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Robin Williams - dead at age 63

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Robin Williams was one of the most brilliant, dynamic, funny entertainers of our time. I wouldn't expect to be so saddened by a celebrity's passing, but I am. I have to wonder if he was so funny because he was really sad. I've wondered for a long time if that's the case with a lot of funny people. . .if it's just a cover or a coping mechanism for deep pain. 

 

Whatever it was that drove him to this, I will say that the world seems a little sadder without him here. I think he was not only talented, but also a kind man. He reminds me so much of one of my brothers. I won't judge him because I know how depression can affect a person. I am sad though, for him and for us. 

 

I love this video of him:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j1Hq8L28Us

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Sad to hear about his death, too. :( He was in and out of rehab for a long time and the depression was too much for his little heart and soul. Behind that amazing smile and laugh, there was a lot of sadness...

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I suspect many by now have seen Matt Walsh's provocative take on the situation, at http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/08/12/robin-williams-didnt-die-disease-died-choice/

I wouldn't have phrased things the way he did, but I do doubt that Williams would have gotten such an outpouring of empathy, support, and pity had his depression been a factor in some other action--beating a child, perhaps, or raping a woman.

Are we really getting more "aware" of mental illness? Or are our moral views re the supposed wrongfulness of suicide just evolving? The latter might not necessarily be a bad thing--but we should at least be candid that that's what's happening, IMHO, rather than just sitting back and congratulating ourselves about how compassionate we have become.

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I don't know that, I definitely feel one who commits suicide is going to regret it, I feel they will answer for the pain they caused. I just don't feel the need to point it out, rub it in anyones face, or make known my little interior judgement.

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Are we really getting more "aware" of mental illness? Or are our moral views re the supposed wrongfulness of suicide just evolving? The latter might not necessarily be a bad thing--but we should at least be candid that that's what's happening, IMHO, rather than just sitting back and congratulating ourselves about how compassionate we have become.

 

Thanks to the internet and people speaking up more and sharing their experiences, I believe we are becoming more aware and knowledgeable about mental illness. It is no longer a taboo topic and people does not have to suffer in silence any longer. People seem to accept more the fact that it is a real condition (and not an invention from pseudo-psychologists) and because of that, when we hear about someone committing suicide, a lot of people no longer start with the speech of: "They are going to hell".

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 I guess I'm casting a dissenting vote on Robin Williams. Though I did get a few giggles out of some of his movies, I was generally uncomfortable with his style of humor. It seemed so over the top that he came across as forcing it. Maybe since I've dealt with that dark side in my own life, I was more attuned to the darkness that seemed to almost seep around his comedy. I think he must have despised his depression so much that he overdid the humor to mask it, to try to squelch it from his life. I wonder if there were very many people in his life he could be real with.  

 

 I've hung around a few people who spew one liners constantly in real life and it's such an unnatural way to communicate that I tend to avoid them.  

 

I'm just sad that anyone had to feel so badly that suicide seemed the only solution.

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My son and I were checking out Amazon today to purchase some of his movies. Every single one said they were "out of stock."

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Matt Walsh's whole schtick has been to write complaints in order to provoke. I'm not even sure I know what he thinks about things, I think he just enjoys the attention that comes from stirring pots. 

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I suspect many by now have seen Matt Walsh's provocative take on the situation, at http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/08/12/robin-williams-didnt-die-disease-died-choice/

I wouldn't have phrased things the way he did, but I do doubt that Williams would have gotten such an outpouring of empathy, support, and pity had his depression been a factor in some other action--beating a child, perhaps, or raping a woman.

Are we really getting more "aware" of mental illness? Or are our moral views re the supposed wrongfulness of suicide just evolving? The latter might not necessarily be a bad thing--but we should at least be candid that that's what's happening, IMHO, rather than just sitting back and congratulating ourselves about how compassionate we have become.

 

Mat Walsh's screed there, while having some technical correctness, was quite possibly the most moronic thing I've ever read. It boils down to a "just be happy" kind of crap that just makes the suicidal drive stronger in depressed people.

 

I've been where Robin Williams was.  I spend more time there than not. I think about suicide more than I don't.  The whole "just tell someone" is idiotic advice. It just upsets other people and you just get people saying stupid unhelpful things, a little like Mr Walsh did, that just make the depression worse. Talking about it to friends and family almost never helps. It's better to suffer in silence than to endure the stupid statements from ignorant people.

