Since Robin Williams passed away I've read and heard many comments. Some praised him while others paid tribute to this great actor. Unfortunately some comments were mean and disrespectful towards Mr. Williams but also towards depression and suicide. A few minutes after announcing his death by suffocation certain media starting speculating. Some said maybe he passed away during some sexual game. He was a drug addict and an alcoholic.
On social media, people want to be psychiatrists and had all kinds of theories. We later learned that Robin Williams was suffering from a severe depression, commonly called a nervous breakdown. There we go again. Some said that he only needed to stop drug and alcohol abuse and everything would come back to normal. Even his depression would be cured according to some.
Well I've got some news for you dear friends: Just like Robins, I suffer from severe depression. For the past eight months, I have been using antidepressants and am amongst the lucky ones who have a great doctor taking good care of me. Some are surprised to learn that I do not do drugs and never have, and I only drink in very rare occasions. Unfortunately like this great actor I couldn't take it anymore. My illness affects my daily routine, my life and the lives of the persons who love me. Even though I am no psychiatrist I have had lots of time to analyze how and why I am sick.
The very first step is admitting to your entourage that you are suffering. In my case, the woman in my life accepted and understood my suffering. She is also the one who convinced me to see my doctor without delay. I am glad that I followed her advice. First appointment with my doctor. The diagnosis begins and so does the prolonged sick leave from work. Starting then, I felt relieved and guilty. Guilty for not being able to work, for not being able to bring home the money my girlfriend and I need to live a normal life, and guilty of feeling destitute towards life. I even felt guilty of being myself. Guilty for imposing this ordeal on my loved ones. I asked myself many times what if I put an end to this ordeal. This way I would not suffer anymore and neither would my close friends and family.
Well here I am eight months later writing this letter. I did not attempt to end my life. I decided to hang on to it no matter what. I did not decide whether I was to be born or not. Who am I to decide when I shall die? These words which I repeated to myself hundreds of times combined with my loved ones support, my doctor's reassuring words and the medication most probably saved my life.
Just like Robin Williams, my job is one in which I give constantly. I give hope, affection, help and compassion to my patients. Williams also did the same in another way on the screen. He gave 100 per cent of himself just like I do until the strength, the desire to please and our courage lets go.
Millions of people loved the actor through his roles. But what about the man? Once his film was completed and the promotions were done he probably felt like he was stranded on a desert island. Without any point of reference, the intelligent and loving human being he was felt distraught facing his own life. That life which was his and that most of us dream of. Maybe he was at the point where dreams did not exist anymore for him. Wherever he is, all I can wish him is to have found peace and to finally be safe from his demons.
Robin Williams actually gave me the courage to share with you my deepest feelings in order to explain as best I can this invisible illness called depression. No one is excluded. You must be very vigilant because it sometimes arrives very surprisingly and without any warning. Anxiety, loss of memory, unable to work, feeling guilty and emotions taking over your body and mind are all symptoms sending you the message that you need help. You must then put your pride aside and consult immediately.
My words and my confessions got you thinking? Good because that is my goal. Stop trying to be the strong one -- if you do so for too long you are going to end up like me. Tell yourself that if you think you mean nothing to the world there is at least one person who thinks you are the world. Thank you Robin. May you rest in peace.
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