Friday, August 15, 2014

Robin Williams' suicide and depression myths

Robin Williams committed suicide a few days ago and it still feels surreal. I usually don't feel celebrity deaths personally and I seldom write about pop culture in this blog, but this is an exception.

I think that the collective heartbreak over Robin Williams' death speaks to his power. I can't remember who said it, but the person said that his loss is felt strongly because so many people feel like Robin is their favourite uncle. His humour and warmth made him so relatable. Honestly, part of the reason I'm so affected by his death is because I've realized I'll never get a bear hug from Robin Williams. We'll never crack a joke together.

I was also really sad to hear that he had such terrible depression. If anything positive can come from such a loss, it's the conversations online about depression and mental health since he died.

Many people who understand depression, including those who suffer from it, have addressed the widespread shock that such a funny, frenetic person who had achieved enormous professional success and adoration was depressed.

Depression is a condition of the brain. Success can't prevent or resolve it. Depression is not necessarily visible.

I have not experienced depression myself, though I've certainly had my share of low points, but I know people who have been depressed and I have seen how misconceptions hurt them.

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please seek help.

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