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National Suicide Prevention day/week, and a farewell to a good friend


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Sorry to post a super downer thread, but there's something I would like to share with you all. Normally, I don't ever post anything like this, but something has happened that has led me to do so.

This past Sunday marked the beginning of Suicide Prevention week. I don't need to explain why this sort of thing exists, but I would ask that you all keep this week in the back of your minds, somewhere. I can't really deal with typing a whole bunch of stuff out about it right now, so please visit their website:


The reason I'm bringing all of this up is because of this guy:


Meet Doug Horak. Very close friend of mine--perhaps my closest friend, though I've never been one to pick favorites. Doug was an OCR fan as well--some of you may have met him if you ever went to any of the Baltimore or New York City meetups we had.

His artwork is pretty stunning as well. He does all sorts of things anywhere from something like this:


To goofy little doodles, such as his contribution to OCR's joke album, ReCapitated:


I've also been lucky enough to collaborate with him--if you haven't seen it, I'd love for you to see our collaboration called Viridian. This was for one of his classes as part of his master's degree at the Savannah School of Art and Design.

Doug's a great artist, and has won quite a bit of acclaim. He recently won a competition where he got to Skywalker ranch and meet George Lucas. We were hanging out the other day, and he was telling me all of these plans he had--for his master's thesis, for future collaborations between us, and some of the places he was going to apply for work. He helped me move into my new apartment in New Haven, and we went out to our favorite bar after for a drink and played some darts. I couldn't help be fantasize of the day when Doug would get his dream job at LucasArts, and perhaps get a chance to work with OCR's own bustatunez.

Doug hung himself on Saturday, September 8, 2012. His obituary can be read here.

I'm not looking for your pity, or your sympathy. Doug's decision was his decision, and as much as it hurts, I have to respect it. However, as quick and painless as his death was, it's created far more pain for far more people. I can't really say the extent of what Doug's depression was doing to him, but it was enough to push him to this end. Depression is a frighteningly elusive beast, one that had slipped past most of his closest friends and brought him to this end.

Doug hung himself the day before Suicide Prevention Week started. I don't know if he was trying to say something or not, but I hope that rather than only feeling bad for myself, I can at least spread the word so that this doesn't happen again. Trying to make a difference, even to a community as small as OverClocked Remix, feels a whole lot better than sitting in my room feeling bad for myself.

So please, take a moment to learn a bit about this week. Please reach out to those in need. If you're battling depression or having suicidal thoughts, please try to find the courage to ask for help. I wish Doug had been able to do this same.

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Very eloquently-written post, Doug. I want to add that depression (and other similar problems like anxiety) is nothing to be ashamed of, and that there is always a solution that involves getting better. Whether through talk therapy, medication, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), EMDR, self-meditation, life/environmental changes, or some mix of these things, I promise that it is possible to feel better. The hardest part about depression is, of course, that you see things in a negative light and can't see the possibility of improvement. I understand that; I've been through it, and so have others close to me.

But at the end of the day, even if you can't trust yourself or see a brighter future, trust what Doug and I are saying. Ask for help - from a friend, from a family member, from a professional. There's always an answer.

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Damn, sorry about your friend man.

I've had my bouts with depression myself, but not that serious (well, I could at least, shake it most of the time). I have to admit, things have been crazy the past few months for me and my friends though. I have had the misfortune to hear about 2 attempts (one of which would have been a double murder/suicide) and I unknowingly stopped another one by just holding a normal conversation with a friend that I haven't spoken to in nearly 10 years. Sometimes all people need is someone to listen and show them love.

Thanks for posting this up man. I'll be sure to share it.

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Ask for help - from a friend, from a family member, from a professional. There's always an answer.

This this this this this this this this this.

My cousin recently committed suicide and I've known those who have seriously considered it. No one has to bear everything on their shoulders alone - your family, your friends, your peers are always around, and more likely than not will listen to any problem that one might have.

One of the most important things is communication. Spread awareness, let others know that you are there for them, that they aren't alone. It could save a life.

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Throwing in my support as well.

I've struggled with depression in the past, and even spent four days in a mental hospital on suicide watch at one point.

And then it got better.

It always gets better, as long as you ask for help. It's not weakness, it's not shameful, and it's not something you have to handle on your own. It's not something you SHOULD try to handle on your own.

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I would also like to show my support for this. Even though I've suffered from major depression for a long time, I know that it's not always people who have the diagnosis who end up taking their lives. Sometimes life just has a way of taking a turn you don't expect. Things get bleak too fast, and there's nothing else to do. But I always say, please don't. As much as I respect a person's right to do so, I don't want to see anyone go like that when they've got so much good left to bring to the world and to have given back to them. I've lost friends this way, and I've seen others lose family to suicide as well. I nearly did it myself, a long time ago. The thing is, if you've got anyone who's bringing it up or who is reaching out, tell them how you feel about them. Tell them that they aren't facing life alone, even if it seems like they are. Even if they fight you about it, press on. And get them to seek help if they're able or willing. Like others have said, there's no shame in it.

Heartfelt condolences for the loss of your friend, Doug.

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This is a subject I'm sadly all too familiar with myself, having lost a 15 year old cousin to suicide, as well as an uncle just two weeks after my grandfather passed.

I've had my very low times in life, and it's been friends that have pulled me through the worst. Things do get better, but you have to push yourself to reach for it. Most of the time it seems like suicide is a very in the moment thing, and you just have to remember in those moments that there are people that legitimately care about you. Talk to them. Don't think that you're weak.

It sucks to hear that such a good and talented friend of yours went this way Doug. None of us will ever understand why these incredible people leave us the way they do. The best we can do is remember them, and do what we can to help those that are alive and in need of a friend.

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Sorry for your loss.

A permanent solution to a temporary problem but not the right way to solve it.

Sometimes it's hard to tell what triggered the final act. Sometimes it could be avoided with a simple smile.

Suicide is stupid... They do it for stupid reasons too; money, a girl, etc... because they are not reasoning well (depression is a bitch).

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