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Old 01-09-2014, 08:06 AM
BillRayDrums's Avatar
BillRayDrums BillRayDrums is offline
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Location: Lower California
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Default Mental health check

Depression...just because "it" doesn't hurt like a toothache doesn't make "it" less of a danger. Creative people can sometimes have very dark periods and it can cause some really bad things to happen.

My friend Craig Zarkos was a phenomenal drummer, dad, friend and creative peer. He took his own life last month, and no one knew he was hurting so badly.

So if ever you are feeling that it's just hopeless and there's no one to talk to, there's always someone willing to listen. Just say the word and you'll get an ear. We got to look out for each other in this world.


Best Regards,
Bill Ray
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:27 AM
keep it simple's Avatar
keep it simple keep it simple is offline
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Location: Herefordshire, UK.
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Default Re: Mental health check

So sad to hear. The level of desperation must be unthinkable.

I've witnessed first hand the affects of depression in those suffering illness. I know it's not directly related to the subject at hand, but it's all the same bucket of crap, just a different trigger. Hopelessness is the key element. The lack of ability, for whatever reason, to see a way forward. There's always hope, but if it seems out of reach, you're in a dark place, & a very private dark place too. You're convinced that others can't help, no matter how well intentioned or equipped they may be. Of course, that's not true most of the time, but the sufferer fails to grasp that.

A few years ago, I was a very ill boy. It was actually my illness that brought me back to drumming after a couple of decades away. During my illness, I found myself in real mental trouble. My diagnosis was very poor. Luckily, I had many things to live for, not least of all my wife & children. These made the difference for me, but others may not be so lucky. I clearly remember my mental state turning point. I was in hospital when my heart stopped (again). My wife & son were next to me. I remember the crash team running towards me. At that point I looked at my son & saw his face. I will never forget his face as he watched his father fade away.

That was my wakeup call - big time. Luckily, I have the constitution to put one finger up at challenges, & forge ahead. Many are not built this way, & they often succumb to the darkness that is all consuming.

The message is, there's always hope, & sometimes it just takes a trigger to turn things around. If you know someone who you suspect is struggling, take time out to be that positive trigger.

Sorry to hear of your friend Bill. Truly a sad waste indeed.
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Old 01-09-2014, 12:35 PM
whitecatcafe whitecatcafe is offline
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Location: Commerce, TX
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Default Re: Mental health check

A friend of mine who was an engineer and who ran his own studio committed suicide last year, sometime over the summer. It was incredibly shocking to me but apparently he attempted suicide a week prior. His girlfriend said nothing to nobody. Then when it actually happened she regretted not saying anything about it, she seems to feel guilty for his death now.

It was ironic because probably the last band he recorded was my band, and my guitarist wanted to name the album "Every Party Dies" months before the suicide. Little did anyone know.... I get goosebumps every time I think about it.

I get sad when I remember those last months tracking the album with him. I remember his voice and his sarcastic sense of humour. He was indeed very talented.
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:03 PM
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Raelthomas Raelthomas is offline
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Default Re: Mental health check

Very sorry to hear. I too, have lost more than one dear friend to this illness. It's a very hard thing to do for some, reaching out for help, but as you said there is ALWAYS someone there to help you through or just listen. Don't be afraid to ask for help, if you ever feel down, people. There's always a brighter time ahead.
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:54 PM
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Anon La Ply Anon La Ply is offline
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Default Re: Mental health check

Commiserations Bill. It hurts to lose friends too early.

I used to do a bit of self harm when I was younger - thought about suicide every day for years but was always too chicken so I'd cut and hit myself instead. I was full of self loathing and just I wanted to not exist. I considered myself to be poison, nothing but trouble to everyone, and everyone would be better off if I was dead.

Then I realised the only thing that needed to die was my sick ego. So I'd kind of switch it off, telling (kidding?) myself that "I" was dead and only my animated body remained. I'd be all ears and eyes - dispassionate and uncaring about anything or anyone, just watching and listening - disassociating from the pain. Comfortably numb.

During those periods I'd try to avoid interaction but if I couldn't, I'd just listen and try to offer just enough to avoid the dreaded "are you okay?" question. I desperately didn't want to talk about myself, and felt intruded upon when people asked.

In hindsight all I was doing was taking a break from my cultural self and just letting myself be an organism for a while. It helped most times and, I believe, ultimately broke my habitual cycle of depression. For a long time it would only take a small setback or rebuke to set me off.

Once my problematic "I" was out of the way, healing would begin. Been years since I've been depressed, thank Universe.

I share this in case this technique will work for others as well. Immersion makes people happy, the ego screws us up. Worrying about what people think. Worrying that people are pissed off with us, or don't like us, or have bad plans for us or the kids and family etc. It's almost always people and relationships - a much more common cause of misery that illnesses like what Andy endured.

It's difficult when we jostle with our conflicts of interests while we often struggle to have control over our own behaviour. We blurt out stupid shit when we're hoping to be elegant, or the best laid plans can go belly up, or we lash out, go into panics or rages (synonymous), forget what's important.

Meaning is unnecessary. Life is important for its own sake and needs no justification. Everyone suffers, some more than others. Time is the great healer. When we're blue our sense of time goes west and we fool ourselves into thinking that nothing will change.

Yet change is always certain. Most people wouldn't have believed the way their life is today 20 years ago.

Sorry for blabbing on - maybe helpful for some. There's a lot of commonality to human experience.

Whatever, good luck and take it easy.


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Old 01-09-2014, 07:30 PM
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BacteriumFendYoke BacteriumFendYoke is offline
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Default Re: Mental health check

I work in mental health. I also have a long history of mental health problems going back to when I was a child.

Thanks for posting this thread, mate. I'm not going to disclose any more in public but I appreciate you putting this thread up.
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