8/13/2014 4:00 PM PDT, by Emily Trainham
If there's one good thing that could possibly come out of Robin Williams' death -- and I know it seems impossible to think that anything good could come out of it right now; it's such a heartbreaking situation -- it's that more people might start thinking about mental illness. That more people might become aware of how serious of an issue it is, how deeply it can affect someone, and how it doesn't need to be kept quiet anymore ... if it ever even did to begin with.
For some reason, there are many people that don't take depression as seriously as they should. People tell someone suffering from depression "Oh, just cheer up, you don't have anything to be sad about," and someone who has depression could think "I just need to suck it up and get over it." There's a big, huge difference between depression and feeling kind of blue for an afternoon, but a lot of people don't see that. And that's why some people end up in Robin's situation, where they feel so incredibly sad that they simply can't take it anymore. And guys? There are things that can be done to help avoid situations like these in some cases.
Maybe if this country wasn't so obsessed with being "tough" -- if there wasn't this absurd notion that mental illness is something to be ashamed of, then maybe Robin Williams might still be alive right now. Maybe if there were more viable resources out there for people struggling with mental illness, or if it wasn't such a "taboo," "embarrassing" issue, maybe at some point in his life Robin could have gotten the help he needed so that he could cope. Maybe there wouldn't be so many shootings and violence and crime. Maybe we'd all be happier.
The sad thing is is that we can't take back what already happened. We can't magically make those resources and those outlooks available for Robin, and for the millions of other people who could have used them. But perhaps now would be a good time to start trying to make a difference. No matter how you feel about suicide in general, can't we at least agree on those things?
Filed Under: Robin Williams