Robin Williams death sheds light on suicide, depression

Published Aug 12, 2014 at 9:50 am (Updated Aug 12, 2014 at 9:50 am)

Hollywood – and, judging by social media’s reaction, the rest of the world – is mourning the loss of comedian and actor Robin Williams, who died in an apparent suicide on Aug. 11. Despite his lighthearted demeanor and seemingly effortless ability to make everyone around him laugh, on camera or off, Williams had been battling demons for decades.

Williams struggled with drug and alcohol problems back in the 1970s and ’80s – and he was reportedly among the last to see friend and fellow comedian John Belushi alive before his overdose in 1982. He fell off the wagon in 2006, and last month went back into rehab to “ ... focus on his continued commitment,” according to his rep. He had admitted to self-medicating his fear and anxiety, and according to his rep, had been battling severe depression as of late.

Williams put himself out of his misery, but he leaves behind a wife, a daughter and two sons to deal with his mess and loss. And, albeit much less importantly, a currently-running sitcom, “The Crazy Ones.”

It just goes to show that no matter how happy a person seems, or how much support, wealth, fame, family, et cetera, they have – depression is a serious, serious issue. It eats away at the person it afflicts, creating a black hole of despair. While a mentally healthy person looks at suicide as a permanent solution to a temporary problem, the one suffering cannot begin to look at it like that.

There is no better time than now to bring awareness to depression and to tell those who are battling it, that there truly is a way out. There is help. It will not happen overnight, and it most certainly will not be an easy fight, but it absolutely can be done.

If you or someone you know feels hopeless, lost and without another option, now is the time to seek help. Do not ignore the warning signs, do not wait. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 10 percent of the United States population suffers with depression.

If there is one good thing that can come from Robin Williams’ suicide, it is perhaps that some other people will be saved from the same fate.

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