You will hear it be said that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary situation. But for those with debilitating depression and other mental illnesses, it is not at all a temporary situation. It is a day to day battle.
You will hear people say: how could a successful actor want to kill himself? Didn't he have everything?
It doesn't matter if you own the biggest mansion, have millions of dollars in the bank, and admiration from all your peers. It does not make what is inside your brain go away.
Robin Williams, 63, was a charismatic, beyond witty, and brilliant man. He spent his life making us all laugh. But at what cost?
"When people say they are depressed on a daily basis, they usually mean that they are sad. It is clear that the word “depressed” has lost some of its meaning, which has led to some of the stigma surrounding it. However, Williams was suffering from the major illness depression, according to his family members and representatives." (Source)
His struggle ended quietly on Monday August 11, 2014 at his home, where he died by hanging himself with his belt.
Today let's lift the layers away from the stigma of depression and mental illness. And discuss how it has touched our own lives. You know it has more than touched mine.
It has nothing to do with what you have or don't have. How rich or how poor you are. Whether you live in a tiny home or a mansion.
It has nothing to do with will power. When people tell a depressed person that they should get over it or pull themselves up by the bootstraps, they are adding fuel to an already growing fire.
And now it has taken yet another of our most beloved and creative actors. Who was also a husband and father.
What led up to this is not Robin Williams's fault. He did not ask for it. He did not want it. He could not make it go away.
Robin Williams gave us years of laughter. But behind that was something he was simply not able to deal with any longer. May he rest in peace.
Now let's look at this difficult subject. Has your life been affected by suicide? Have you lost a loved one, a parent, a sibling, a friend?
Do you suffer from depression? Or another mental illness? Is your husband, child, sibling, parent, or friend a victim of this disease?
Today, let's open the doors to understanding and the willingness to listen and not judge.
Now it is your turn.