Vague ramblings

What kind of demon?

Posted in Life, Personal by Ian Cundell on 27 November, 2011

A couple of days ago footballer Stan Collymore posted a series of tweets regarding his struggle with depression – including a plea to another tweeter to see his GP, rather than suffer in silence.

Then, this morning, Wales manager Gary Speed was found dead, apparently having committed suicide.

We don’t know what demons drove Speed to this place, but I can say with some confidence that it did not come out of nowhere, and that sooner or later hindsight will give some clues. Maybe it was a big trigger, or just years of stalking by a blind and invisble monster that doesn’t care how succesful you are, or on what terms you measure yourself.

Browsing football forums, as I do, over the years I came across several people who met him and, invariably, the description was “top bloke”, or something like it.

But this morning I heard a phrase a few times that has niggled all day: “Level headed”. Some depressives cannot help but to wear their ailment as a cloak. But anyone who has looked into depression will tell you, many more don’t. I am troubled by the thought that “level headed” might be the most dangerous sign or symptom of the lot.

My lesser angel is hoping that there is a tragic but straightforward explanation – because the alternative is almost to scary to contemplate.

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