October is Depression Awareness Month. In a recent episode of “Your Hope Filled Perspective with Dr. Michelle Bengtson,” I had the opportunity to talk with Dave Ebert, an improvisational comedian who has struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts but now uses comedy to help himself and others. Check out the episode here: Laughter is Good Medicine {Even for Depression and Suicidal Thoughts} – Episode 26 . I’ve asked Dave to share more here about what helped him during the days when his experience with depression and suicidal thoughts were at their greatest. He shared 3 steps to take when the darkness is in and around you.


For many years, beginning my sophomore year in high school, I was on the verge of drowning. Depression and suicidal thoughts were a constant companion for me. I literally felt like I was walking on the slippery rocks of a riverbed, my head right at the surface of the water, but then my foot would slip. I’d take on water, feel like I was about to die.

Sometimes, I longed to. Sometimes, I wanted desperately to stop flailing and fighting to find my footing and let the waters of the pain wash me away forever.

I wanted to drown to make the pain go away.

I know the feeling of the darkness, the way it surrounds you inside and out. I know that it feels easier to just embrace the darkness and let it grow when you’re suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts. In that place, the voices that want to keep you locked in that prison get louder and seem more justified.

I want to encourage you to take these three steps to try to break the power of this darkness. It’s not easy. It’s a literal war. These steps are practical steps to start winning some battles.

3 steps to take when the darkness is in and around you.


1.) First, open the blinds or shades in your room, apartment, house, garage, office, or wherever you are. Regardless of the time of day. Let the light in. If it’s nighttime, keep them open. Let a street light in. Or, just leave them open for when the sun comes up. It’s important to note…the sun will come up tomorrow. It might be hidden by clouds sometimes, but it’s there. But, do not leave the blinds closed. Even at night, the windows will connect you to the world. The darkness, which is a tool of the enemy, is trying to keep you isolated. Open blinds are a small step to staving that attack.


2.) Second, go for a walk in the daytime. Honestly, it doesn’t matter if it’s raining or otherwise not “ideal” weather. A nice rain shower can, sometimes, be refreshing…and, dare I say, it can even be fun! But, God designed the sun to provide legitimate health benefits, all of which help with mood, state of mind, stress levels, and tension. Go to a park. Walk a trail. Walk your block. Not only is the sun going to be health-beneficial, but getting the heart pumping, blood flowing, oxygen infusing, will all help you feel better.

3.) Third, surround yourself with the light of company. There are people who care about you. They are the ones you think about not burdening. If you’re like me, and battled suicidal thoughts, I am talking about the people you think about and want to make sure that, if you take that step, the hurt they feel is minimalized and the blame they might feel is negated. It’s those people you need to be with. If you want to protect them from your feelings, depression, and suicidal thoughts, then they are the people that you need as life preservers to get your head above water. Don’t expect them to fix you, don’t expect groundbreaking advice, don’t expect a miracle from your family and friends…just be. Let them just be. Then, just be together. We are designed to be together. We are designed to be in fellowship with others.

How to help someone suffering with depression and suicidal thoughts

Now, a fourth point to anyone who might be reading this looking for advice on what to say to their mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, or son or daughter who might be going through depression, this is my advice to you. It was hinted in the third point above.

It is the most important thing to remember, regardless of any education, training, experience, or articles read on the internet (ironic mentioning that in a piece currently being disseminated via that same means).

When you have someone close to you that is struggling with depression and may be contemplating suicide, the first thing you have to accept is that your job is in no way to ‘fix’ your loved one. No matter what, do not try to fix them, control their emotions, or correct them. Your job is to be present. To listen. To pay attention. To care. To resist the pushes away. To be there and show the unwavering, relentless, unchanging, reliable love of God by simply being present.

The story of Eeyore in the Hundred Acre Woods is ideal. Eeyore is obviously a character that suffers depression, but Pooh, Piglet, and Tigger never forgot him, never left him behind, never let his struggles get in the way of relationship. Be someone’s Pooh.

And, I am a comedian. I worded that last paragraph intentionally.

God bless!
Dave Ebert

About Dave Ebert

Dave Ebert uses comedy to redeem the scars of depression and minister to others thru improv.Dave Ebert was born in Chicago but grew up in the south in Virginia and West Virginia. Dave always entertained the people he was around, but that knack for entertaining went from fun to a defense mechanism to keep people from seeing his internal war with depression and suicide. Using entertainment and humor as a way to keep people away, as well as to try to make sure others didn’t feel the same as he did, Dave spent many years hiding his depression. Finally, God reached Dave and Dave set out to pursue God in earnest. Now, Dave uses the comedy, allowing God to redeem the scars of depression, to minister to others through improv.

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In this episode, Dave Ebert, an improvisational comedian who has struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts, shares what helped him during the days when his experience with depression and suicidal thoughts were at their greatest. He now uses comedy to help himself and others. #depression #depressionandsuicide #mentalhealth