robin williams died today.
here is a list of things that robin williams was:
- and sad.
that’s important, the “and sad,” because sometimes sadness can feel like the only thing we are. it can feel all-encompassing. it can feel like the only thing anyone could possibly see, when they look at you: sad. that person is so, so, sad.
but there is always an “and.” we are never just sad. we are never only. we are always and.
we have all known people who were sad, who are sad; some of us are ourselves sad. being sad does not remove the other parts of us, though it can make them harder for us to see. when you are sad, you don’t necessarily feel like you are also funny, and sharp, and clever, and kind.
but you still are. you don’t have to feel like something to be it.
those things are written on your bones, they are woven into the fabric of your skin. sadness can feel so big, so big and overwhelming and complete, even when it is not a directed sadness. maybe especially when it is not a directed sadness, when it’s a depression that has no direct cause and nothing we can name.
sometimes the sadness is too big. people try to cut it out, or starve it out, or drink it down, or drug it silent. if this is you: i’m sorry. if this is you: you are not alone. if this is you: remember that the solution is never to give up, because you do not live in a vacuum. there are people waiting for you. there are films and songs and books and not-sadness waiting for you. i know that you don’t feel like waiting, but wait anyway.
if you need help, ask for it. here’s a link to crisis centers across the globe. if you live in the U.S., this is the national suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-8255.
robin williams died today, but the genie didn’t, and mrs. doubtfire didn’t, and peter pan didn’t. sean maquite didn’t, and professor philip brainard didn’t, and alan parrish didn’t. batty koda didn’t. john keating didn’t. you didn’t.
Robin Williams didn’t die from suicide. I only just heard the sad, sad news of Robin Williams’s death. My wife sent me a message to tell me he had died, and, when I asked her what he died from, she told me something that nobody in the news seems to be talking about.
When people die from cancer, their cause of death can be various horrible things – seizure, stroke, pneumonia – and when someone dies after battling cancer, and people ask “How did they die?”, you never hear anyone say “pulmonary embolism”, the answer is always “cancer”. A Pulmonary Embolism can be the final cause of death with some cancers, but when a friend of mine died from cancer, he died from cancer. That was it. And when I asked my wife what Robin Williams died from, she, very wisely, replied “Depression”.
The word “suicide” gives many people the impression that “it was his own decision,” or “he chose to die, whereas most people with cancer fight to live.” And, because Depression is still such a misunderstood condition, you can hardly blame people for not really understanding. Just a quick search on Twitter will show how many people have little sympathy for those who commit suicide…
But, just as a Pulmonary Embolism is a fatal symptom of cancer, suicide is a fatal symptom of Depression. Depression is an illness, not a choice of lifestyle. You can’t just “cheer up” with depression, just as you can’t choose not to have cancer. When someone commits suicide as a result of Depression, they die from Depression – an illness that kills millions each year. It is hard to know exactly how many people actually die from Depression each year because the figures and statistics only seem to show how many people die from “suicide” each year (and you don’t necessarily have to suffer Depression to commit suicide, it’s usually just implied). But considering that one person commits suicide every 14 minutes in the US alone, we clearly need to do more to battle this illness, and the stigmas that continue to surround it. Perhaps Depression might lose some its “it was his own fault” stigma, if we start focussing on the illness, rather than the symptom. Robin Williams didn’t die from suicide. He died from Depression*. It wasn’t his choice to suffer that."
FINALLY PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO TALK ABOUT WHAT DEPRESSION REALLY IS.
this reminds me of all the news programs covering his death following the story up with advice to call lifeline or beyondblue etc if you or anyone you know needed “help.” help from what? i’m being attacked by a fucking bear, should i call lifeline? i need someone to help me shift my lounge, should i call beyondblue? if you can’t even say the words “mental illness” or “depression” or “anxiety” all you’re doing is reinforcing the idea that this is something secret and not to be talked about. what do you think this makes the people experiencing these symptoms think and feel? (via mump)
wake up America.