I honestly didn’t mean to come back so suddenly, but the news from earlier today just hit home very hard and I felt the need to say something to y’all.
Robin Williams Passes Away
Robin Williams passes away today at the relatively young age of 63. The earliest reports so far seem to confirm that it was a suicide by asphyxiation. He had been battling severe depression for quite some time now, and it seems that it ultimately did him in. Robin Williams was one of the first actors who’s career I began to follow as a kid, owing largely to his involvement in Disney’s Aladdin as the Genie.
I remember a story Stephen Spielberg told about when he was filming Schindler’s List. While over in Germany, Robin Williams would call Stephen up every night to tell him a joke because the story of Schindler’s List was so depressing and difficult to film Stephen needed the pick-me-ups.
It’s incredibly sad that Robin ultimately took his own life like this. Depression is, unfortunately, a chemical imbalance in the brain and requires constant treatment and help. The brain, like any other organ in your body, can get sick too, but because it’s not readily visible people often go without treatment for a long time.
Goodbye Robin Williams. You were a talented actor and an amazing comedian. You will be sorely missed.
My Own Battle with Depression
If you remember about 2 years back I took a 6 month hiatus. I mentioned at the time that my health was declining and that I was losing weight at a rapid and unhealthy rate. At the time I was dealing with some very severe mental health issues, which included depression.
Dealing with depression is so frustrating. Sometimes just getting out of bed is an accomplishment. And the stigma associated with it due to people not understanding it’s effects can be even more frustrating. “Just be happy” “Just get up and stop moping!” “You’ve got nothing to be depressed about!” As if it were just that easy...
I, however, was lucky in that I was able to seek out medial help. I eventually got better through medication and therapy. And while occasionally I will have a relapse every now and then, I know that I am ultimately much healthier and happier than I was during that time. I look back on where I was 2 years ago and it’s amazing how different things are now.
And one of the things that helped me out were all of the thank you’s from fans. Anonymous people who sent me really sweet messages over the years saying how they were battling depression and that my comics (be it SYAC or brentalfloss or whatever) helped cheer them up and get them through their day. Like I said, sometimes just making it through the day is an amazing accomplishment, and it warms my heart to know that in some small way I was apart of that for some people.
So to any of my fans who either have depression or know someone who does, thank you so much for making it through one more day. Thank you for being here. Thank you for being the awesome and amazingly strong person you are. Depression and other mental health problems are not easy to fight, and they can often make you feel like you’re going it alone. But you are not. You can fight it. And we appreciate the fact that you do and are here with us now. So thank you once again.
If there’s one good thing to come out of Robin Williams’s death, it’s the spreading of awareness of depression and information on how to get help or treatment. Please, please PLEASE, if you have depression or you know someone who does, do whatever you can to seek help. There are a lot of non-profit groups who can assist you if you need help. Speak up to your parents, or your doctor, or your friends. Depression can make it feel like it’s you against the rest of the world, but it really does not have to be that way.