Monday, August 11, 2014

Dear Robin

Robin Williams died today. He was 63. By most accounts, it appears that there is very little doubt that he committed suicide.

Robin Williams was one of my favorite actors. I feel so sad that he chose to take his life. So incredibly sad, in a way that the passing of very few celebrities has made me feel.

Suicide is a real option for many people. Having worked in mental health for more than a decade, I've talked with many, many people who have contemplated, or attempted suicide. There are many people who glibbly state that suicide is "selfish." That "things are never that bad."

It is NEVER that simple. What people sitting on the sidelines sometimes do not understand is the power that depression has over people who struggle with it. There are very serious lies that invade the head of people with depression. Lies that say that there is no hope, that there is no future, that you are useless and that nothing will change that. When these messages come from your own head, with very convincing examples, they are legitimately hard to fight against. From my experience, most people who eventually attempt suicide have fought against these thoughts, these "truths" for a long time.

I get it.

It is really, REALLY hard.

If, in fact, Robin Williams took his own life due to an ongoing with depression, exacebated by potential substance abuse (alcohol or otherwise), he would have understood this struggle.

Choosing to live is sometimes harder than the alternative. The "truth" in their head is so hard to disprove.

I wish someone would have been able to tell Robin Williams that the stuggle is worth it.

I wish someone would have been able to get to him, and let him know that recovery is possible. That it won't always be this way. I wish he could have believed that. To keep going on fight on.

If you have these thoughts, please contact 1-800-SUICIDE. If you have no one else, talk to them. Trained people will listen. You don't always have to feel this way and there are other answers than taking your own life. Check yourself into a hospital. Contact a therapist. Make an appointment for some meds because depression has a very strong chemical component to it. Do all of the above.

This is hard stuff. Please keep fighting. Please know that I believe that you are worth it.

Goodnight Robin.

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