Depression and Robin Williams
I’ve held off writing about Robin Williams for a few days for a number of reasons. Firstly, the nature of his demise obviously struck a few personal chords. Secondly, the children regarded him as being their ‘TV dad’, purely because at his best Paul could be very Robin Williams’ish in his sense of fun and thirdly because I felt writing something so soon after his death seemed inappropriate.
RIP Robin Williams. Let’s all remember him like this, at his best.
So, here I am wanting to say an enormous ‘Thank You’ to the man who constantly delighted us with his amazing talent and obvious compassion for his fellow human beings. His ability to portray such incredible empathy with the characters he played was awesome in the extreme. ‘Jack’, where he plays the 10 year old boy in a 40 year old body springs to mind and ‘Mrs Doubtfire’ where he becomes ‘Nanny’ to his own children, not only were these films very funny but he also managed to delve into the innermost depths of the emotions of the characters he was playing.
In his ‘real’ life as well, the stories abound of his generosity of spirit and genuine compassion towards those less fortunate. I could cite so many but I don’t feel the need to, his actions spoke louder than any words of mine could speak.
It is, therefore, even more tragic that his life should end in such a desperate way. People are very quick to judge those that take their own life as being ‘selfish’, those people have obviously never suffered from the devastating ravages of real depression. Having suffered all my life with periods of severe depression, I can relate only too well to how it can take you to such depths that the only way out appears to be ending it all. I have obviously never succumbed to those feelings but I can empathise only too well. These days I could never bring myself to put my children through such a trauma a second time so I will forever ride the storm when it hits knowing that somehow I will come out of the other end.
Robin had obviously reached the stage where he felt so incredibly desperate that he sought the only peace he could. So sad that a man as well loved as he could reach such a low and proof that it doesn’t matter how good your life appears to the outside world, depression knows no boundaries. My husband, tragically, reached the same point in his life in spite of the love he was surrounded by. Never judge.
I therefore dedicate this blog to everyone who knows what real depression is and how it can destroy your life, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour and year on year. How that eternal ‘black hole’ with seemingly no end can push you to the brink of despair so deeply that eternal blackness seems the only escape.
I also implore all of you to seek help and not be swayed by the ones who tell you ‘pull yourself together’ and therefore make you feel weak. Seeking help is not a weakness, it is a strength and depression is an illness, not just a state of mind. Every illness needs medication occasionally so, just as you would happily pop a pill every day if your heart needed it, feel no weakness in popping a daily pill for depression. I do and I make no secret of it. My daily Citalopram keeps me feeling ‘ok’ and a lot of the time much more than just OK, so I will take it for as long as I need it, so far about 6 years!
Depression needs a lot more understanding and tolerance from society and to those telling people to ‘snap out of it’? STOP…….NOW. You could be the final straw that makes that person feel so weak that they finally take that final tragic step. They need your love and support and to know that you will love them through it.
To all my fellow sufferers, I understand how you feel but please know that ‘this too will end’ and you will come out of the other side eventually. I wish you all peace of mind and spirit and pray you have someone to turn to when it all starts to feel too much.