Robin Williams didn’t die from suicide. I only just heard the sad, sad news of Robin Williams’s death. My wife sent me a message to tell me he had died, and, when I asked her what he died from, she told me something that nobody in the news seems to be talking about.
When people die from cancer, their cause of death can be various horrible things – seizure, stroke, pneumonia – and when someone dies after battling cancer, and people ask “How did they die?”, you never hear anyone say “pulmonary embolism”, the answer is always “cancer”. A Pulmonary Embolism can be the final cause of death with some cancers, but when a friend of mine died from cancer, he died from cancer. That was it. And when I asked my wife what Robin Williams died from, she, very wisely, replied “Depression”.
The word “suicide” gives many people the impression that “it was his own decision,” or “he chose to die, whereas most people with cancer fight to live.” And, because Depression is still such a misunderstood condition, you can hardly blame people for not really understanding. Just a quick search on Twitter will show how many people have little sympathy for those who commit suicide…
But, just as a Pulmonary Embolism is a fatal symptom of cancer, suicide is a fatal symptom of Depression. Depression is an illness, not a choice of lifestyle. You can’t just “cheer up” with depression, just as you can’t choose not to have cancer. When someone commits suicide as a result of Depression, they die from Depression – an illness that kills millions each year. It is hard to know exactly how many people actually die from Depression each year because the figures and statistics only seem to show how many people die from “suicide” each year (and you don’t necessarily have to suffer Depression to commit suicide, it’s usually just implied). But considering that one person commits suicide every 14 minutes in the US alone, we clearly need to do more to battle this illness, and the stigmas that continue to surround it. Perhaps Depression might lose some its “it was his own fault” stigma, if we start focussing on the illness, rather than the symptom. Robin Williams didn’t die from suicide. He died from Depression*. It wasn’t his choice to suffer that. —
FINALLY PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO TALK ABOUT WHAT DEPRESSION REALLY IS.
(Source: mollyfamous, via thousandcleverlines)
If someone were to die at the age of 63 after a lifelong battle with MS or Sickle Cell, we’d all say they were a “fighter” or an “inspiration.” But when someone dies after a lifelong battle with severe mental illness and drug addiction, we say it was a tragedy and tell everyone “don’t be like him, please seek help.” That’s bullshit. Robin Williams sought help his entire life. He saw a psychiatrist. He quit drinking. He went to rehab. He did this for decades. That’s HOW he made it to 63. For some people, 63 is a fucking miracle. I know several people who didn’t make it past 23 and I’d do anything to have 40 more years with them. —
anonymous reader on The Dish
One of the more helpful and insightful things I’ve seen about depression/suicide in the last couple of days.
10 Things Students Should Know About Their Digital Footprints -
This was me the whole time I was reading this article:
Here are just two from the list:
1. College admissions and employers do read your online profiles and they do make decisions based upon information they find out about you online. In fact, colleges will make decisions based upon many forms of questionable involvement. Scott Cornwell, College and Career Adviser at Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis, Missouri said, “I had a case where a parent sent an email to a college suggesting they look at the Facebook page of a student who was applying to the same school as her daughter. The Facebook page showed the other student at a party with alcohol. The mother’s goal was to get rid of some of the competition her daughter would have at this selective school. In the end, both the student at the party and the daughter of the mother were rejected (the first in part because of the Facebook page, the second because the college was concerned about dealing with such a manipulative mother for four years).”
2. As illustrated in the example above, educators and parents do see, read, and hear about your online escapades, even though you go to great lengths to hide them from us. There have been many times I wish I hadn’t stumbled upon a student Twitter or Facebook post, but I have. These experiences, which included foul language, cyberbullying, and basic immaturity, have only reinforced to me that digital citizenship needs to be taught in our schools as early as possible.
Head Painted Like a Skull out of Gray’s Anatomy