I want to preface this with saying that I have suffered with depression and I am still trying to get a grip on my life and all the grief that has come with being depressed.
Robin Williams died from suicide. For it was not depression that killed him, it was a choice. The chemical imbalances in his brain did not kill him; he died by his own hands. It is indeed a tragic event and loss for all those in his family and those of us who grew up watching him on television. However, instead of only celebrating his life, we need to use this opportunity to finally talk about the real struggle of those who suffer with depression.
For all of you who still claim depression killed him, here are some facts. It is a specific event or series of events most of the time that causes someone to become depressed. Sometimes this lasts for 2 weeks and sometimes it can last for a lifetime. When these feelings stay, and the person starts to dwell on these feelings for an hour or more a day is when the chemical imbalances in our brain start to kick in. To say that something killed you means that you had absolutely no choice in the matter. You physically and mentally could do nothing to stop from dying. Suicide is a choice no matter how gruesome it seems.
As a population we need to be reaching out to those suffering with depression and help them as best we can. This should open up many doors for suicide help programs to use Williams death as a tool to reach more hurting adults in order to save lives. There is hope for those with depression if only we open our eyes to see it among our friends and family.
In case you need to know how to help someone who is depressed around here are some links:
Everyone needs to watch this one
Recognizing signs of depression in others
If you are having thoughts of suicide
And above all, please don’t be afraid to tell someone. I guarantee you there is one person who wants to help you. Even if you have to tell 15 people before someone really gets it and tries to help, keep letting people know what you are suffering with, because chances are you are not alone in your circle of friends and someone will help you directly or get you help. Do not be afraid. And remember, things do get better.