Robin Williams has talked about depression publicly. Depression is a Munch's 'Silent Scream'; happening right in front of us all, screaming in pain, making no audible sound, in most cases. Being crippled by depression is no different than having one's legs cut off or being deaf, for many of us. We can't just make it go away! That part of our brain either flowered forth as such or was damaged in handling. As much energy and love family and friends will invest in someone that has been injured in a car accident, or war, they still cannot seem to wrap their heads around doing the same for those of us who suffer the invisible mental marble deficit, right? Losing our metaphorical marbles? First of all, you can't loose what you may not have. Should one lose their eyesight yet still manage to work, maintain a home somehow, live day to day - we admire that person. We say things like, "I don't know how they made it this far, how they did so well." That is not often said of those who fight the battle of the mind. In fact, hurdles like, "Why don't you just get it together?" and "You can choose to be happy!" are thrown at them over and over with the message, "I don't want to hear about your feelings or your problems. I just want you to quit faking this to get attention! Please be normal!" These messages leave us in isolation, in masking who we really are, in wishing to be invisible, wanting to go to sleep forever or, at least until life is better, and worst of all, wishing to die. WELL, THAT'S selfish!!!
Yes and no. People make it clear that they want us to do something we simply cannot do!!! Be normal! If we cannot do that, please pretend (that is usually unspoken, but at least implied). It is absolutely normal for humans to seek solutions - plan A, plan B, and so on... Plan A. Kill myself, to relieve my family of the distress I cause them or WILL cause them (because one simply cannot keep it together any longer and it will destroy friends & family) but what a legacy to leave because we all leave one of some sort. Plan B. Seek help AGAIN! Hasn't worked before for this person, for some, medication and psychs are not helpful. Chronic, major depression many times does not respond to medication and behavioral therapy. Plan C. Take a bunch of pills in order to sleep for days and days and hope to be left alone. Bad idea, might take too many and die or damage the brain. That was not part of the plan. Plan D. Isolate one's self and find ways to keep mind occupied (possibly become agoraphobic in the process, all it takes is a burgeoning paranoia and some practice!).
I feel a deep-seated sadness and and a wisp of envy regarding Robin's choice. In no way do I consider him a coward because it takes courage to make a decision such this and stand by it. But, I believe it was a badly made decision in which he needed a second opinion. Second opinions regarding life decisions are under-rated. However, as many times as I've stood at the very same precipice, I cannot judge and will hope that he has found a great peace or, at least, nothinginess. Were my sadness regarding this big idea of his to leave us all to be multiplied by even ten, without a doubt a nice, month-long nap would be appealing. One thing I have learned in life is that if we leave early, of our own accord, without a plan of which they can be legally aware and involved (as in DNR's and assisted suicides) we send a message to those who are or can be influenced by us that they have our permission to act accordingly.
My heart hurts tonight. His family and friends must be devastated. My thoughts and, yes, prayers go out to them in hopes of comfort and peace as they come together.
"We're dealing with fundamentalists... the Amish are fundamentalists, but they don't try and hijack a carriage at needlepoint. And, if you're ever in Amish country and you see a man with his hand buried in a horse's ass, that's a mechanic. Remember that." ~Robin Williams