Yesterday we learned that Robin Williams died of asphyxiation, an apparent suicide. Today we learned he hanged himself with a belt.
Seems like EVERYone and their brother has a favorite Robin Williams moment — a movie, a stand-up routine, a TV show. He was so very much loved and his death is such a great loss for so many. I don’t remember such an almost universal outpouring when Phillip Seymour Hoffman died. Or Heath Ledger.
And everyone has their own take on the whole depression-suicide thing. I utterly reject the common claim that it is selfish or cowardice to end one’s own life, to run away instead of dealing with life’s problems. Such nonsense is complete and utter bullshit.
Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. It causes the person to believe and to act in ways that don’t make sense to the rational person, but to say it is cowardice or selfish simply misses the reality of what’s going on with that person.
One thing that crops up in my mind, which I’ve not seen or heard addressed in all this media coverage or Facebook posts: “These people were dearly loved, how could they not know this? How could they not sense the love of their family, friends, and fans?”
Knowing it and feeling it are two different things. No matter how much you are loved, no matter how much evidence is presented by people’s words and actions toward you, if your brain chemistry is fucked up, you aren’t necessarily connecting with it; you feel utterly and completely bereft of any good thing, like the dementors of Azkaban have sucked out every last happy thought and feeling.
It’s sad, in a way, to not be able to feel what you know in your rational mind to be true, that people do care and appreciate you. And when that barrier grows too thick to melt or too high to climb, sometimes you have no choice but to end the pain of it.
No, no…. I’m not in any mood to do anything to myself, although I’ve had times of not wanting to live. Now that I’m back on Prozac, things are starting (STARTING) to level out. i’m just saying I do sort of understand the dark side of depression.