Robin Williams & the Cure for Depression

robinwilliamsWhoa! I had no idea he was battling with depression. It just goes to show you: depression is indiscriminate. It doesn’t care how funny you are. Depression doesn’t give two cents about your bank account.

*Edit:* Thank you, Robin for all the joy you have spread to planet Earth. We owe it to Robin to take a good, honest, and mature look at exactly what depression is and how we can help those who suffer from it. *End Edit*

I gotta be honest, I’ve never fully been able to understand depression. I used to think people could snap out of it if they wanted. Yeah…I used to be “that guy”…

…you know…the parrot in people’s faces telling them stuff like:

“Just go outside and get some exercise!”

“It’s because you’re not following your passion!”

“Happiness is a choice!”

I want to publicly apologize to all the people I may have hurt through my ignorance. Please forgive me…and forgive us: the people who may never truly know what’s like to experience it first-hand.

The reason I’m writing this article is not to help people with depression. It’s to help people who DON’T have depression…

I’m here to tell you that it’s okay. You may never know what it’s like to be truly depressed. But you don’t have to have personally gone through depression in order to know how to respond to it. You don’t need to understand depression.

For people like you and I, beating depression is easy. But that’s because we’ve never been utterly incapacitated by it for prolonged periods of time.

From what I understand, depression is like trying to feel your way around for a light switch in a pitch-black, dark room you’ve never been in before. The only problem is: there is no light switch. And the walls move back two steps for every step you take.

But that’s not the point of this article. I do not wish to educate people on what depression is…I want to help people respond to depression in the right way. And the answer, despite being paradoxical, is more obvious than you may think.

When it comes to depression, the ball is NOT in the victim’s court. You can’t just tell someone to fix themselves. That’s the weird thing about depression: it renders the person powerless to their own recovery.

When you have depression, simply existing can be a chore. Some people with depression would gladly kill themselves…if only they had one ounce of energy to do so.

“Snap out of it, huh?”

No.

No.

Depression has a compounding effect. Sometimes it takes the person everything they’ve got to just get up and grab a box of crackers so they don’t starve to death.

Diet plummets. Depression worsens.

It saps your energy, so you lie around in a pool of misery and pain…even just the THOUGHT of exercising is excruciating. The body becomes weaker and more fatigued…the brain stops pumping the chemical concoction that keeps most of us afloat through the rough times.

The brain and body give up. Depression worsens.

Your friends all tell you the same unhelpful crap and ask all the same dumb questions…to the point where you’d rather not even make contact with them than to explain the some inexpiable thing over and over again.

Loneliness ensues. Depression worsens.

The depression spirals and spirals downward until you’re in a black, empty sea of nothingness with no one around. You call out, “Hello?”

But no sound came out of your mouth.

You look up and you see a tiny, tiny glimmer of light representing your former ability to feel emotion. You know it’s there…like a distant memory.

If I had a billion dollars, I would create and fund depression recovery homes. These homes would be centered around making the individual feel welcomed…comforted…understood.

There would be a team of people who care. They’d do all the cooking…all the cleaning. And if you only want 1-2 bites of food, that’s okay. If you just want to talk and be heard, you can. Or, if you want to stay in your room and block out all the light…well, hey, that’s cool too.

Most of all, the people employed at these homes would be Lovers. These would be people with huge hearts who have effectively rid themselves of judgment. They’d give excellent hugs to people who want/need them. Studies show that being hugged has a dramatic effect on the brain’s ability to produce chemicals to treat depression.

A person with depression would be able to enter these homes and feel loved. All of their needs would be met. They wouldn’t have to have a job…or even appear in public if they didn’t want to.

There would be nature and beauty. A courtyard full of exotic plants and stunning flowers. A giant waterfall statue in the center with the words, “I am Love”.

God would be there.

To all the people who have never had severe depression: the answer is not what you can DO for the person. Sometimes all they need is to be Loved.

Love is the most powerful force in the Universe.

It can dispel even the most persistent darkness.

Love is our duty to our fellow man. It is the force that unites us all, as One.

I’ve seen Love transform even the most hardened of criminals.

