Today is the 6 month anniversary of Robin Williams’ passing. Seems both impossibly long and like it was yesterday all at once. I Won’t speak about the exact manner in which he died because people seem to like to dwell on that (at least in my experience) instead of celebrating his life. In the end he died because of depression, according to every thing I’ve read, he had been depressed for a long time. (Feel free to read the articles on it if you’d like.) He’d also been though and beaten drug and alcohol addiction. Some time ago he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. I don’t have PD so I don’t know what that’s like but I do have depression so I know how tough that can be and I know it can be genetic it is in my case I’m not sure about his but if it was it’s kind of impossible to avoid.
When you are really depressed, you don’t think straight I’ve heard a lot of people say that taking your own life is selfish. I can’t speak for anyone else but when it was that bad for me, Yes I wanted the pain to stop but saving my family from the burden of taking care of me in the state I was in seemed a lot less selfish than what I thought of doing. I wasn’t thinking about what it would do to my family, I thought it’d be better for them. Irrational I know but in that state of mind it seemed rational.
Depression is a form of mental illness whether people believe that or not. If we could get the majority of people to acknowledge that we could end the stigma surrounding it. People who assume that having a good family or tons of money can prevent depression are wrong, there’s no blueprint that I know of anyway, that gives you a fool-proof plan to prevent depression.
The reason I’m still here is because I couldn’t do that to myself and I was able to ask,to admit I needed help. I think that’s an important part of getting treatment . we also need to acknowledge that society teaches us to be ashamed of ourselves and others who are depressed and/or have other mental illnesses. I’m not going to bring up all the details of Robin Williams’ death, I think they are pretty well-known by now.
I will say that since his death was ruled a suicide,I’ve noticed and maybe you have as well, that people have acknowledged suicide and depression as being serious issues more than I ever remember anyone doing. it isn’t right that it took this happening to start people discussing this more. is his life more valuable than others because of his job? No. I’ve lost people to this myself and I don’t think that there lives are any less valuable than his was. he was just in the public eye so his work was able to reach people, both his work as an actor an his charity work such as comic relief. he was also able to meet many people and touch many lives.
His legacy is the happiness and joy he brought to this world as a comedian and his thought-provoking roles as a dramatic actor and of course as a humanitarian. he also left a legacy to his family and friends in his special relationships with each of them. with that being said, I believe there’s something that needs to be addressed. I’ve heard people say and read people say, Why weren’t his family and friends trying to stop it? How does anyone know they weren’t unless they know them? I think it’s so disrespectful and needs to stop being said.
I mentioned legacies above to make this point now, we all leave legacies behind with those who love us. everyone matters, we are all loved by some one. each life affects another it doesn’t matter how much money you make or what you do for a living, someone out there needs us and we all at least need one person. we all at least influence and shape at least one life. I guess that was the true point of this blog post, to remind people of that and to keep the conversation going about mental illness alive. Yes, this post was about Robin Williams’ life and legacy but it was also about all of us in part because we need to be reminded of the things I talked about. Do we still have a lot to work on as far as this issue goes? Yes. will improving the way we deal with this save every life? No, but it will certainly save more than not addressing it would. I believe we can improve this issue. do you?
I’m in no way a medical professional nor do I have a connection to Mr. Williams or his family. what I’ve said is yours to take or leave. I do not own the rights to Comic Relief, it was only used as and example. copyright and trademark belong to the rightful owners.