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It was five minutes after eleven and the news leads into the Arsenio Hall show. As a four year old, my bedtime was usually non-negotiable but occasionally I could stay up late to watch the opening monologues of the show. A comedian opened the show and said things in crazy voices, one after the other. Every single one was proceeded by laughter. The routine was funnier the longer he was on stage. At that moment, I wanted to be like him when I grew up. His name was Robin Williams.
I was 23 and in my last semester of college. It was a time I should have been excited about graduation and starting a new phase of my life but I wasn’t. I should have left my small campus dorm room but I couldn’t. I knew I had hobbies, passions, and dreams but I was disinterested. The happier I tried to appear, the sadder I became. I was depressed.
I didn’t know that in addition to our shared love of humor, Robin also struggled with depression. All the while, he built a successful comedy and film career and no one saw depression quietly haunting him.
I thought I was over my depression but his cousin whom comes over to visit, anxiety, was here for a visit. He likes to drop ideas in a person’s head. These ideas convinced me I have an illness and the only way to cure it is to search the Internet to find out what it is, even though by a doctor’s account I’m healthy. These ideas rant like a conspiracy theorist. I still had these little thoughts flying around in my head, not all the time but enough of the time. They grew more persistent, soon they became obsessed. I thought I was going crazy and any day soon my loved ones were going to find me drinking mouthwash out of a dog bowl.
Fortunately, along with help from some new medication and a few other changes started a process of mental healing. The journey to a new place of peace continues, I will find it one day.
Depression and anxiety are complex and are even difficult to understand even if you have the same diagnosis. I am not plagued by Suicidal tendencies like Robin and shudder to imagine what it is like living with them and suffering until the only escape to find is death. Make no mistake, Anxiety and Depression are disorders no one wants afflicted upon them. No one is condoning Suicide by empathize with these victims. Suicides are a symptom not a cause of a much larger problem. Life and death were never meant to be choices.
I encourage you to research these common disorders. You may or you may not have depression. If you do have depression, it doesn’t mean you’re suicidal, talk about it with a friend or relative whom you trust. If you need further help, call a professional. Please tell someone because the worst part of depression is feeling isolated. Even if it seems no one seems to understand, talk anyway. Don’t struggle alone.
If you know someone who has committed suicide. I hope you see this soul’s life is greater than a dark moment when they ended it. Life is greater than death, dear friend, and God brings life even when others choose to end it. As a Christian, I believe life conquers death and those who departed and their loved ones should have hope even when life is gone.
P. S. New information has come out on Robin Williams diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. According to research, Parkinson’s can exacerbate depression and anxiety. Although there is no cure for Parkinson’s new treatments are being developed.