After the shocking news of Robin Williams‘ suicide on Monday, the world has been mourning the loss of a comedic and acting genius.
He lit up our living rooms for years in hilarious and inspirational films such as Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting and Patch Adams.
Many people are shocked that the funniest man in the world was also the saddest man in the world. How can this be? Why couldn’t he just ‘snap’ out of it? Didn’t he think of his loved ones before he hanged himself?
These, and many other questions, have crossed the minds of many in the past few days. Let’s seize this tragic moment to become educated on depression, mental illness and addiction. Before you shrug this off, assuming that this does not apply to you or your loved ones, we urge you to continue reading.
Let us join together and learn about the darkness of depression in hopes of shedding light on mental illness. We must destigmatize depression and stop telling people to simply ‘snap out of it.’ Depression hurts – both physically and emotionally. Let’s take a moment and learn about the warning signs for ourselves and our loved ones.
According to Huffington Post, below are 10 warning signs that you or someone you know may be suffering from depression. All 10 signs may not occur at once, and severity can fluctuate. Whether mild or major, depression should not go untreated.
10 Warning Signs of Depression:
1. Sleeping too much or not enough.
2. Interest in death and suicide.
3. Poor nutrition.
4. Loss of interest in life.
5. Decreased or lack of energy.
6. Persistent feeling of sadness.
7. Feeling helpless and hopeless.
8. Crying all of the time.
9. Difficulty concentrating and making decisions.
10. Aches and pains that don’t get better with treatment.
Feelings of sadness and hopelessness are not the only signs of depression. Often, your body sends warning signals.
Here are 9 physical symptoms of depression:
- Digestive problems
- Problems sleeping
- Back aches
- Exhaustion and fatigue
- Changes in appetite
- Change in weight
- Chest pain
After being sober from alcohol and cocaine addiction for 20 years, Robin recently fell off the wagon. Some assumed that it was because of the death of his longtime friend, Superman star Christopher Reeve.
“No,” Robin said in a 2010 interview, “it’s more selfish than that. It’s just literally being afraid. And you think, oh, this will ease the fear. And it doesn’t.” What was he afraid of? “Everything,” he shared. “It’s just a general all-round arggghhh. It’s fearfulness and anxiety.”
It’s time to stop blaming people for having a negative attitude and using depression as an excuse; or being selfish for committing suicide; or being weak-minded for having addictions issues.
Mental health is so much more complex than these quick and judgemental assumptions.
Society often has a knee-jerk reaction to suicide — blaming the victim and calling her/him selfish. You don’t have to look too far on social media to see this ignorance and hate being aimed toward Robin’s surviving children.
This ignorant reaction to mental health issues must stop. Let’s join together, become educated, and be a little kinder to everyone around us. Robin Williams is a perfect example of the type of person you’d never think struggles with depression.
Depression does not discriminate regardless of your bank account, fame or fortune. It is not logical and it is not selfish. Depression is a real illness and should be treated as such.
We urge you to reach out for help if you are suffering with depression or mental health issues. There is no shame in asking for support — please don’t go another day without reaching out for help.