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I first came across Robin Williams while watching Jumanji. This was way back during the school days, and over the time got more acquainted with his work.
Yesterday Mr Williams who was suffering from depression took his own life. There was then a huge discussion on depression and suicide with people giving in their views.
Mr. Williams was a comedian and an actor. It was his business to make others laugh. He put happiness out in the world, but could not find it himself.
While some people where dealing with the loss, others reacted thusly:
There are some people, both in real life and on the internet, who have negative things to say about everything. One could post a picture of a butterfly and they will find something wrong, for sure.
But, they miss the whole point.
They ask why he was so depressed?
He had fame…but does fame guarantee happiness? Just because we idolize celebrities, does not mean they idolize themselves. They are human beings too, perhaps even more vulnerable than the non famous folks, as they are constantly critiqued and have to deal with the pressure of constantly being a role model.
He had money…and since when did money measure fulfilment? Just because a person can afford everything material, would not make him better and prone to depression. When you get promoted, do you start feeling more happy from then on? And never again feel down?
He was surrounded by people…true. But you know what? Feeling lonely and alone while being surrounded by people is far worse than being lonely when alone..
And the most important thing to remember that depression is not the state of not being happy…that is sadness, and sadness passes with time. Depression is deeper than that, way deeper.
Imagine feeling so hopeless that one starts to feel that the world would be a better place without one in it.
So, please PLEASE for a moment stop judging his life and take a moment to reflect how he must have felt being surrounded by everything, and yet, nothing. Providing the world with a bucketful of laughter, yet having no laughter left for himself.
Next time you hear someone is depressed, just be there for them, without judgement.
Also, here is a talk about depression by Andrew Solomon who actually lives through it, in case you want to know more: