Today we remember the late, great Robin Williams who took his own life three years ago. He is sorely missed for his humor, his heart and his own unique brand of comedy that can never be duplicated.
When I think of Robin Williams, I think of one of my favorite childhood movies, Hook. There was no other actor who could have portrayed that character of the adult Peter Pan so perfectly.
His death also reminds me of how mental illness and depression specifically are not one size fits all diseases. For some people depression means staying home all day, mindlessly watching television and afraid to step out the door. For others, it means scheduling every moment of their day so they don’t have to face what is brewing inside them. For another group, it means putting on the mask and doing what has to be done, even though all they want to do is lay on the couch and watch television.
If I take away anything from his death (in addition to recent and heartbreaking loss of Chester Bennington), is that we need a new approach to treating mental illness. We also need to remove the stigma of mental health to allow those suffering to receive treatment openly and honestly.
Z”l Robin Williams. You are truly missed and loved.
In the wake of the sudden loss of Linkin Park’s front man Chester Bennington to suicide earlier this week, the outward pouring of grief from fans, his band mates, fellow musicians, friends and his family speaks of the collective heartbreak of the loss of a man who will be missed.
Korn guitarist Ben “Head” Welch initially called Chester a coward before altering his statement.
Is suicide the act of a coward? Some may say yes. It is giving into our personal darkness instead of fighting and finding a way towards the light.
To label suicide as the act of a coward is wrong. It does not help those who are dealing with the pain of mental illness and it does not help the loved ones who lost someone to suicide.
Mental illness and suicide are a call for help. To label someone who has committed suicide as a coward only ostracizes those who are haunted by the specter of mental illness and the thoughts that lead to suicide.
I understand that grieving often brings us to say and do things we would not do otherwise. I also understand that we are all entitled to our opinions. But at the same time, the statement that suicide is cowardly only hurts the effort to prevent suicide and help those who feel that it is the only way out from their pain.
Suicide has claimed another life today. Chester Bennington, front man for the rock band Linkin Park, took his own life.
He was 41 years old.
It hurts because I know the pain and the agony that can bring on suicide. I also know that this man was an amazing musician. I am not a huge fan of Linkin Park, but I understood their music. One of their most recent hits, Heavy, hit a raw nerve. The lyrics spoke to me in a way that few songs have.
Suicide claims too many of us. It smothers our light and takes away the possibilities that life can bring.
My heart goes out to his family, his friends and those who knew him best.
“When a good university friend of mine told me she had suffered from depression in high school, I reacted with skepticism and little understanding: ‘What do you mean, you couldn’t get out of bed in the morning?’” This is a meaningful quote from a text published by Sara Bøgh. A quote, that perfectly summons how…
via The Black Dog – DEPRESSION – — BayArt
If only we had the ability to be honest about our own black dogs, the world would be a better place.
Another week, another shooting. More innocent lives lost.
Yesterday, a gunman walked into the baggage area at the airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and starting shooting innocent passengers. By the time he stopped shooting, five people were dead and eight people were injured.
The man accused of the massacre is Esteban Santiago, a former member of the National Guard who had recently become a father for the first time. According to reports from the press and family members that have been interviewed since yesterday’s shooting, Mr. Esteban suffered from mental health issues.
Aside from the issues of lax gun laws and the fact that the TSA seems not to make changes until a tragedy happens, the major issue that seems to have contributed to the unnecessary loss of life is the mental health of the shooter.
Mental illness is not a joke. Millions of people, not just in the United States, but around the world, suffer from various forms of mental illness. Under the best of circumstances, those living with mental health issues attempt to live a normal life. Under the worst of circumstances, not only is the life of the sufferer taken, but he or she may kill someone else in the process.
The fact is that we need to take the issue seriously and we need to ensure that those suffering from mental illness receives the treatment they need. That treatment maybe the only thing that saves lives.
Patty Duke passed away yesterday. She was 69.
Born in Elmhurst Queens, on December 14th, 1946, Ms. Duke was known to audiences first as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (1962) opposite Anne Bancroft. Televisions fans of a certain age remember her as twin cousins in The Patty Duke Show (1963-1966).
In addition to her career, Ms. Duke was also an outspoken advocate in the arena of mental health and mental illness, topics that hit very close to home.
I wrote last year about two friends of friends who took their lives.
Today I found out that another friend of a friend took her life.
While I didn’t know her or the circumstances that led her to commit suicide, I am heartbroken just the same.
Life is hard, we all know that. There is no one on this earth who is not dealing with personal problems or facing with challenges that seem insurmountable.
While many will laugh at mental health or marginalize the issue, the reality is that we must take it seriously. Lives are at stake.
It is a reality that I know all too well.