On Wednesday night I went to see a short play that was being workshopped at the Backspace theatre.
It started off as a comedy. There were three male characters. One was called Garry and it was in his house that the scenes took place. He was funny and sarcastic, and didn't let out a lot of personal information.
His two friends were a serial monogomist who perved on women on the TV and a younger University student.
There were many great jokes - the one that stood out was an elaborate toilet joke. It really captured the essence of male friendship ie lots of jokes, not much personal stuff.
Gradually the 'flat' got messier and Gary got more withdrawn - but it was amidst jokes and sarcasm so I, like a lot of the audience, missed the 'signs'.
The play ended with the two friends discussing Gary's suicide.
I thought this was a sensitive and engaging portrayal of male depression/suicide. Statistically more men commit suicide and more women attempt suicide. I think this is because women are more open about their feelings whereas depression in men often goes unnoticed.
The times that I attempted suicide were mostly spur of the moment but once, on my most serious attempt in Alice Springs, it was planned. Suicide does appear selfish to outsiders, and perhaps it is. But, for me, when I attempted suicide I 1) Thought it was the best alternative to my problems and 2) Was feeling so depressed I couldn't think of other people.
I think the play shows that we need to all look out for friends and family and learn to pick up subtle hints that show someone is not 'all right'. We also need to know who to refer them to. In Tasmania it is the Mental Health Helpline.
God Bless you all