Perhaps the reason why depression exists, in the grand scheme of things, is to show is that WE NEED EACH OTHER.

Sometimes we can’t do it alone.

When a person’s hands are cut off, the rest of the world unites to lend a helping hand.

This is a groundbreaking discovery for me. In a weird way, I see all depressed people as Heroes. People with depression give us the opportunity to Love…to forgive…and to help each other out.

It’s quite a simple philosophy: the cure for depression is Love.

Love and Time.

So the next time you meet someone who may be struggling with depression, please…

…give them your Love…

…give them your Time…

Sometimes that’s all you can do.

Cheers,

D/C

6 Comments

  1. Deanna said:

    Great article! I feel very sad for his family and friends and the rest of us left behind without his uplifting and funny spirit here. However I also feel there is a profound reason as well and I think you have nailed it! We need to realize that we are all one and that we are here to help each other and love each other.

    August 13, 2014
    Reply
  2. D/C Russ said:

    Thanks a lot. It hit me like a ton of bricks when I was talking with someone who has mild depression.

    Hope this helps people.

    August 13, 2014
    Reply
  3. Brooke Dale said:

    “So thank you, Robin. You have shown us so much. Your death will continue to serve this planet by spreading awareness of depression. The man sacrificed his LIFEā€¦”

    Sir, may I respectfully acknowledge that your message is sure to lead many down the wrong path. You do state that your words are not meant for the depressed but the title of your article will attract those searching for relief and answers for their own depression. To love and give time to a depressed person is surely a noble and selfless thing to do. It can make the difference between life and death. On that we can agree. But to thank a dear tormented soul for committing suicide and shedding awareness on this disease of the brain is beyond troublesome. It is dangerous and extremely irresponsible. It is never in God’s will for anyone to take their own life. Never. God’s Word tells us He has plans to prosper his children and not harm them. Plans give us hope and give us a future (paraphrased from Jeremiah 29:11). This isn’t a nod to suicide. It is a promise of HOPE and a FUTURE. A promise.

    Think for a moment how Mr. Williams could have impacted this world if instead of choosing suicide he chose to share his truth and reveal that this comedic genius was deeply depressed. God numbers our days; we do not. The deep state of depression that leads to that final act must feel insurmountable. It is not the natural state of mind to take your own life. To imply that Mr. Williams was a sacrificial lamb who bravely took his own life in order to help mankind learn of depression and the horrors that accompany it is wrong.

    For those of us that are survivors of loved ones who committed suicide you are sending a very hurtful message. My mother, whom I found at 15 dead by her own hand, had so much more to offer this world. She had two children yet to finish raising. Yes, many people who found out have become more sympathetic and knowledgeable about suicide and depression. However, your commentary may undoubtedly lead some who may happen upon it and are despondent, feeling helpless and hopeless to come to believe that by committing this final act they will leave behind a legacy that will help mankind. The four other suicides that touched my life were also lives lost in vain.

    Robin Williams’ suicide and the many details, that should never have been shared through the mainstream media, was in the news for less than a week until the next tragedy struck in our country and we moved on.

    If Robin Williams had reached out for help or prayed for strength and the grace that God freely gives us he may have been able to really open the eyes of the world to depression through the enormous platform he had. How many would have paused to think, “Robin Williams is depressed, was at the brink of suicide! The enormously gifted, talented, charismatic genius! And he fought his way out!” There is a way out.

    You have planted a seed, friend. Some may now say, “My life is pointless but my death can be a sacrifice.”

    For anyone reading this and feels that suicide is an answer PLEASE pause long enough to call a suicide hotline or a friend.
    Your death will cause a lifetime of pain for those you leave behind. It won’t be a legacy of love and sacrifice. It’s not brave. Brave would be reaching out and just asking for prayer, a visit, time to talk. If the first person doesn’t help call someone else. Don’t let the your life end when God does promise you hope and a future. Just claim it. There are mental health centers, hospitals that will admit you immediately and keep you safe and begin offering you the help that will begin to make you feel better. Don’t be ashamed.

