Depression and Robin Williams

Part of me wants to be angry with him for ending his life; for removing his talent from the world so there will be nothing more to come. The other part of me is so sad for the loss of his presence in the world. I can’t believe that he killed himself. He was a leading character in all of my favourite movies. He was larger than life and I simply enjoyed his talent so much, I am feeling his loss personally, even though he was a complete stranger.

Depression pisses me off. I’m not sure you can explain it to someone who hasn’t really lived with it. It’s like explaining childbirth to someone; all the reading and pictures does not do the experience justice. An outsider can view the manifestations of Depression, but does not know the actual darkness. It’s probably a good thing. It would be too much of a burden to people who have light inside of them, to know the weight of depression from inside the emotion.

It’s why I think people who are dealing with Depression need to be handled by people who are at various stages of it, themselves. They get support from their peers who they know understand intimately where they are at, because we’ve been on the pendulum ourselves. The biggest mistake our society makes is allowing people with Depression to be deemed ‘cured’ or ‘over it’. That never happens.

Depression is an insidious current that runs through the water of the life we live and it can alter its path and intensity at any given moment and with no notice. Once it’s diagnosed, I believe it must be monitored and individuals held accountable to people who are trained at seeing the slight personality changes that can signal a swing towards the darkness. The only thing to stop it’s devastating impact is to have others help you fight it. Doing it yourself becomes too much at times.

Suicide is an actual option. It’s a personal choice. When you simply can not handle the Depression any longer and you no longer can see how transferring those emotions onto the people you love one you shed your life, it means you have immediate need of supervision until you come back into yourself again. Suicide only ends YOUR pain and it’s the beginning of the worst pain imaginable for every single person who loved and cared for you. People who have to live with your choice every single day they draw breath. Suicide doesn’t end depression, it transfers it to others.

Killing yourself is the fasted way to spread Depression so it infects more and more people. It is the ultimate in act in selfishness as it can never be undone. I am hurting today because Robin Williams committed suicide, because he made the choice to spread his Depression instead of continuing to fight its presence in his life. His life wasn’t his own to take. He had touched the lives of too many people for him to choose suicide as an option.

I wish I could be angry with him, or the people in his life who saw him struggling and accepted his platitudes and lies about ‘being fine’. Right now, I am just immeasurably sad that we live in a world that could not protect him from the demons inside his own mind. I’m sad that depression overcame him. Always remember to H.O.P.E;  Hold On, Pain Ends.

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17 Responses to Depression and Robin Williams

  1. littleannab says:

    Well said

  2. Mark Baron says:

    I feel you, completely. Anger. Sadness. Pain. But in the end, hope.

  3. rougedmount, I thoroughly enjoy your writing and greatly admire the strength you display in overcoming that which has come short of your expectations. I hope you never let your immense like get darkened by any of your demons.

    • rougedmount says:

      thank you for the kind words … i am aware of my place in the world, aware of who i am and what i struggle with. depression is a facet of my life and will not be the focus. i allow myself to feel it as it comes and know that naming it will not give it power. i will never give up my power because i know how it feels to be helpless. i will not allow it to go beyond myself and into others and why i will fight so hard to force others into awareness if i see their struggle. it IS my place, it IS my right and i truly do not care others opinion of me for speaking out as it is important to me…i think it should be important to others as well. silence kills…not depression. depression is treatable if you simply stand and look at it. it only thrives in dark places and if you shine enough light and attention onto it, it retreats. depression is not evil..it’s simply part of our nature and it needs to be accepted for the simple thing it is. once you change how you perceive it, it changes its power in your life.

  4. oceanswater says:

    Well I don’t know about Canada where you live, but Mental Health is still a stigma here in the states. People do not think it’s a “real problem>” They wonder why people can’t just “man up.” or get over it. I’m not sure it will ever change here in the U.,S. We have no patience for depression, anxiety or any other mental illness. then something like this happens and it’s all over the TV. But, only till the next time…
    I recently had a young man tell me that his father asked him what he needed a counselor for…
    These are the Americans we see shooting up the workplaces, etc. At least Robin Williams on took his own life. There are so many other depressed people who take several along with them.

  5. dragonfly918 says:

    Well put. And you made an interesting point about helping people with depression, that only someone who’s been in it can truly understand enough to help. It is a well of unreasoning darkness and you can’t simply throw in a rope.

    I have been close to suicide myself and only stopped myself from ever doing it for the very reason you listed: I would inflict my misery on the people who love me, and that I couldn’t do.

    My heart goes out to his family. It’s a horrible enough thing to deal with, but they have the added burden of celebrity.

    • rougedmount says:

      his family, his children, his closest friends … all will now look at themselves, blame themselves, look at the role they played in keeping silent and analyzing every interaction. they will play the game of ‘what if’s’ and struggle with anger before they can truly grieve. he has inflicted the worst sort of emotional damage possible on every single person who loved him the most…the rest of us are just auxiliary damage…there are so many of us because he was a well loved public personality.

