Topic Tuesday #108 "Robin Williams' Suicide"
There is so much to say about Robin Williams' death. I, like many, were taken off guard and rightly flattened by the icons passing. Memories of the most jovial person I can think of, tempered with the deepest and saddest figures from his films rattle off each other in my mind. The Fisher King, Dead Poets Society, Goodwill Hunting, What Dreams May Come, Good Morning Vietnam, Hook, One Hour Photo, Jumanji, Popeye, Aladdin, Comic Relief, Mork and Mindy... His diversity in his acting and comedy showed his own personal diversity. His struggles through life made him, and eventually destroyed him.
There is a saying that I took to when I was battling my own depression. "Fake it, till you make it." The trouble is, even after you make it, you still have to fake some of it.
There are those out there that do not understand depression. They have never had the war of wills with their own reflection and their own subconscious to keep moving... To just get out of bed and face the next room, much less the world. It is an illness. A chemical imbalance. A conditioned response like post traumatic stress... These are the real demons. Robin had issues and had been dealing with them for a very long time. His drug and alcohol issues beyond being a troubling addiction, were probably also to mask the pain, and to escape through self medication. The mental health care system in this country has come a long way since labeling returning veterans of the great war (WW1) as suffering from "shell shock". We know now that it was post traumatic stress, PTSD. We have a myriad of chemicals to help coaxs our psyches into a bit of normalcy...but we still have a stigma. The stigma of crazy. It prevents people from openly getting help and locking themselves in a proverbial closet with only their inner demons to keep them company. There is no magic, pharmaceutical or otherwise, to make us better, only to get us by. Personally, I was prescribed a medication that helped. And let me tell you... I didn't know how much I missed me. When you find a cocktail that will help, the difference is staggering. The cliché veil being lifted is so damn appropriate, that I can't think.of better and certainly not less overused. Depression changes how you see everything. It is horrible and destructive. Escape. Escape is all you can focus on besides the bizarre pain and anguish of feeling broken. It's not selfish, when you actively believe your death would be the best thing for everyone. The guilt of living overwhelms the guilt of causing pain by shuffling off this mortal coil. It makes a morbid sense. You convince yourself that everyone wins. It is darkly logical, from the perspective of the truly depressed. This is serious. Anyone reading this that has had these thoughts, please, go seek assistance. Talk to people. Talk to me if you need someone, preferably before you get as far as death seeming logical...
If you hit that point... Call the national suicide hotline (800) 273-8255. They are trained to help navigate this painful situation. No matter how many things you have tried, there is always another way. Always.
Never choose a permanent solution for a temporary problem.
For more talk about mental health, check out the OrlyRadio Podcast - Show 20.