Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Depression Can Kill The Funniest of People: RIP Robin Williams

As a kid growing up in the 90's, we literally had no choice but to watch films with Robin Williams in. He was in every kid's film produced in that era and just before. Thankfully for us, they were funny.

So a few years ago it really surprised me when I read this article in the Guardian. What struck me was the complete sadness of the man and how strongly it came across. It is not often I read an interview that so strongly depicts such melancholy. Of course, celebrities talk about their struggles all the time, but they always seem so distant. This was the first time I really caught a glimpse of a celebrity's real life personality.

As the interviewer says, only a few weeks before he was being his more well known, zany self on the Jonathan Ross Show

At the time, I'd never realised how, if you were depressed, you could put on that much of a face. It is only now I'm struggling with depression myself that I understand how it can be done, and actually how frequently it is done by so many depressed people. Many people I know would be surprised to find that I am struggling with depression myself.

In this interview with Jonathan Ross, Robin jokes about his drug and alcohol addiction like it's another hilarious celebrity anecdote. That's what I do. When people ask me how I am, knowing about what's going on, I laugh it off. 'Oh I'm fine...' I'll say, brushing it off like its nothing.

The problem is, Depression isn't nothing. While we don't know yet whether Robin did try to commit suicide, it certainly consumed him for a large part of his life. It takes over you, often crippling you in such a way that you find it hard to do the simplest of things, even maintain a relationship with you friends and family. And most of the time, it goes completely unnoticed. But he lived with it, pushing it to the corner of his life to make way for his jokes and laughter. If only the jokes and laughter could have won.
You're Free, Genie


  1. Replies
    1. No problem, glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading

  2. The positive thing to come from his death so far is the massive raising of awareness. As long as this doesn't last 24 hrs, then the world will be richer for his presence and equally richer for his passing.

    1. I guess its a shame it takes a death of such a huge celebrity to raise awareness. The world was certainly better for having him.

  3. I'm surprised by how often I've heard the words "how could such a funny man have depression" today. The truth is so many of us hideour true emotions and mental illness all the time. I suffer from anxiety but most people who know me have absolutely no idea. I have had some pretty dark moments in the past where my husband has questioned whether or not I have depression. It's surprisingly easy not to show these thoughts and feelings to the outside world, to wear a mask in public.
    Robin Williams' death is such a loss. He was a brilliant comic, genius and a much treasured actor from many of my favourite childhood movies. A very sad day.

    1. I think that people with depression often use humour to mask their own pain. A lot of the time it is the most talented of people that suffer the worst with it. I think that as an outsider, someone who has never had a mental illness themselves, it is hard to understand. There is a stigma that if you have depression, you go around being depressed. I find it to be the opposite - I will never act depressed in public. It is only when I'm alone that it all comes out and the mask falls off. Hopefully, with this example, people will see how common it is.

      Very tragic considering his mindset too. :(

      Thanks for your comment