From the depths of despair

“Action is the antidote to despair”–Joan Baez

A lawyer in affluent Westchester County, a NYC suburb, killed his wife and two sleeping children yesterday, then shot himself. The couple reportedly was going through a bitter divorce. The kids were 8 and 10 and neighbors said they were a “beautiful” family.

It is impossible to fathom what could trigger such a horrific act. An extraordinarily stressful situation can lead to psychosis, which can show up in a variety of ways, including delusions–a break with reality. Whatever the case, the report momentarily unnerved me and has haunted me throughout the day. So many people across the country are experiencing stressful situations. They’ve lost their jobs and homes and are losing their hope. Young people can’t get jobs in the first place.

I am not suggesting that everyone who is stressed will develop a psychosis. But we must try to alleviate the stress of our loved ones and friends as much as possible. If we can offer someone a job–even if temporary–or a helping hand in some other way, we must do it. We cannot simply thank our lucky stars that we’re employed and have wonderful homes.

Deep despair is one of the worst illnesses that can affect us. Words don’t provide hope; actions do.

 

2 Responses to “From the depths of despair”

  1. Susan says:

    Yes, thank you for this, Geri, & for not railing against the person. I’ve been through something similar with a friend here. The shrieking against the *evil* person, etc. We cannot know what happened but a psychotic break is almost always the reason.

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  2. sharon Segal says:

    Dear Geri, How sad. Down here in Boca we did not hear that horrible story. Things must have been really BAD. You are right action is the way to go. Stay well, Sharon

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