By now, everyone has learned of the death of Robin Williams. His death has touched a lot of nerves, some positive and some negative. I, myself, was angry over the fact that he took his own life. How could someone who had more than the normal, every day person, just throw in the towel and say, “I can’t take it anymore?” Then, I started listening to stories, reading posts and seeing it first hand how depression is so misunderstood by the un-depressed society.
You see, I know all about depression. I’ve been surrounded by it all my life, I’m surrounded by it now and I go through bouts of it myself. Growing up in New Orleans, I have seen people mask their depression through drugs, alcohol and yes, as I did, through humor. People see this happy go-lucky guy who is always making people laugh, putting himself out there in social situations and being the life of the party. Never in a million years did anyone believe this short, fat funny guy suffers with depression.
If depression caused you to have a scar or a wound, it may be easier to understand. Or better yet, have them wear a mask. Well, most people who suffer from depression wear a mask every day, but no one else sees it. It’s the face they want you to see. It’s the face they need to put on in order to face the world each and every day. At times, depending upon the situation, the mask will come off. Other times, the mask stays on because it can’t be removed. That’s when some people start thinking dark thoughts.
If you know someone who is suffering from depression, reach out to them, but realize, you can’t fix them. The best thing you can do is “be there” for them. If they need or want to talk, let them. Don’t insert your thoughts or advice, “just listen.” If they want to just sit in silence with you, “let them.” Don’t continually ask them, “what’s wrong?” “Are you OK.” If they need to cry, “hold them,” give them comfort and let them release. If it goes beyond that, you may want to suggest that they seek professional help.
Yes, Robin Williams is dead. He took his life because he may have felt that he could not go any further. Although misunderstood and questioned by society and the talking heads on TV, his death has opened the door and started conversations about depression. Maybe, just maybe, his darkness may shed some light on someone who is battling this disease called Depression.
One thought on “Robin Williams – Through His Darkness Comes Light”
This is a wonderful blog, Brian. You wrote a perfect explanation for this illness, depression is just as you said. It can be masked by some, and some people cannot seem to overcome it. I myself, have some depression issues, however I have been fortunate to get through it. Some days I do not want to leave my home, then somehow, I just get myself better and end up going out. I do not know when this will happen, but unfortunately it does. My family on my Mother’s side suffers with this also and I guess that is why I have it. None the less it is serious and some people do need professional help. Some people get help and still cannot deal with things and overcome this. Robin Williams was very good at covering up his depression. It is such a shame to have it so bad to take your own life though. It is so sad to see someone with such a severe case as his. More people need to read this, it may help someone out there who feels no one understands them. I will do my part to help spread this blog to people I know. Thank you so much for writing this. How is your family doing? I heard that your Dad had passed away, I am so sorry. How is your Mom doing, I know that she suffers from Alzhiemer’s Disease. That is such a sad disease, that robs one of everything and everyone that they are so close to. How are you doing? I am retired from Nursing, due to lower spinal fusion laminectomy in 2011, I just can’t lift people anymore, as so many Nurses have to do. I really do miss the old neighborhood and some of the neighbors. Terry who lives in Dot and Charl’s old house now, comes here to Huntsville to visit me, stays for a few days with us. She keeps me up on all the happenings of Tucker Ave. LOL. Hope you are well in Sunny Florida? See you on Facebook. ❤