I’m incredibly sad and shocked to hear that Robbin Williams appeared to have committed suicide. I don’t usually get all that upset about the passing of celebrities. I think the difference this time was that I felt like I had more in common with him them other ones. Robbin Williams had suffered with depression along with substance abuse problems for most of his life. His manic-like behavior often seemed to over shadow his depressed side. Additionally he seemed like a genuinely caring person which is rare now these days.
One wonders why he couldn’t reach out to someone about his pain. Perhaps like many he found it difficult to convey his pain to others due perhaps to pride or hopelessness. In my experience people tend to dismiss people with major depression since many people have only experienced a milder version and think the severely depressed individual must be experiencing the same degree of depression.
One celebrity tweeted that he was selfish to commit suicide. This makes me quite angry because it denies that the person was in unbearable pain. If someone was in pain from cancer I don’t think people would dismiss their suffering as readily.
Now looking back at many of his pictures, his eyes appear quite sad and his smile forced. I think the lesson from this is not to automatically dismiss others who appear depressed. Depression is too often seen as a normal condition and not an abnormal one.
edit: I just learned that he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease. That could explain the depression since it can be a symptom of Parkinson’s.