Depression and suicide: Sir John did us all a big favour

John Kirwan became the public face of depression, and we all owe him for it

If we can acknowledge that depression is not a weakness and suicide is not an option, we can change the world.

Those were Sir John Kirwan’s rousing words to a large audience gathered for the Westpac-sponsored ambassador’s depression and mental health talk in Alexandra yesterday.

Kirwan said attitudes to mental ill-health were changing, but not fast enough.

“Suicide is the end of an illness; it’s a tragedy and it leaves devastation in its wake.”

Knighted in 2012 for his services to mental health and rugby, the former All Black said his mission was to push for more government-funded campaigns, such as suicide prevention advertisements, to spread the message that death by suicide was unacceptable

Long time readers will know the Whaleoil crew have their own struggles with depression. ¬†For those of you who think we just need to snap out of it, be glad you don’t know what it is like. ¬†Once it grabs hold of your thinking, your brain starts to lie to you, and you are willing to listen. ¬† Read more »

Photo Of The Day

This photo from the Smile Club was published in a Dutch illustrated magazine Het Leven, in 1937.

This photo from the Smile Club was published in a Dutch illustrated magazine Het Leven, in 1937.

The Creepy Story of How Budapest Became a “City of Smiles” in the 1930s

Read more »

Depression 101 (RIP Robin Williams)

I lost friends and friendships to depression. ¬†People don’t understand it. ¬†They judge you like a normal person should be judged. ¬†They have no idea. ¬†It’s OK. ¬†It still hurts, but I have to live with it. ¬†Luckily I have never gone as deep as to consider taking my own life. ¬†If you’re reading this, and you have got to the point of thinking how you would do it, or worse, started putting some of those plans into place, then it is time for you to understand this: ¬†THIS ISN’T YOU. ¬†If you let it run its course, it can end like Robin Williams. ¬†But for most of us, there is a way back out.


Most of the Whaleoil Crew have lived or are living with some level of depression. ¬†Not sure why, but it makes us very tolerant of each other when the days get dark, and we are welcomed back without judgement when we find some light back in our days. ¬†I’ve lost more friends to suicide than I have through accidental death.

You are not alone. ¬†You are never alone. ¬†And the thoughts of despair, anger, self-harm and hopelessness aren’t actually real. ¬†They are not real in the sense that your brain chemicals are messing up the messages. ¬†Don’t ever believe you want to be dead. ¬†It’s not true. ¬†Don’t ever believe nobody cares. ¬†It is not true. ¬† But depression makes it seem that way.

Your thoughts start to lie to you.  It is terrible.

Whenever someone has taken their own life, apart from the deep ache I feel inside, there is this feeling of “if only I knew, I would have helped”. ¬†There are so many people around you now, that will have the same reaction. ¬†But you need to stop believing that you are worthless. ¬†Stop believing you don’t matter. ¬†Stop believing you won’t be missed. ¬†Stop believing the world is better off without you.

Your thoughts start to lie to you.  It is terrible.

Somewhere inside you, is the old you.  It can come out again.  It takes time.  It takes a large number of setbacks.  But it can be done.

Don’t. ¬†Give. ¬†Up.

Find it within yourself to reach out.  There are people standing by right now.  Talk to a stranger.  Talk to your GP.  Talk to a mate.  Talk to a mentor.  Talk to a coach.  Talk to a colleague.

Say something.

“Help me. ¬†I need help”


– Pete


Another one gone too soon: Robin Williams, 63, suspected suicide


Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead on [today]¬†from an apparent suicide at his home in Northern California, Marin County Sheriff’s Office said. He was 63.

The sheriff’s coroner’s division said it suspects the death was a suicide due to asphyxia, but the cause of death is still under investigation.

Last month, the “Good Will Hunting” actor, who has struggled with addiction in the past, entered a Minnesota rehabilitation center to help him maintain sobriety.

His representatives at the time said Williams was not using drugs or alcohol but had gone to the center to “fine-tune and focus” his sobriety after working a longer-than-usual schedule.



- Reuters

Mass incarceration

The sanctimony of Russell Brown

I see Pots, pans and pannier bags blogger Russell Brown is falling over himself to criticise online bullies in the wake of Charlotte Dawson’s death.

He was another who intimated, when the West Coast ferals were attacking me, ¬†he would never condone death threats, BUT….¬† Read more »

Killing yourself because you’ve become ginger is taking things a bit too far

Surely being ginger isn’t so bad that you’d kill yourself over it?

However that is supposedly what has happened in the UK after a woman feared she was turning into a ginger.

A young office worker who had been suffering from anxiety and stress killed herself after becoming anxious about her hair colour, an inquest heard.

Frances Warren, 26, was concerned that her long blonde hair had turned a shade of ‘yellow’ or ‘ginger’ and was desperate for it to be fixed.

Miss Warren had seen her GP a couple of weeks earlier reporting symptoms of anxiety and stress and had been offered anti-depressants and had referred herself to a counselling service.

She was so anxious about the colour of her hair, she texted her hairdresser 50 times requesting her for help, an inquest at Avon Coroner’s Court heard.

I can understand day walkers wanting to hide their true soul-less existence but killing yourself over turning ginger is just hopeless.¬† Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Kevin Carter

Kevin Carter

Visiting Sudan, a little-known photographer took a picture that made the world weep.

Read more »

Ten indicators that things are coming right

Depsite the best efforts of the opposition to talk down everything in New Zealand things are on the turn and not in a way that they would like.

Lindsay Mitchell has listed ten indicators of positive change.

1/ Assaults on police

Tasers and training are credited with a double-digit drop in assaults against police.

Recorded offences against police dropped more than 20% between 2009-10 and 2012-13, figures released under the Official Information Act figures reveal.

2/ Deaths from sudden infant death syndrome

The number of infants dying suddenly has dropped but the rate is still too high, officials say.

In 2012, 36 infants died of cot death or sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI). This is down from 55 deaths in 2008. ¬†¬† Read more »

Reflecting on what we do here at Whaleoil

We’ve seen this before – it’s worth a repeat. ¬†Life isn’t just shits ‘n giggles, and some thing are worth doing right.


If you think you, or someone you know, may be thinking about suicide….

Call Lifeline NZ –¬†0800 543 354


Call 0508 TAUTOKO (828 865) for support. Available 24 hours.