Thank You Robin Williams
I have tried to write this post several times, but the words won’t come out right. I always think it is a little odd when people are affected by the death of a famous person, but it’s happened to me before and it happened again when I learned about the passing of Robin Williams and how he had taken his own life. I never knew Robin Williams, I never met him or came anywhere near him, had no correspondence with him, nothing. Yet I was left feeling shocked and emotional when I read about his death.
Throughout Wednesday I kept seeing articles about Robin popping up all over the place and there was no escaping it. I work on social media so I can’t exactly run from the news and the headlines. Most of the time I ignore anything that I find distressing, but I found myself reading every article I came across and breaking down in tears during each one. Then I noticed the articles taking on a different angle, rather than focusing purely on the devastating news and the reaction of his family, celebrities and the media they began talking about depression, anxiety, bi-polar and suicide. I read these articles too, something I’ve never really been able to do in the past, but I felt I had to and I’m glad I did.
I shared a few of the articles and wrote about how I was feeling on Facebook and I had several friends tell me they were feeling emotional too. My people who expressed similar feelings were friends of mine who have or are having problems with depression, both male and female and of different ages. It was very clear that Robin had hit a massive nerve in us all.
In order to bring myself out of the sorrow I was feeling I knew I had to find a positive. That positive was right there in my face. People and the media were talking openly about depression and suicide. It was as if all of a sudden people were questioning their opinions of depression, asking themselves if someone as successful in life found himself unable to continue then perhaps this depression thing was pretty darn serious. Well yes folks, it sure as hell is, but now we’re talking about it perhaps at least the stigma and the blasé thoughts regarding friends and family that are suffering will now change, once and for all.
It’s Okay to Talk about Depression
If you suffer from depression it’s important not to keep it inside. There’s no need to hide. You don’t have to worry about being a burden on anyone else, the people who care will stand by your side. Your parents will want to know and they will try to understand. If you don’t have people who you can turn to there is plenty of help and support online. It’s amazing how you can really connect with others in a safe environment without even meeting in person or disclosing your real name if you don’t want to. Just be honest when it comes to your feelings, let your thoughts and experiences come out and talk about them openly. Some great places to find help include:
Speak to your doctor and if they tell you there’s nothing wrong with you and you need to pull yourself out of it ask to see a different doctor and consider making a complaint. Just don’t give up and leave it there. Read blogs and websites, find support groups on Facebook, it’s okay to reach out and it will help you. Personally I was diagnosed with depression at 18 but I had been suffering with it for several years already. At the moment I feel I’m not depressed but my partner is, but not diagnosed. He went to his doctor at a young age and was told there was nothing wrong with him, he left feeling stupid and humiliated, which is heart breaking. He is talking to me and has recently begun speaking about it with his new doctor and is making progress.
I grew up with Robin Williams on my television screen. My brother and I would always watch Mork and Mindy together, then there were the films Robin made. There are two that really stick out for me. The first is Mr Doubtfire, released in 1993 when I was 16. This is one of the last films I remember watching with my mum before she passed away in 1995. It was funny as hell and had us both cracking up and simply enjoying our time together at a time when we weren’t really getting on so well. The next movie is Jumanji. Now this came out in 1995 and I was perhaps a little too old for it but I couldn’t help but fall in love with the story, so much so that I watched the film almost nightly for a long while when it came out on VHS (yes VHS!).
I thank Robin Williams for entertaining me and my family and being part of my happy memories. I also thank him for encouraging us all to talk more and be a little more understanding. To be there for our friends and our family and to listen more attentively when someone we love tells us they are depressed or feeling down.