There has been such an outpouring of reactions to Robin William’s death. I have found myself pouring over every article and finding comfort in the words of so many speaking out about mental health, but no one has said it better than Chaz Pazienza. As I read his article, If You live With Depression, You Understand Why Robin Williams Took His Own Life, I found myself absorbed in how he so eloquently describes what depression feels like. His words capture the torture that depression brings:
I’ve battled depression for years, had that voice in my head — the voice that sounds just like my own voice — telling me that I’m worthless, hopeless, and damaged beyond repair.
How evil is a sickness that turns your own voice into your own worst enemy? When you hear that you are worthless over and over again, you believe it and the relief you can imagine is to give up.
So many people today are discussing how joyful and passionate Robin Williams was. His joy was infections and spread to everyone within reach of his voice.
“Imagine what it takes to convince a man of Robin Williams’s passion and character that life is often an exercise in punishing misery and death is the sensible answer to it. If you can do that, you can begin to grasp how deeply depression runs and how tragic its impact is.”
Today as you remember about how talented Robin was, how much joy and laughter that he brought to us, think about how powerful the depression was that could extinguish such an amazing person’s light.
We have so far to go in battling depression and there is still so much to learn so we can find effective treatments. If you are interested in donating to mental health research, there are several foundations that are doing great work in this fight.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Brain and Behavior Research Foundation
National Alliance on Mental Health