On Thursday February 25th the body of actor Andrew Koenig was found in a Vancouver park after he had been declared missing since February 14th. Andrew Koenig played the role of character Richard Stabone, sidekick and friend to Kirk Cameron in the 1980's sitcom, "Growing Pains." Andrew's father is actor William Koenig who you may know as Lieutenant Pavel Chekov from the original "Star Trek" TV show. It was reported in Entertainment Weekly that Andrew Koenig had a history of depression and had sold some of his possession in a garage sale prior to his disappearance. It was Andrew's father who confided to the press, "My son took his own life."
One cannot begin to imagine the pain and suffering that the parents must feel right now. You hear these news reports and it seems so distant and removed from our own lives. But the fact of the matter is that unfortunately suicide is far more common event than most of us may realize. Here are just a few alarming statistics about the frequency of suicide given by Suicide.Org a web site devoted to the prevention of suicide.
- 1.3% of all deaths are from suicide.
- On average, one suicide occurs every 17 minutes.
- More people die from suicide than from homicide.
So when you think about this, every 17 minutes someone loses a child, a parent, a sibling, a friend, or loved one. And I can tell you from talking to people who have lost someone to suicide; this isn't the type of pain which ever truly heals completely.
If you or someone you know is in so much pain that it is becoming too difficult to cope I want you to seek some help for yourself or your loved one. I can tell you that I have personally been at some low points in my life where I was contemplating how to end the pain. I called one of the suicide hotlines and I will never forget what the crisis counselor told me, "The pain does not stop if you end your life, the pain will continue for everyone you leave behind." Sometimes in our depression we think we are a burden and that people will be better off if we do not exist. It isn't true. Ask any of the survivor's of suicide and you will realize that they will carry that hurt and loss for the rest of their lives.
So again please reach out for help if you need it. We are not a crisis center here on My Depression Connection. We are not here 24 hours a day so if you are in need of immediate help please call one of the numbers listed below:
National Suicide Hopeline
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
If your loved one or friend is talking about suicide please call one of these numbers. Don't wait. Get help. I know it may seem frightening to call someone but it could save your loved one's life. If it is an emergency call 911.
Prevention is so very critical in such circumstances. I hope that what I have written here today may help someone out there who is in need of support. Always reach out and talk to someone if you are feeling like you cannot cope. Depression can make you think things that ordinarily you would never think about. So it is good to say your thoughts out loud to someone who can help. To all those who participate here on My Depression Connection, we thank you. You never know when your words of support may end up saving someone.
Published On: February 26, 2010