I’m sure people will be posting ad nauseam on here about Robin William’s apparent suicide…and that’s okay. It has occurred to me more than once how Facebook and other social media have come to play a big part in our grieving process, from sharing memories, to revelling in our loved one’s presence for just a bit longer, to sharing our grief with others…
But I just want to say one thing, and it’s about mental illness…depression….anxiety.
It’s amazing how many people do not have a full understanding of what true clinical depression and anxiety are like. These illnesses are diagnosed now more than ever before, and I’m sure their inevitable over-diagnosis leads some people to believe they are not that serious. True clinical depression and anxiety are not situational. “Why are you sad? Why are you anxious? Did something happen? Are you unhappy?” or by extension “What reason do you have to be depressed?”
As someone who suffers from both anxiety and depression since early childhood, I don’t mind answering honest questions, but I am tired of the stereotypes, and especially tired of the use of the term “mental illness” as a buzz word or scapegoat for every dirtbag that would walk into a school with a gun and blow through a clip before putting us out of his misery.
This, what happened to Robin Williams, is the true face of mental illness in this country. For me personally, having grown up always with this man in the periphery, his voice talents, his acting, always with good cheer and humor, (not to mention the fact that he reminds me of my Dad in some ways,) the idea that someone so warm and (by all accounts) genuine and caring, felt low enough to take his own life is unutterably sad.
Yes, he left behind a wife and grown children who will grieve him, but he didn’t take it to a public place with the intent to harm others or to garner attention or fifteen minutes more in the spot light. He went quietly, and in the end the person who suffered the most was him.
Not with a bang but a whimper.