This is about Robin Williams, like thousands, millions of other blog posts and Facebook posts and tweets and god knows what else out there. Like just about everyone, I am shocked. Like just about everyone, I am very sad. Like just about everyone, I feel this was a personal loss, that his talent and his spirit touched my life on a deeper level than any other celebrity I can name. And that in his struggle with depression, with despair, with those constant feelings of being not-enough, I see myself.
It’s all been said before, and with more grace than I am capable of. But there are three things that I will say, things that must be repeated, by as many people and to as many people as possible.
Depression does not discriminate.
Depression strikes men and women, the young and the old, the famous and the obscure, the rich and the poor.
It gets into your head, and it tells you that nothing is ever good enough, that no one loves you, that the future only holds more pain, and that you might as well give up. These are all lies.
It’s okay to get help.
Chances are, you know someone who struggles with depression. It might even be you. There is absolutely no shame in getting help. Talk to a friend. A family member. Your doctor. See a therapist. If it’s right for you, take medication. You do not have to suffer in silence. People will listen. People will help.
If you or someone you know are having suicidal thoughts, please call the number above. And please pass that number along. Post it on your Facebook page, on your twitter, your Pinterest, your Instagram. Suicide is contagious. Suicide rates spike after a well-publicized suicide, and this is the most publicized suicide I’ve ever seen. Please help make sure that people who are struggling with this know that help is at hand. Give them the number, and be there for them.
And if anyone needs someone to turn to, you can contact me. I will listen.