is easier said than done. No one wants to admit that they have a problem and seeking help for that problem is even more difficult.

When I think of the sorrow that was in Robert Enke's heart, it breaks mine. If you know anyone in your family or a friend who you think may suffer from depression, talk to them. Get them help. Do not let them turn away.


8 comments:

christina said...

It's heartbreaking on so many levels. You're right, no one should have to feel that alone, but it's probably going on right before our eyes every single day and we're just not seeing it. Hopefully this will bring about some important changes.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it's not as easy to talk about their pain. Sometimes it's easier to die than it is to live. Depression can be more painful than the worse of physical alliments. Those feelings are very hard to explain to those who have never experienced that level of depression or sadness. My his soul find the peace that he so wanted.

Lane and April Lovegrove said...

I've suffered most of my adult life with Bi-polar disorder so I've been haunted by insane mania and crushing depression, which is especially hard to deal with in a society that champions the bravdo and energy that comes from the mania but shuns the disfunction and sadness of depression. I feel for everyone touched by Robert Enke's end. Thanks Claire for posting this.

Mahima Hada said...

Good post, and so true.

TSC said...

Thanks, now I'm depressed.

Nina Grenningloh said...

Thanks Claire for that post! Living in LA, I am reading the sad news just now - and can't believe it. It's so true what you're saying: we should look out for our family, friends, neighbors and help them in times of need. Sending my best wishes to everyone in Germany.

Jen said...

This was so sad. :-(

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