  6. My co-worker’s father killed himself two years ago – two months before I got this job. She blames herself every day, still after all this time. She will always feel some guilt because she thinks that she could have done more to help him, to stop him from ending his life. But, the truth is, she couldn’t. It’s so painful to watch her struggle. I wish I could have known the person she was before that horrible event “broke” her. Yesterday was a really tough day for her, I was surprised when she came to work.
    I loved your words “Suicide doesn’t end depression, it transfers it to others.” and how suicide just spreads more depression. Thanks for writing this. XOX!

  7. kdaddy23 says:

    Thanks to my stroke, I’m in 24/7 pain and before I found the right drugs to control it, I knew what it was like to have something going on that was so fucking depressing that suicide seemed like a great option. I can tell you from my own experiences that while I did think of what offing myself would do to those I’d leave behind, it wasn’t the most important thing on mind: Ending the pain was. There was a time when I didn’t understand this, when I wasn’t really able to understand why Don Cornelius would stick a gun in his mouth and pull the trigger or, yeah, why Robin Williams would hang himself; I mean, things couldn’t be that bad, could they?

    Yes: They CAN be that bad and for some, to the point where treatment doesn’t help, medications don’t help and all you want – all you pray for – is for it all to be over with and to hell with whatever happens after that because when you’re dead, you don’t give a shit about anything anymore. Yep, this is a fucked up way to look at it but if you’ve never been there, you really don’t know what it’s like to actually sit and think about what would be the best way to end your life so that whatever’s fucking with you will forever stop fucking with you.

    Is it a selfish way to think? Yeah, it can be but if you’re that depressed, it is about you and you alone. Committing suicide hurts the people you left behind and I often think about whether it’s selfish of them to want that person to just keep suffering with whatever they’re suffering with. Maybe it is… maybe it really isn’t in either case… but the condition and the mindset is very real; like I said, I’ve been right there and so much on the edge where I was pissed off because the stroke didn’t kill me – and I was wishing that it had.

    The ‘good’ thing for me is that I’m too much of a coward to kill myself and that as bad as I felt things were for me, I wanted to live and I was able to minimize the thing that so very much had me wanting to kill myself as well as the depression that was adding fuel to the fire. My friends, it is a hopeless and helpless feeling and you just don’t see any other way to make it stop and more so when you’ve tried all that can be done and, in this, the choice is simple: To end the torment, your life must end. Some will say that Robin was selfish, that he took the cowardly way out and that because he did it in this fashion, he’s transferred that depression to all who loved him… but death does this anyway and regardless of the method, doesn’t it? And I again wonder which is the greater “evil” – to take your own life in this situation or to suffer horribly with it until death finally and eventually clams you by some other means?

    I don’t know the answer to this – and I fucking don’t ever want to be in the position to once again be thinking like this because that all by itself is depressing. Just my two cents worth…

    • rougedmount says:

      Suicide when you are in chronic physical pain is a choice that should be medically available to people and should be discussed with their families.

      Suicide when you are in chronic mental pain is NOT a choice that should be available as a mood is TEMPORARY and changes, it cycles, every single person who has had depression knows, it cycles. The issue is, you get tired of it and when in it, you forget it ends and you can’t fucking stand one more second of your life as it is.

      You don’t transfer pain and depression to other people when you die unless you kill yourself with no warning to others, so no one who loves you has a chance to fight for you, when you’re too tired to fight for yourself. It IS selfish and it’s the saddest thing in the world because you don’t understand your place in it.

      If someone has suffered with depression their entire life and can not handle the battle anymore, then they need to discuss it with friends, family, medical professionals. IF they make a choice to end their life…it’s their choice isn’t it? But they can then kill themselves after hearing how it will make everyone in their life feel. They can sit there and see their kids fall apart, see their parents crumple before their eyes, see their friends rant and rage in their fear and selfishness to keep you alive and in their life. You can let the people who love you have the chance to say their piece before you end things so they won’t have regrets once you are gone.

      Committing suicide alone is because you know people would stop you if they could. It goes against our very nature to see a physically healthy person decide to die. The least you could do is let yourself be an organ donor so other people can live if you want to end your life. You have no closure when someone hides to die and it’s why people are so focused on finding ‘the note’ if there is one.

      My biological father killed himself 25 yrs ago. Guess who carries his burden now? HIS CHILDREN. I speak from experience; pain is not only transferred it’s magnified in the children and family of people who commit suicide. Do you have any idea how hard it is to not hate someone for doing that to you? You never get over it because it changes who you are.

      If an individual decides that Suicide is the method they want to use to deal with their issues, after all other venues and methods are exhausted, then I believe it’s their right to do so. Send them off with kind words, a gentle farewell and organ donation so their ended life will benefit others who want to live. Closure for all involved.

      • kdaddy23 says:

        And we both know that real life doesn’t work that way and, yeah, I do know how hard it is; found out when my nephew committed suicide due to him not being able to deal any longer with MS… and it sucks in all of the worst possible ways.

        It might not be right, dear Rouged; it might not be fair and it might not allow that certain dignity in death… but I understand why someone would do this

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