I recall that when Robin Williams first appeared on the seen several decades ago I liked him instantly. Every week I watched his show and over the years have watched almost every movie he was in. Through his comedy he made me laugh, and in his serious roles he caused me to reflect on important aspects of life. He was a man of unusual talent, and will be missed by many, myself included.
I find it so sad that Robin Williams, a man who brought laughter and joy to so many, was constantly under pressure to show a persona that was so different from the emotional suffering he faced during his life. His legacy is bittersweet. My heart goes out to those he left behind.
Tragedies like this one can help us to focus on what needs to be done to improve situations where we can make a difference. Millions of Americans suffer from depression; unfortunately most cases go undiagnosed. They suffer in silence. They may be afraid to admit that something is wrong. They may not have the support or the resources to access the care that can help them get well. They self-medicate with alcohol, drugs, or other things to ease their pain. Their lives are a constant struggle. Robin Williams knew all about that struggle.
Depression can afflict anyone. Even though it is as common as the common cold, it usually does not resolve itself like the common cold. Depression is progressive and can become debilitating. It can rob you of many important things, including your precious life. Being depressed does not mean that you are defective or weak. It means that you have a health condition that is no different than heart disease or diabetes. Depression requires attention and care, and there are many resources available to recover from it. Professional help from a qualified mental health provider can make all the difference for you.
If you have been dealing with feelings of chronic sadness, anxiety, stress, sleep problems, loss of pleasure and fatigue, take that courageous first step to contact a mental health professional for a consultation. You will be glad you did.
Nelly Venturini, LMHC, NCC, CIRT