Robin Williams' died on Monday at the age of 63. A lot of people may just say, "Another celebrity killed himself. Happens all the time." But to me, it hits so much deeper. It hits close to home.
My father is 63 years old. He has suffered from depression his entire life. When I heard about Robin Williams' death and realized he is the same age as my father, all I could think about was calling him to tell him how much I love him and that I'm thinking about him. I don't know what has gone on with my father at all times. I know that there were probably times that depression had such a grip on him that he contemplated suicide. I am so blessed that my father is still here with me after all these years.
Not everyone is so lucky. I too have suffered from depression. Depression is a monster. It changes your perception of your world. You can have loving friends and family who care so very much about you, but in your mind the world is a dark and cold place. No one cares about you. You are worthless. This is what your mind tells you. People tell you to think positive, but when you are deep in that pit it is so very hard to get out.
There is a lot of talk going on about suicide as a result of Robin Williams' death. There's talk about how suicide is selfish and not considering that Mr. Williams and other depressed people who commit suicide are not thinking about the people that love them so much. The truth is, the depressed mind is selfish. It cannot think about anything about itself, and never in a good way. It is mean. It is unforgiving. It only thinks about itself and sometimes it gets to the point where it only thinks about taking this pain away.
So here's the question. What can you do? Learn about depression. Read about it. Educate yourself. Learn about the signs of suicide, especially if you know someone who suffers from depression. Talk about depression. It is an illness. It hurts the people who suffer from it and their loved ones. I hope that Robin Williams' death will open up people's minds about depression and help to bring about awareness of this condition that affects so many but still has so much stigma behind it.
Above all, tell your friends and family you love them because you never know what they may be going through inside.