    For those left behind there is endless sorrow and grief, despair, countless questions and “what ifs”, emotional pain that often leads to post traumatic stress syndrome, shaking of faith, depression and on and on.

    God’s word tells us that
    “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 I suffered emotionally for a long time. I’m now 59. Depression has plagued my life. But God has used all of for the good. I miss my mom, desperately. I still need her. She made a mistake and I forgive her. God ued my pain to make me more sensitive to people’s pain. Especially children, I taught for 31 years. Walk through the pain and be a light for someone else. Suicide is never the answer.

    I just hope you will consider removing the commentary on Robin Williams or at least add an addendum. I hope this will post and if it does I hope it will not be removed. If it just helps one person……..

    September 1, 2014
    Reply
    • D/C Russ said:

      This person shared a very personal insight into the matter and I have to agree with everything that is said here. Thank you so much for the kind words and God bless you and your fallen loved ones. For anyone who reads this, please take a moment of silence to bless Brooke and the loved ones that have fallen.

      Thank you once again. And I will add an addendum in this article, indicated by the “Edit:” tag.

      God Bless,

      D/C

      September 1, 2014
      Reply
  4. Brooke Dale said:

    D/C,
    I’m moved to tears. Thank you for posting my thoughts. Thank you so very much.

    Just as an aside, I happened upon your site because I was searching for the meaning of a phrase, “Humility is the great equalizer.”. One of my dear friends was told this by her sister and I didn’t agree with it but wanted to research what others may have written. I googled it and found an article on your website.

    In your article, “The great equalizer you can’t escape” there was a sentence with similar phraseology. I don’t think it was applicable to my friend’s situation but the Robin Williams article caught my eye.

    I had been reading the book, The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson (small book, quick read). I was praying Jabez’s prayer and was asking God to enlarge my territory (enlarge my life in order to make a bigger impact for God). I asked Him to bless me “indeed” (bless me A LOT) TODAY. It’s all in the prayer and the book explains the prayer.

    I had been, throughout the day, troubled by the Robin Williams commentary but had no idea that God was going to move so quickly to enlarge my territory.

    I was sure you wouldn’t post my comment. I was sure of it. At the very least you might scoff at it and put me in my place. I know, quite judgmental. I’m sorry.

    You see, some one person and I had an appointment today. I didn’t know about it! An appointment to meet at your website. God ordained it, God arranged it, you facilitated it, and I was obedient.

    I know that I know that I know that there is AT THE VERY LEAST one person who didn’t commit suicide today. NOT by my might, but by HIS.

    You sir, gave me a small platform today on the world wide web. God doesn’t play around. I thank you for the opportunity and the response you posted. I thank you for removing the paragraph. I never expected that. It was a very responsible action. I thank you for the “edit” as well. Ah, and a moment of silence “to bless Brooke”. Perhaps tomorrow God will enlarge my territory again. Not perhaps, self doubter, He will enlarge my territory.

    PRAYER OF JABEZ
    And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying,
    “Oh that you would bless me, indeed,
    and enlarge my territory,
    that your hand would be with me
    and that you would keep me from evil,
    that I may not cause pain.”
    So God granted him what he requested.

    I’ll have to read your other articles. I’m curious about your theological point of view. That sounds too haughty and I’m not haughty. Curious about your belief system. Tried to glean it from the few things I read but am still confused.

    God bless you, indeed! And thanks again.

    September 1, 2014
    Reply
    • D/C Russ said:

      I am not afraid to expose my weaknesses, my errors, and things that I have overlooked.

      I am glad that you are confused about my belief system…it means my technique is working.

      You see, when people “know” things, they stop learning. My goal here at align-mentality is to keep people thinking.

      D/C Russ is both — and neither — the alpha and the omega. I strive for balance with a strong emphasis on polarity.

      In other words, I am the defender of the almighty paradox.

      Good eye, Brooke…and I’m terribly grateful for your tears. God Bless you. Be safe…you are loved.

      I shall say another prayer for you right after I post this message. May God continue to illuminate the otherwise dark path before you.

      Amen. And so it is done.

      September 1, 2014
      Reply

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