Ever since I heard about Robin Williams’ devastating suicide, I’ve been thinking about this post and how I was going to write it. I’ve thought about it as I was drifting off to sleep. What did I want to say? How did I want to say it? Would it come out right? Would I even know what to say? What sorts of emotions would this stir?
The word suicide is even like a black hole of sorts. It’s expansive, never-ending and dark, and no matter how much you talk about it, there’s always more than can be said. Always. I wish I could say that you can’t relate, but unfortunately, I know far too many of you can. Maybe you’re even grappling with what to say and trying to find the words to comfort a family member, a friend and even yourself. It’s been 11 years since my father’s suicide, and I still fumble to find the right words every single day. So today, I will write them. Not just for my father. Not just for Robin Williams. But for me and for you — and for the millions that live with the effect of suicide every day. In my darkest days of grief, these are the five things I’ve learned about suicide… Keep reading »
Selfish (adj.): Lacking concern for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.
Death is not profitable or pleasurable. It’s just nothing. It’s just not suffering. It has nothing to do with benefiting or not benefiting oneself or others. Saying that someone was selfish for having committed suicide is like saying that it was selfish of a person caught on fire to scream in agony.
When the topic of suicide is brought to the table, my primary concern isn’t to address people who have suicidal ideation. Everyone else is already doing that: They say, if you’re depressed or thinking about suicide, please seek help. Keep reading »
Deleting your Twitter is the best thing you could’ve done, but I hope this letter still finds you.
When I heard the news, I thought of you. I realize that no amount of consolation or sympathy will make it easier to grieve. But I want you to know that I know what you’re going through. I know what you’re feeling — overwhelming grief, anger, sadness. You’re probably a little numb, too.
You are a survivor. I, too, am a survivor. My father committed suicide when I was nine. Read more on YourTango…
I have struggled with depression and suicidal ideation for years. My darkest period was as recent as 2013. In fact, there was a day last September when I let my guard down for just a few minutes. It was enough time for me to walk into my kitchen, pick up a large knife, and touch the blade to see how hard I would need to press down to cut through my skin.
Sometimes that’s all it takes. If I hadn’t scared myself and snapped out of that headspace as quickly as I did, I might not be writing this right now. That’s the truth.
I’m not telling you this as a plea for sympathy. I’m telling you this because Robin Williams is dead, and like everyone else on the Internet, I am deeply sad about that. Yes, part of my sadness is because I grew up watching him in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Aladdin,” “The Birdcage,” and “Dead Poets Society,” and it’s awful to think of someone as talented as he is gone so soon. But another part of my sadness is because suicide is always heartbreaking. I know people who have committed suicide. I know people who have attempted and considered suicide. I am someone who has considered suicide. It is a serious problem that far too many of us know all too well. Keep reading »
Absolutley heartbreaking news to report this evening: actor Robin Williams, 63, was found dead this morning at his home in Marin County, California. The reported cause of death is axphyxia, and police are treating it as a suicide. Williams had struggled with depression and drug addiction off and on for years. His publicist Mara Buxbaum told The Hollywood Reporter, “He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.” The actor’s wife, Susan Schneider, also released a statement saying:
“This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”
Keep reading »
Clinical depression sucks and it’s only growing more common. Almost one in two people in the U.S. will suffer from depression or another mental health condition at some point and about one in 17 Americans actually has a serious mental illness right now.
Despite its rising rates, depression can be hard to wrap your brain around, especially if you’ve never had it. It’s not easily treated or cleared up by positive thinking, or yanking yourself up by your bootstraps, or shoving your feelings to the dark corners of the back of your mind. It’s so much deeper and more insidious than that. I once described depression this way:
“None of those external [good things you have going for you] truly register or resonate when you have depression. You can logically identify them as Good Things, and you know they are supposed to make you feel Good, but you can’t feel them, they can’t get in. It’s like your brain is wearing a full-body armor designed to keep only the good things out. Bad things … get ushered in instantly, like VIPs.”
People who don’t have depression don’t always know what to say that could possibly help to a friend or family member going through the all-encompassing yet simultaneously utterly numb sensation of your own brain turning against you. Here are a few things not to say (unless you want said friend or loved one to grow homicidal as well as miserable): Keep reading »