There are probably a billion blog posts, talking about Robin Williams’ death and I’m sure mine will get lost amongst them, but I really do feel quite emotional about it so, today, this is the topic of my blog post.
For those who have been under a rock for the past 24 hours, Robin Williams was found dead in his home through an apparent suicide. Since this, the media have uncovered that Williams suffered with depression throughout his life and battled with drugs and drink in the early stages of his career – although Williams was never closed about his personal battles, but he never bragged about his private life, did he? Schizophrenia has been discussed, with his ability to flit from character to character during interviews.
I thought about writing this post last night, but decided to leave it until this morning. I have never been suicidal, although I was diagnosed with depression after my Dad had passed, but never to the point where I had to be medicated and luckily, counselling was enough to sort my short term depression through the grieving process. I know a couple of close friends are on anti-depressants, but it of course is difficult for me to really go through what depression is or how to fix it when I only was depressed as a result of losing someone close to me and when every case is so different.
I think the saddest part about this story is that it is Robin Williams. The main man who starred in most 90s family films like Hook, Jumanji and Jack, but was a hard-hitting actor in films such as Good Will Hunting, Patch Adams and Dead Poets Society. Mrs Doubtfire is undoubtably one of the most memorable films of the 90s – in fact, there’s been a gathering around the San Francisco house where the story was based. The sadness is that there is footage of Robin Williams, talking about suicide, advising those to go and seek help if they are struggling and I even saw a video of him, eerily saying
Suicide is a permanent solution, to temporary problems.
My Mum told me once, a long time ago that I can’t even put a date on it, that comics are usually the most depressed of entertainers. The fact that they are so tuned in to being funny all the time, that when that pressure relieves, it turns completely the other way, so they don’t function at a ‘normal’, happy level. But, that being said, I don’t know the ins and outs of Robin’s life to possibly comment on that.
I think that what has hit me the most is the ‘silver lining’ of this. People are talking about depression a lot more. I watched This Morning yesterday, which gave some frightening statistics. One in four people in the UK are affected with depression. Wow. Statistically, that means out of my 400 friends on Facebook, 100 of them could be suffering with depression. That’s insane. This tragedy has highlighted that this invisible illness should not be taken lightly. You can’t tell someone with depression to ‘get over it’ and ‘move on’, because it’s not that easy. It makes me want to help, but I don’t even know where to start, other than to be there for my friends who have opened up to me about depression and to listen and try to help them. I suppose that’s a good place to start as any.
What will I remember Robin Williams most for? Mork & Mindy. His starting place. We used to watch it every evening at 6pm when Comedy Central used to be Paramount Comedy channel and it used to crack us up when we were little. I found the first ever Mork & Mindy online on YouTube, so if you’ve got a spare 40 minutes, watch here and have a laugh. But mostly, remember.