This will be the subject matter for many people in the U.S. for a while. Robin Williams hung himself and was found yesterday. This hit close to home as most suicide stories hit close to home for me. Some can recall that my FIRST post on here was about mental illness. I am a card carrying sufferer of mental illness. Laugh if you must. Judge if you must. BUT this is the reality of MANY people in this world. I would like to discuss some of the distasteful things I have read as far as comments on Facebook about Robin Williams and his anguish. No lie, this post is going to be a long one but there’s a reason for it. It’s not a subject that can be glossed over. This is going to take a lot of looking outside of oneself which many people don’t have the ability to do.
ROBIN WILLIAMS WAS SELFISH
My response to that: STFU!!!
That’s my response to that. And here’s why: If you have EVER contemplated suicide (which most people have not that make this stupid comment), then you will know that MOST people that are thinking of committing suicide ARE, in fact, thinking of others when they contemplate it. Yes, the logic may sound warped (hence the reason that depression is one of MANY mental ILLNESSES that can lead to suicide) but it makes sense. I’ve thought of suicide on many occasions. If you know of anyone that has committed suicide and ACTUALLY listened to them instead of telling them that they were selfish, you would understand that it’s a selfLESS act TO THEM. To them, the world doesn’t benefit from them. To them, they bring nothing to the world, haven’t accomplished things that they and/or society feels they should’ve accomplished, feel that nothing they do is right, feel that everything is going wrong for them, etc. There are MANY reasons why people contemplate suicide but, in MANY cases, being selfish is definitely not one of them. When we’re talking about people that threaten suicide and make a production out of it (I’ve heard of people saying they’ll commit suicide, they take pills, and then go to where people are to fall out), this doesn’t apply. This applies to the silent person. Or the person that really thinks that they’re doing their best to make things go right but things still go wrong and they are running out of ideas or positivity to cope with so many downfalls.
In my personal experience, I had people tell me that thinking of suicide or speaking negatively or just verbalizing your feelings of discontent was being negative. They told me that I needed to look at the positive side of things. I was told to think about my child. To me, I was thinking about my child. I have things in place for her. She would get my life insurance (to me, I was worth more dead than alive) and she wouldn’t have to see her “crazy” mother crying all the time. What happens when you’ve tried to look at things in a positive light and everything just continues to fall around you? You have to look at why people have resorted to seeing just the negative. Really, you have to get to the root of the problem. So when someone says, “I’m really just tired of it all.” Don’t lecture them on speaking in that manner. How about you either comfort them or suggest that they see someone? You don’t know their lives and to trivialize their feelings and make them feel bad for FEELING them is not the way to go.
With that said, everyone is different. But the best thing you can do is be a listening ear (many times they’re not asking you for solutions to their problems, they just want someone to LISTEN) or suggest that they see a professional. If you don’t know what to say, just be quiet. Because sometimes people open their mouths and make the situation even worse for the person who likely just wanted someone to confide in. They didn’t want to be judged. They just wanted to be heard.
HE HAD MONEY, HE COULD’VE GOTTEN HELP
Man, where do I begin with this? SMH So money gives you a professional that will cure you of all that ails you? Never knew that. I wonder why there are so many utterly depressed rich people out here then (and there are many). Robin Williams had been to rehab. They said he had over 20 years of sobriety as well. But something STILL was wrong. Maybe he couldn’t figure out what it was. Maybe the lack of the drugs and alcohol made him have to think about the things he tried to numb away. No one knows. But I know for a fact that money cannot just get you the perfect psychiatrist or psychologist. It can’t give you people that genuinely care about you and your well being. If anything, being rich will get you a stack of fake friends that don’t really care about you in the end. Look at me speaking like I’m rich. No, I’m not rich but I know that it’s hard to find a good therapist and I also know that it’s hard sometimes to figure out the SOURCE of your true anguish. It takes a lot of soul searching and remembering. Some people don’t want to remember. Some people CAN’T remember. So how can they tell someone about something they don’t want to or can’t talk about? But then again, this statement is so stupid because money doesn’t solve all your problems, especially NOT mental illness. That’s uniform for everyone rich or poor. Mental illness is an illness. It is not a joke. It is not a game. And it is NOT something to play with.
HE’S GOING TO HELL-WHY DOES ANYONE CARE?
My response: Are you God?
Mental illness is a sickness. This is why they call it mental illness. It’s like diabetes. If you don’t get treatment for it, well you can get really sick and die. This was how it was relayed to me by my first psychiatrist. And it’s true. Yes, he took his life. But were you in his head? I don’t think half the people that are being judgmental could last five MINUTES in his head or the head of ANYONE that is desperate enough to commit suicide or even think about it. To this I say “Let that be between he and whichever God he serves”. You can’t spend your time worrying about where someone’s soul is going to go. At this juncture, it’s no longer your concern. Just offer your condolences to his family if you can’t find something tasteful to say.
