Personal Thoughts on Robin Williams’ Passing


robin-williams-quiz-banner

As written by Nina G. (aka @potnoodlez)

Robin William’s suicide has shaken to me to my core. Not so much because a wonderful talent is now gone, although that in of itself is sad, but because I am terrified that some day that will be my fate. I never met Robin Williams, but yet I feel like I can identify with him. I do not know exactly what was going through his head any more than anyone else, but I do know what it is like to deal with severe depression. Sadly, I also know what it is like to believe I’d be better off dead than continuing to live with depression.

The sad fact is that there are no simple solutions to depression. When a person commits suicide, we often hear about how all you have to do is reach out for help. If only it worked that way for every person. I cringe at saying that because I would never want to discourage someone from reaching out for help, but it’s not that simple for some of us.

There really is no cure for depression. The medical profession has yet to even figure out what causes depression. You hear about chemical imbalances, but that is only a theory and was stumbled upon accidentally. Antidepressants work about 50% of the time. That leaves half of us without an effective treatment.

I have been on five different antidepressants and two anxiety medications since January 2013.  Since that time, I’ve also been receiving individual therapy on a weekly basis and work with a certified peer specialist. I’ve also attended a weekly support group, posted on  an online support group,  tried group therapy, attended a weekly workshop to create a recovery plan, and have read a number of self help books. I walk for nearly an hour every day since exercise is often promoted as a means to improve depression.

Has any of this helped me? Yes, but the pit of depression is so deep that I feel like I’m miles away from climbing out of it. The progress I’ve made has been painfully slow. It has not really made a dent in the crushing depression I feel on a daily basis.

Hope is stripped away with each antidepressant I try. It’s easy to think death is the only way out when you do so much and nothing makes a significant difference. I do not know what kind of help Robin Williams received, but it’s easy for me to see how another bout of depression became too much for him. I completely understand how he may have been unable to see a way out and finally decided to take the only way that was certain to end his suffering in his mind.

I feel guilty as I write this because I feel like I am taking away all hope from someone who may be suffering and read this, but this is what some of us experience. Does it help to mention this? Is it better to hide  this? I don’t know, but I know we as a society need better solutions.  I would be the first person to encourage anyone to get help. You cannot get better by doing nothing. I had done nothing for far too long. Perhaps that is the reason why my depression is more difficult to treat. I don’t know. I just know that it is more difficult to treat for some of us which can lead to utter despair and hopelessness.

One comment
  1. Sue Galeone

    08.13.14 at 9:34 am

    I think it’s important for those who suffer from depression and mental illness to share their stories, as you did here, because it really is such a complicated issue and some people just don’t understand (like the people that say “you just need to cheer up” or “you’ll be fine”). I feel the more we talk about it, the more we lessen the stigmatization of it, as well as let others who are suffering know that they aren’t alone. As someone who has been on the depression rollercoaster, I know having others that understood helped me feel a lot less crazy and able to figure out ways to handle it.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>