“You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to.” -Robin Williams

Robin Williams was a rare talent. He wasn’t like his fellow actors in Hollywood. His craft was bigger than life. His public persona was nothing but gracious, happy, and gleeful. His career spanned many decades and consequently affected many generations. Not only do I have favorite childhood memories of Williams’ work but so do my parents. This loss is one felt by millions.

People may think it’s weird but his death affected me. Usually when I hear of an actors untimely death I’m sad for a few minutes and move on. However, I’ve somewhat dwelled on Robin Williams death. Partially because he was truly an iconic actor with amazing range. He starred in some of my favorite childhood movies and played roles in other movies that I appreciate now as an adult.

His public persona was one of utter cheer and happiness. It defies logic that someone with that much love for life can succumb to suicide. It is important to note he suffered from severe depression for a long time.

However, here is the crux of the discussion. We never truly know what a person is struggling with internally. We only see what others will let us see. Sometimes our inner demons can become so strong. They feed off of our fears and regrets and anxieties until it can only end in tragedy. Sometimes the pain becomes so great and the burden so tough that we fool ourselves into thinking we have only one way out. That light at the end of the tunnel becomes less than a flicker. It appears as if it’s been snuffed out and so goes life.

Our job as family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and humans is to make one another feel as if there are alternatives. We have to be someone’s support system. We must make the people in our life feel wanted and loved.

Everyone needs to have someone. Be that person for someone else.

Depression is a serious disorder. It doesn’t discriminate and affects all types of people. Never be afraid to seek help. Talk to a professional. Use the resources available to you so you can be properly equipped to fight depression.

My chosen career path (Social Work) helped me understand many of the issues people face with mental illness. Unfortunately, people who do not understand Mental Illness trivialize those disorders. They are not helping anyone if they are making someone else feel as if their emotions do not matter.

The most I can say on the subject of depression and mental illness is that there is hope. One can find peace and become whole again. There are professionals out there that can help you climb out of the dark abyss you may be sinking in. You just have to talk to someone.

I’ve copied some links below that will take you to mental healthcare provider’s sites. If you feel as if you need help use them to make your first step.

http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/get-help-now Trevor Lifeline (866-488-7386)

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

If you would like some general information regarding suicide prevention check out the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention here:

http://www.afsp.org/

This in itself is humbling.

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