I am sure you have heard by now that beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead in his home yesterday morning; early reports say it was an alleged suicide. Robin was suffering from severe depression.
Although I would love to write an entire post about how I loved Robin Williams’ work so much. The Genie was always my favorite character in Aladdin. The film Mrs. Doubtfire really spoke to me and comforted me during my own parents’ divorce. His performance in Hook was one of my favorites because Peter Pan was a favorite story of mine since I was a little girl.
Side note: I did try to “fly” from the tops of furniture. In their infinite wisdom my parents gave me some “fairy dust” and told me it wasn’t used for flying but for other extraordinary feats. I sprinkled some on my cousin in hopes it would help her to learn to ride a two-wheeler bicycle.
But I digress.
As much fun as it would be for me to walk down memory lane and re-enjoy the works of this great comedian, I feel this post could be better served to bring awareness to a very prevalent issue.
Thousands of Americans, and millions of people worldwide, of all different colors, ages, and classes suffer from depression. Depression is an illness that knows no boundaries and can attack at any time. Depression is not something one can just “snap out of”, and the depressed person isn’t “being selfish” or “attention seeking” with their behavior. They are simply ill and need help.
I know this because I suffered from depression as a teenager, and though I recovered, it is still something I struggle with. I also have a young family member suffering from depression, whom I pray for daily that he will respond to treatment and counseling and be healed.
People who do not respond to counseling and treatment, or people who do not receive treatment, for their depression may take the same route as our beloved comedian, Mr. Williams. And no human being deserves to take their own life. A person deserves to know the love of his fellow man and his creator God, and to bask in that love and feel worth and purpose because of it.
I want to leave you with a list of warning signs for depression. If anyone you know, or you yourself, are showing one or more of these symptoms, seek help. There is no shame in seeking help and treatment for depression, but there is hope.
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Difficulty concentrating
- Hopelessness and helplessness
- Inability to control negative thoughts
- Lack of appetite or inability to control appetite
- Irritability, short-temperedness, or aggressiveness
- Over consumption of alcohol, or other reckless behavior
- Thoughts that life is not worth living
- Loss of energy
- Unexplained aches or pains