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Regarding depression, suicide

Opinion Piece

Depression? Really? I think people should give themselves a bloody good kick up the backside and toughen up! . . . Well, that was my opinion on depression until out of the blue, or maybe I should say out of the black, it hit me like a sledgehammer in 2008 at the age of 53!

I'm not going to get into the issues which triggered my major bout of depression, suffice to say that for years I had my highs and lows like a lot of people and these peaked when I was hit by severe clinical depression.

I was unable to go to work for two years and three months, which was totally out of character for me. I spent the majority of that time at home in bed doing absolutely nothing; no TV, no reading, no playing guitar, no gardening and even bouts of no eating!

My wife Norma came home one night from visiting friends to find me comatose in bed after a suicide attempt.

I spent two nights in Ward 5, five nights in Ward 11 and then the next two years visiting the psychiatrist, psychologist and mental health support worker every month.

I wrote the song below in 2011.

For me one of the most beautiful sights in the world is watching hawks glide above Kaiti Hill, where I have been lucky enough to live for the past 37 years. Hence the words in the song's chorus.

If you are, or have ever been in depression, please realise there is light at the end of the tunnel — even though you can't see any sign of it right now. It is there and if you hang in you will find it.

Like a lot of people in this modern world, I'm still up and down like a yo-yo. But I'm pleased to say, no major downs since that “Big Drop Out” 11 years ago!

I have to say I believe one of the main reasons for the apparent rise in depression and suicide among our young people is modern-day lifestyles which see so many of them stuck in front of screens — TV, phones, iPads and computers.

I see recently the leaders of our children's sports have decided that the big drop in the number of kids playing sport is down to adults being too serious, and that kids should be having more fun in their sporting activities!

What a load of bollix!! The main reason is young people being addicted to their electronic devices, and parents no longer giving a damn!! Anyhow, I'll leave it there as this topic gets me depressed!

I'll pass this article over to my darling wife Norma, who if not for her, I may not be here today.

Thanks to “Nanny Norma's” actions that night, our three beautiful little grandkids, Charlie, Lila and Cormac, have “Grumpy Grandad” to contend with. Ha! Ha!

I'll finish now by saying that these three little children have given me a new lease of life and back during my severe depression, I could never have seen myself being this happy ever again.

So there you are, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Thank you Norma — My Light.

Peace and love to all.

Victor’s song — See the hawk soar

Hi everyone, here is Victor’s song which I’m sure will resonate with a lot of people who have gone through dark, despairing times with depression, but hopefully have been able to come through it and feel the joy in their lives once again.

Norma Hooks

Let me sing you my song of depression, steeped

in dark brooding despair

Locked up in a cell of self-loathing, dismissing

my life as unfair

If ’er you find yourself trapped in its clutches, for

your freedom you must surely fight

As you crawl through that black evil tunnel,

under dark clouds which blanket your night.

Chorus

Oh but the joy when the dark clouds have lifted

Clear blue skies I can see them once more

Then I’ll lift mine eyes to the heavens

Where once again I can see the hawk soar

Drowning in a sea of depression, cold dark

waves close over my head

Lost and afraid of the future, I long for the day

when I’m dead

Oh the shame when I slip into this state, for

causing my loved ones such pain

But they say it’s not merely a bad mood,

depression stems from an unbalanced brain

Repeat Chorus

Bound by the coils of depression, I’d rot in its

dark evil pit

I can’t climb out with the help of my loved ones,

to its evil I have to submit

My dear wife dragged me off to the doctors, a

step which I tried to resist

From the doctors I was elevated, to the pills off

the psychiatrist.

Repeat Chorus

Spare a thought for all those who are out there

and facing depression alone

To imagine a life without loved ones, sends a

chill running straight to the bone

I truly hope that those poor lonely people get

their train back on to its track

For their likes the late great country legend,

Johnny Cash was a man dressed in black

Repeat Chorus

Now listen friends and don’t be deluded, anyone

can be trapped in its grip

Truly blessed are those who go through life

giving evil depression the slip

But if ’er you should find yourself sliding, just as

you’re starting to sink

Reach out to the people around you, before you

cross over the brink

Once again if you’re trapped in its clutches, for

your freedom you must surely fight

As you crawl through that black evil tunnel,

reach out for that flicker of light

Repeat Chorus

Leave a Reply to Pete Cancel reply

  1. Aimee says:

    Thanks for talking openly about your experience. It’s important, especially for men. Glad you got through!

  2. Pete says:

    Hi. I know we’re you are coming from. My life changed early one morning in 2008 – Show day. Was told by bosses to toughen up, you will be OK. (It doesn’t work like that). As for ACC, what a joke. Moving on after losing everything, I worked longer and harder to help cover and hide the thoughts (doesn’t work). Four attempts at suicide. Somewhere along the way things got worse. Attempt number five and I was nearly gone. At last someone took notice, but only after it got real bad. It took until 2018 for someone to realise I had PTSD and bad depression. Their first words were “How is it you are still above ground?” Have now had some amazing help thanks to some amazing local groups. Cheers.
    Yes, I have lost everything (but I do have a small group of friends – the ones that family haven’t been able to poison).