Robin Williams: What His Passing Teaches Us About Depression

I lost a part of my childhood yesterday. Those who grew up in the 90s remember Robin Williams from classic films like Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, Flubber, Jumanji, and many others. His humor will forever remain in my memory as a staple of my childhood and one of the many things that got me through dark time. Behind the laughs however was a man who battled with depression. I just want to take this time to say that depression is no joke. As mentioned in previous blog posts (see Forever Loved -For Those Who Need It The Most- and That Place Where Every One is Just As Broken As You), I have battled through depression at some of the lowest points in my life and even came pretty close to ending my life. Even after years of touching upon this subject I still feel pretty uneasy doing so because there’s such a nasty stigma associated with depression and other mental illnesses.

There are a wide variety of causes for depression. For some it’s a side effect of meds, for others it’s the result of hormones and different bodily chemicals and in my situation it’s experience based. For me it was years of bullying that I repressed for years finally catching up to me. It was a moment in my early 20s where all of a sudden my life made sense to me in the worse way possible, the day where I finally realized “hey, a lot of people think there’s something wrong with me and a lot of people don’t like me”. That simple realization not only awoke awful memories of being bullied but it set off enough triggers to put me at one of the lowest points in life, a point where I didn’t feel like it was worth living, a point in my life where I felt as if I had no purpose. I felt like a waste of a human, a mistake and despise all of my accomplishments thus far there was no convincing me otherwise at such a low point.

People who don’t know any better will look at depression as this rut that people can simply get over but it’s not as simple as it looks. Depression and other mental illnesses can be a really dark place and if you’re not willing to work with someone rather than against their problems then the consequences can be detrimental. I just want to take this time to reiterate what I have mentioned in previous blogs. It is NEVER our place to judge those who are battling with ANY mental illness. If you are battling with any mental illness and you feel at any point that you’ll be a danger to yourself and other, please get some help. I avoided getting help for a while because the idea of knowing I was seeing a psychiatrist but a foul taste in my mouth due to the stigmas I had to deal with. Being Catholic and having depression and being a person of color with depression. Believe me when I say, depression doesn’t discriminate and and it can strike anyone at any moment in their life. Don’t ever be afraid to admit that you’re depressed and that you need help because the sooner you get help, the better. As I said in previous posts, we go to the doctor when we’re not feeling well so why do we avoid the psychiatrist when we’re mentally broken? Mental Health is a vital part of overall health. Just like dentists are doctors for your teeth and just like cardiologists are doctors for your heart, psychiatrists are doctors for your mind. They are there to help you through what ever mental rut you’re in. To those who are feeling low, empty, and broken, it truly gets better as long as you’re willing to let people help you and to hell with those who look down on you for seeking help.

Well that’s my two cents for now, This blog entry was supposed to be about my issues with small talk but given recent events I felt I need to share my opinions on depression since it will be the next thing the media talks about. Stay classy people and I promise the next blog post won’t be so depressing.

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