On Depression and Robin Williams

I don’t know why it is, but it seems that every major actor that I have followed has or has had a struggle with depression. A large majority of them are comedians, aiming to make the world laugh.

I was forced, with the recent death of Robin Williams, to wonder why that is. Does it make them better at being funny? In some cases, I think, yes. I think, in some, their depression fuels their comedy. I think it scares them into trying to convince people they’re happy. At least, that’s what all the articles say when I ask google why so many comedians suffer with depression. So, that’s the only answer I’ve found.

I think the thing that scares me the most about his death isn’t the fact that he was capable of going to that extreme, but that he was such a well respected guy. He was so successful, probably had plenty of money from his movies in the bank. He had a wife and children who loved him. He was, at this point considered one of the greats. So, it just scares me that on top of all that is lying a sludge of depression that fogged his view of all that greatness. Even though all of these amazing things happened to him, depression still forced him to make the ultimate decision.

As a person who suffers from bouts of depression, that’s a sobering realization. No matter where you are in your life, depression can attack like a tornado and wreck your very person. You have to chose how to deal with it, whether it’s through laughing, or through something much more dark. Only you have the ability to prevent forest fires–ahem!- to reach out to someone. And, I think using a creative outlet like blogging, writing poems or. . . telling jokes, are all great ways to deal with it. Loose yourself in something. Depression can feel like a nulling of the senses so chase those things that make you feel alive whether it’s hiking or writing or Pokemon. Whatever it is, try to find a passion and hold on to it for dear life. It’s only the end of the world if you let it. Don’t let it.

Talk to someone:

http://www.imalive.org

http://www.crisischat.org

photo credit: Locker Dome

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One thought on “On Depression and Robin Williams

  1. The idea of the interplay of extremes creating that happiness is too philosophically vague for me. I reflected on my live and noticed something I also noticed in other people’s vita: When you are not being accepted in school, there are different ways to try and deal with it. If you are naturally a playful, childlike type (= healthy, which is what can lead to alienation in the first place when facing all the ugliness that’s going around in a teenager environment), you might try to attain acceptance and popularity through humor. (Jon Stewart might have had that kind of experience.) And while I accept that this might have been the reason for where I am now, I do not reject what I do, only the motivation. It put me on a very difficult course of being aware of all the psychological junk in people, but at the same time being a social, communicative, fun-loving person.
    So if there’s something to that polarity/balance thing, I could accept it, but my experience is way too much of the unpleasant stuff. Sometimes it feels like my cheerful side is more like an emergency program kicking in when I have the energy, and I don’t like that. It should be growing and be nourished.

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