RIP and all that depression jazz

August 12, 2014 - 11:50 am No Comments

RIP Robin Williams. The internet exploded last night and this. Morning of the untimely death of the comedian due to suicide at age 62. Williams struggled with depression and alcohol for most of his life, and often added it into his stand up routines. I used to regularly watch his stand up videos with my friend Jo, who is the Kathy Bates from Misery where it comes to Robin Williams; his number one fan. She is gutted. He touched so many lives through his honesty, his talent, his warmth, his smile, his complete insanity; a mask that covered the battle within. Why is it, we ask, the funniest people are always the saddest?
For those who don’t believe it, or know it, or understand it, depression is a disease. It is a dark pestilence that can affect anyone, yet there are sometimes those, like Williams, who are affected more than others. For them, the black dog constantly bites.
But there is help out there. We all have our ways of dealing with it. For me, I can’t face the dark. I read lighthearted stuff, supernatural chick lit, avoid horror (which is ironic given I’m a major horror fan and now a horror publisher) but when the cloud of misery pulls me under, the only way to cope is to immerse my self in fun. Perhaps that’s why Robin Williams was such a good comedian; the light is only one step away from the dark. I also like to talk (hell, anyone who knows me knows I like to talk!) but if you see a late night plea from me, or anyone on FB asking if anyone is awake, odds are they are trying to find a voice in the darkness to listen to them. So listen, let them talk, let them get it off their chest. Sometimes the need to talk is overwhelming. Perhaps there is a trauma recently experienced and the sufferer just needs to vent; to scream “why, why, why, why did this happen to me?” There are no answers. It could be chemical, it could be PTSD. There could be many reasons why a person suffers from depression. It doesn’t mean they’re ‘nutso’ or ‘weird’ or ‘miserable’. No, they’re suffering from a bloody awful illness.
So next time you hear a cry for help, answer. Even if it’s only by asking “do you want to talk?”
There are crisis lines and organisations set up to help people deal with these episodes but let’s face it, a friend on FB is easier to reach out to. As other advice goes, I’ve been recommended to read ‘The Secret’ which talks about changing the way you think about things, a little bit like CBT. I’m taking it away to Dublin for Shamrockon with me, just to see if it’s any good. You know, cats, curiosity and all that. Just remember, talking, whether you are a sufferer or a person on the other end of an internet page, could be the difference between a bad Isolde that leads to suicide or saving a life.
RIP Robin. You will be missed. And if losing you helps a few more people think about this awful disease, at least that’s something.
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