UPDATED: Some People Laugh to Keep from Crying. Sometimes it's not Enough.
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I fell in love with Robin Williams, the very first second I experienced him. The first time was as a guest on "Happy Days" when he appeard as "Mork from Ork". Then, having had quite the Star-Turn (He "KILLED IT", as they say in showbiz parlance)--- That led to a spin-off that was the premiere of the, groundbreaking, sitcom, "Mork and Mindy" on ABC.
I was twelve years old, and even then, I knew the sight gags, and FX were kind of hokey... but he was so committed to the suspension of disbelief, that I fell for them all, hook, line, and rainbow-colored suspenders! Remember when rainbows were just rainbows?
I, truly, loved every single character he played in his career. People far more erudite, and devoted than I, will chronicle his brilliant body of work. So that's not the point of this piece. How does something terrible like this happen to talented people, and so often?
Mental Health Must be Discussed!
I am not a Psychologist, Psychiatrist, or any other kind of doctor, or degreed clinician. I did work as a Tech 2, acute- and brief-treatment, technician at Rutgers Community Mental Health Center, and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey's (UMDNJ) Piscataway campus. On a daily basis, I worked with adult, and adolescent, mentally, and emotionally, challenged individuals in an inpatient setting. The spectrum of mental illness is vast, and disarming.
I know that people simply do not really understand what "depression" really is. It can present as simple "sadness", or can range to extremes requiring psychological care, medication, and intervention. It's no joke, and it is extremely serious if untreated. Sometimes, treatment does not resolve the condition, no matter how enduring, or intense. Mr Williams reportedly reached out for help recently, and admitted himself to a facility.
What is Depression, and why can't some people get beyond it?
Depression is often described as a feeling of hopelessness, frustration, pointlessness, and deep sadness. That's pretty simple. We must remember that there is no one uniform depression that is a "cookie-cutter" fit, for every depressive person. We all experience our feelings uniquely. Sometimes, what works for one person may be ineffectual in another. Couple mental illness with the brutality of addiction, and the problems intensify.
It is wrong to lump one person's voyage through depression, and addiction, to anybody else's. There are some things in common, but at the core, we are all individuals. Depression and addiction are diseases, and by their nature, beyond most people's ability to "cure" on their own. They are diseases, and deserve to be treated as such--- without derision, or stigma. Diseases... just as cancer, cardiac, thyroid, and any other condition. With treatment, there might be healing.
How would YOU know?
I am one of the lucky ones. An average, run of the mill, addict in active recovery, who has been blissfully-gratefully-free of the use of illicit drugs, or the urge, for fourteen years. I own the t-shirt... and the key ring. It's a day-to-day choice. Not everyone is that fortunate. Some people don't make it. There can be a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
Acting as escape: What a trip that is!
What I will ask is, what in the hell could lead a popular, wildly successful, highly-respected, insanely wealthy, handsome, idolized, talented person, and parent--- who seemingly has it "all"--- to choose, allegedly, to take one's own life?
Who does that? People battling intense "demons" do just that. We have lost an irreplaceable talent in the death of Mr. Williams. The world is FAR less funny, and flawed, and perfect, and touching, and daring, and magical, as a result.
To prescribe a person in pain, a dose of "Get over it", or "Cowboy up", or "quit your whining" might be appropriate in some cases daily drama. But in the case of depression, those commands, are potential executioners.
Take depression seriously. Check on your friends, if you're a true friend. You might be hated or resented for your efforts... but you might just save a life.
I'm crushed that you found it all too much. The universe went black in the moments your death was made public. I watched as, in mere moments, friends across the globe were posting their grief on their Facebook walls. Now heaven has a Master-Jester, and heartful angel, on duty! And I'd bet it's all shimmering in gold in your honor! Rest in Peace, Mr. Williams.
Parkinson's Disease: Contributing Factor?
For a cerebral, mercurial, vibrant man, with a non-stop thought-process, this disease would likely be the very worst thing that could happen to him professionally. The degenerative disease would manifest itself in ways such as: tremors, loss of verbal acuity, mental sharpness, muscle control, speech, and many more.
What actor and comedian would not intensely feel this diagnosis as the impending death of all that he is. His strongest tools, potentially no longer at his command. The bullets in his holster, dampened, and unusable.
There have, however, been many famous people that were forced to cope with Parkinson's Disease. One in recent memory, is the American actor, Michael J. Fox
I would seem to make sense that a man battling the diseases he already faced, found it, in his depressive mind, to be better to be gone, than to endure such a humbling, sad, and frustrating demise... and the loss of the things that made him the very best at what he did!
There's help, if you'll receive it--- or get it for someone you know:
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