Recently, I was blessed to go on a family vacation to BC for my “baby” brothers wedding. As I write this we are flying home. As such I have not sat with my thoughts about Robin Williams death. It’s important and relevant to me not because of his celebrity status or his great humour (that I thoroughly enjoyed), but mainly because of the attention this has brought to what killed him: depression. I’ve seen first hand, both personally and professionally what devasting effect depression can have on ones life. How it can damage relationships, self-esteem, careers, education, families, physical health and just about any aspect of life that we so often take for granted. I can’t even tell you how many people I’ve met who suffer in silence. Who don’t talk about depression. Who don’t get help or who suffer a long time before reaching out for help. Those who feel alone, embarrassed, weak, weird, shamed, “damaged”, “broken” and hopeless. Those same people who think they are the only ones who feel this way, which can further escalate the very feelings. Those who don’t know or don’t feel that they are loved, valued and appreciated. Those who don’t know we all feel these feelings in some sort, to some degree, at sometime in our life.
I am saddened by the loss of a life. I am saddened by those who go through life feeling alone and hopeless. I wish something, someone, could have helped Robin Williams so that depression didn’t kill him. I hope that anyone reading this will reach out for help for themselves or a loved one. Please know you don’t have to suffer alone. You can get help. There are treatments to help combat this disease – it does not have to take your life. Thank you Mr. Williams for the joy you brought to this world and hopefully the awareness of how serious depression is and the need for getting help, that you left behind.