It's Time.

8/13/2014 4:00 PM PDT, by
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

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657 days ago

I'm not one that is usually affected by celebrity deaths (of course, it's always sad, but I never feel a personal connection), but this has hit me exceptionally hard.

I'm not yet 30, but have been dealing with depression for over 15 years, along other illnesses more recently. In the last year and a half, I've hit an all-time low, and my doctors have twice placed me on a medical leave from work. While I appreciate how this tragedy has opened up social media to the difficulties of depression and other mental illnesses, for me, it has been almost too overwhelming. All I can think of every time Mr. Williams' face or name pops in my my social media feeds, it makes me question my own self worth - if someone as loved, successful and wealthy as Robin Williams can't find the resources to help him, what chance do I have? If he I couldn't do it, them why do cb even bother continuing.

I know I'll get hate for saying that, and I promise you, I'm extremely happy that this may help others open up about and realize the seriousness of mental health issues, but every time I see it, it breaks my heart and tears me down even further. I truly wish I could have held on to Robin's pain, suffering and heartache if it meant he could continue his craft of making others laugh and smile.

1 Reply
656 days ago

@ Ashley---Your words ring very true. I've been thinking about the very same thing. Feelings of hopelessness have crept in. I usually push the darkness back, thinking about what an inconvenience it would be for other people (like the ambulance, doctors, my landlords and other people who would have to deal with the business of tidying up after me). I don't worry about family as all my family are gone from this world. And, like you I just wonder how in the world I avoid what seems pretty inevitable for me. For someone with so much and at such an age, I just feel so exhausted thinking about having to fight everyday until I am finally no longer breathing. At 41, I keep thinking it will fade away. Now after this, a good man at 63 does what so many of us long for...Man, I don't want to struggle with it another 22 years or how ever many years I have left.

Being strong and muscling through is seeming much less worthwhile.

I hope the best for you, but I understand completely the pain and struggle, Ashley.

1 Reply
656 days ago

I found a couple things I thought I should share. I hope fishwrapper doesn't mind. Both were links given out by Bill Maher. For the people who are having trouble understanding depression, here is one of the best descriptions of what it is like. Maybe some of you will change your mind about calling Robin names. And it might help some understand the people in your life that suffer from it. And help people suffering from it, so they don't feel so alone.

2 Replies
656 days ago

And Bill Maher with Robin and Joe Biden on the panel. I thought many of you would enjoy it. As always, Robin is really funny. Don't worry right wingers, there is a republican there too. :)

656 days ago

For those interested in the bigger picture of depression and suicide, go to:

What Is the Spiritual Perspective On Suicide? | Big Picture Questions

654 days ago

The saddest part is that Robin DID know help was an option and DID ask for it and then go to treatment. He ISN'T one of those cases where you say, "If only he had asked for help!" However, he obviously should have stayed much longer, as clearly, he was already past the point of no return when he went. His still being depressed AFTER he did what he knows is the most extreme type of help and what has always helped him in the past (inpatient treatment) probably shot his hopelessness through the roof. What really is something to think about though is that Robin, an already admitted addict, felt comfortable saying he was in inpatient for "sobriety maintinence," but did not feel comfortable saying what we've come to find out was the real reason he was there: depression. That says a ton about how we view mental illness as a society.

RIP Robin... I hope you're at peace.