This is an incredibly sad story. Another very successful and talented person, and one of the funniest men that has ever graced the silver screen, has allegedly taken his own life. Depression is a dark and complicated illness that manifests itself in many harrowing forms, and Williams’ lifelong battle with the disease makes his death all the more tragic.
Think of his huge roles, The Genie in Aladdin, Mrs Doubtfire, Peter Pan in Hook… this man dedicated most of his life to making millions of people laugh, and yet, below the surface, an inescapable sadness was destroying him. How can this troubling disease be combated? In Williams’ case, he was allegedly never diagnosed with clinical depression or bipolar disorders, so many of our responses are mere speculation. It is reported however, that although he was not diagnosed he was plagued with a pervading sadness.
With such a talent, success, wealth and comic persona, many of us would think: ‘What did he have to be depressed about? He was so successful.’ But this sad event underlines the fact that mental illness does not discriminate, nor does it pick or choose who it affects. Regardless of economic status, social class, gender, race; Mental illness can attack any one of us. So, let’s give a thought to all sufferers of depression and mental illness and the man who made us so happy with his infectious smile and unique humour… Robin Williams. RIP.