Much has been said in the past 24 hours on depression and suicide, the sudden and somewhat unexpected death of Robin Williams has left many in shock.
Shock that a man who “had it all” and spent a life time making others laugh felt the only way forward for himself was to end it all.
But that is the reality of depression, it cares not for fame or fortune, for love nor family. It’s random, selfish, brutal and can strike anyone at any time.
If anything positive is to come out of the devastating loss to his family and friends, it’s that depression and suicide have been thrust face first in to the public eye.
Most times when the media and tabloids discuss mental illness it’s in a cynical and demeaning way. The perceptions many have of the illness are skewed and cloaked in suspicion; perhaps now people will begin to understand it is not a “lifestyle choice” but a serious life altering illness.
My hope is that once the shock has worn off and tributes to Robin Williams fade away, people remember that many many of us still live with depression. That the taboo subject of mental illness is kept in the spotlight and rather than cut funds and assistance, more help is provided, that ultimately we able to prevent the loss of one more precious life.