Truthfully, I can’t think of too many people that think about God when they’re thinking about killing themselves. For all you know, he could’ve prayed to God and begged Him to help take the feelings from him. We’ll never know. GOD might know but none of us are God so move on.
WHY AREN’T BLACK PEOPLE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THE DEATH OF MICHAEL BROWN? HE WASN’T SELFISH
My response: Really? I mean, REALLY?
Look, the death of Michael Brown was totally a tragedy. No one will dispute that fact. But, to compare the life of one to another is totally stupid to me. It’s just stupid. Whether Robin Williams committed suicide or not, he was a human being. He was sick. Sane and happy people don’t just wake up one morning and say to themselves “You know what? I think today will be the day I commit suicide. YAY!” TWO people died. One life is no better than the other.
And I’m sorry if people are saddened by the death of a celebrity. Celebrities are known for the contributions to the world. So, to many people, it’s big new that such a LOVED celebrity took his own life. People grew up on Robin Williams. Why take that from them? Why make them feel as if they are less than black because they feel more for this man than a boy they just learned about. Death is death. The thing is: death is happening all over the world. Someone else probably committed suicide today. Are you rallying for their deaths to be mourned as well? No? Then sit down. Because, in the end, you’re just as bad as the people that you’re mad at for caring about Robin Williams. The funny thing is that we can actually grieve both. We actually have this ability to do so. Grieving for one doesn’t make us hate our own race (if we’re black). And grieving for the other doesn’t mean we hate the arts or white people. We can actually grieve for both.
HOW COULD SOMEONE THAT SEEMED SO HAPPY COMMIT SUICIDE
I remember when I worked at Shady Grove, I found out that I had Major Depressive Disorder. I was diagnosed when I was 20. And when I told a coworker, her first response was “But you’re always so happy and cheerful. You joke around so much.” There are so many faces of depression. It’s not always the person that’s just mad at the world. It can be that happy woman that you see playing with her kids at the playground or even the man that’s got the perfect job, house and car, etc. You never know who is suffering or even why. It’s crazy how a man that was so nice (from what I hear) and cheerful was going through so much anguish. It’s crazy but it happens. Most people don’t run around saying “I suffer from depression.” You don’t see this likely because of the horrible stigma that has been attached to it. They like to refer to people that have a mental illness as “crazy”. That word lost its power with me MANY moons ago. But, to some people, it is the ultimate insult. People don’t want others to know that they are “broken”. Some people feel that they will no longer be looked at strong. Once you get over thinking about what other people think and actually beCOME selfish enough to care about your own well being, you have won part of the battle.
Sadly, many people don’t get past that. Some people are also scared of what they might learn about themselves if they were actually to go to a therapist. That self evaluation isn’t a game. And then, once you learn about what is causing it, you have the option to utilize medication or another means to cope with said problem. Let me tell you, it’s not easy. Once I learned what my issue is, I then had to do a trial and error of medications to see which one worked for me. You don’t want to know how many meds I had to go through before I got to the ones I’m on now. I even had a seizure off one. So it’s not an easy road (especially if the meds are involved) BUT sometimes it’s worth it. For some people, it’s either that, the psych ward, jail, or death. None of those sound good so I went with the meds.
Although there are so many other ways I can go with this I will end saying that mental illness isn’t a joke or a game. People suffer from it. They use the term “suffer from it” because it’s not a walk in the park. It’s not just something you “get over”. It’s not something that thinking positive thoughts will instantly cure. Sometimes you have to do more than praying to God as well. It might be hard but, once you get to the root of the issue and understand what you’re working with, you can get past it. Even if they put you on meds for a short time (everyone doesn’t have to be on meds for the rest of their lives. Sometimes they only put you on their temporarily in tandem with counseling), it’s not the end of the world. If you don’t feel you have someone to talk to, see if you can find a counselor. There are suicide hotlines out here. Use them. The people don’t judge you.
To those that don’t suffer from depression or have gotten through their depression, good deal. I’m glad you did. But it doesn’t go away for everyone. Everyone is different and their thoughts and feelings need to taken seriously. If you can’t tell when a person is really crying out for help, refer them to someone that will take them seriously. I’ve had a number of people call me when they’re at their wits end and ready to end it all. Sometimes I wish I had me around when I was going through what I was going through. Although I’m no expert, sometimes it’s good to have someone that has been there/done that to help you express yourself and point you in the right direction.
This is the end of my rant. I had been ranting about this on Facebook all day because I was totally appalled a the comments that I saw in groups regarding his death. It’s a shame that people don’t understand why it’s called a “mental illness”.