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While not stated very sympathetically, I think Walsh makes some good points.  It disturbs me to see comments that Robin Williams is "free" now.  What impact does that make on people who are on the verge of suicide?  :(  I have some severely depressed relatives who have come close, but they don't choose suicide when they think about what it would do to their family.  I think some people are not in their right mind and are not accountable.  I knew a woman who had a drastic personality change after an aneurysm and jumped in a river in the middle of winter.  She is one of the kindest people I have ever known and I just felt sadness. 

 

When my friend's dad shot himself in the head, I felt furious.  He had been a selfish, controlling man and this was just one more thing that hurt his family.  Life insurance didn't cover it, so his wife who had stayed home to raise 4 children suddenly had to go back to school close to her 50's and their son still lives with her to help pay the bills.  My mom and I were there shortly after he was airlifted and it was like a horror scene.  My mom helped clean up the mess, but not even professional carpet cleaning worked.  They had to replace the carpet, which was not an expense she could afford.  My friend was in the middle of her senior year.  Even worse, her brother was initially questioned because the police thought maybe he shot him.  One minute they were watching a movie together.  He was laughing and acted like everything was fine.  Immediately afterwards, he went upstairs and shot himself.  No note.  No explanation of any kind. His wife's reaction was anger.  "He's always doing such stupid things!!!" she said.  What I learned later was that it was kind of common in the culture he grew up in for a middle aged man to kill himself when he felt like the best of his life was behind him.  I don't know if that was the issue with him, but I felt angry for a long time because of what his family went through.  He had made comments over the years that if he were ever to kill himself, he would shoot himself in the head - stated it in a very matter-of-fact manner. 

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My mother wrote more than one suicide note blaming me and my father. To a young teen, on the verge of internalizing the content of those notes, hearing the notion that mom was being unspeakably cruel to level such blame on her son, probably saved me a lot of issues over these last 3 decades. When she finally managed to end her life when I was in my 20's, that knowledge was a strength to me.
 
When someone is pushed past their limits and no longer in control of their actions, there's no sin in suicide. But when someone has agency in the matter - well - is there any more fitting word than 'cowardice' to describe getting out of your pain by ending your life, thus increasing the pain of your loved ones tenfold?
 
For that matter, if that isn't what cowardice looks like, can someone tell me what it does look like?
 
We're fallen sinners. Sometimes we do cowardly things. It's hardly outside of the realm of possibility. And having a good understanding of such possibilities can be of inestimable value to those left behind. It's sure a heck of a lot better than carrying misplaced guilt through your life because you think it was your fault your loved one ended themselves.
 
 
Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, “Treatment is simple. Great clown, Pagliacci, is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up.” Man bursts into tears. Says, “But doctor, I am Pagliacci.”

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Comments about someone who commits suicide being "free" are in the same vein as comments about cancer victims no longer being in pain, or accident victims being in a better place. They're comments from survivors meant to ease the tragedy by giving it a silver lining. In my limited experience you see such comments from those further removed from the situation, family members and best friends are usually in too much pain to either be seeking a silver lining or to feel such comments constitute them. When we're talking about someone like a celebrity most people who 'knew' them fall outside of that immediate circle and thus you get a plethora of of such comments, so seeing it in the case of Robin Williams doesn't surprise me.

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As of late I find myself annoyed with the "free" and "better place" and "God's will" comments when tragedies occur. I wholeheartedly believe in life after death, we will see our loved ones, etc. But sometimes these comments seem to exist to convince the mourning they should just cheer up and move on. Can't people just be sad for awhile?

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As of late I find myself annoyed with the "free" and "better place" and "God's will" comments when tragedies occur. I wholeheartedly believe in life after death, we will see our loved ones, etc. But sometimes these comments seem to exist to convince the mourning they should just cheer up and move on. Can't people just be sad for awhile?

 

I don't think those comments come across as "it is time already, cheer up and move on" (although I admit, there are some that do come across like that). Everyone mourns differently, and I think it is so imperative for loved ones to lend support and encouraging words to family members. Some people seem to be able to cope with the pain a little better than others and there are some who really have a hard time and they are unable to function (think, eat, sleep, etc) on a daily basis even after months or years. In many instances, there are feelings of guilt involved which makes the process even harder.

 

Of course, time is a decisive factor for most cases but it doesn't happen in the same way with everyone and I think encouraging words about the state of being of a loved one being in a "better place" is something that could be appreciated.

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