Another one bites the dust. Robin Williams, bringer of smiles extraordinaire, is no longer among us. By choice. Yes, he had a choice, we all do, but more and more often I’m beginning to wonder if having a choice makes any difference to our state of mind. What if both choices are bad? At least from your own point of view. Do you automatically choose the lesser bad? What if death is the lesser bad? How do we decide?
He, like so many before him, struggled with depression. I know people in my inner circle who are depressed. It’s hard. Not just for them, for everyone around them. Sometimes you see glimpses of the person behind the depression, those are the good days. The days you believe in recovery, believe they are also happy, clear-headed, that life is worth living. Then there are the other days. When nothing you say seems to make any difference, whether it is a pep-talk, a comforting shoulder to cry on, a kick in the butt, or just being there for someone, sitting beside them. It has little to no effect. That’s the scary part. The part where you start to lose hope. And so do they, I think.
I’ve never been depressed. Not in the way people are diagnosed with ‘depression’. So it’s very hard to understand what’s going on inside their mind, because I haven’t been there. I’ve had my share of bad days, sure. Who hasn’t? But that’s not really the same, now is it? Obviously I didn’t know Robin Williams personally, but he seemed to have a pretty good life. Good career, which he more often than not enjoyed a great deal, loving wife, loving children, financially stable, those are pretty important indicators for most people. Apparently it had no effect, or at least, not enough. The demons inside your head are stronger. How does that happen? What goes wrong inside the mind? And is it something we can ‘fix’ with medication?
I’m not so sure. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against medication, I just think it should be a means to an end, not the cure itself if at all possible. There will always be people where this is not the case. Both physical and mental. Sometimes you have to learn to live with your medication. Could that be the problem? That some people don’t know how to live with their medication? Is our focus perhaps wrong? I think many people who are diagnosed with depression also receive some form of therapy, with or without medication. But is depression related to events in our life or is it a state of mind, not related to any event whatsoever? And if it’s the latter, will it really make any difference to try and work through someone’s ‘issues’? Or will the depression remain? It looks that way.
Needless to say I don’t have the answers, I hope that someday, someone does. Because how bad does the other choice have to be, when choosing death has become the better option?
Rest in peace, Robin Williams. I will miss your smiles. You made me smile, a lot. What dreams may come? I hope they will be good ones, ones that will make you smile.