“And yet, something inside you is so horrible or you’re such a coward or whatever the reason that you decide that you have to end it. Robin Williams, at 63, did that today.” Fox News anchor Shepard Smith has apologized for making those remarks. But they probably (and sadly) reflect a widely held opinion. The truth is that depression has nothing to do with bravery or courage. It is a monster that strips those traits away before it even gets warmed up. If anything, Robin Williams’ suicide is another reminder that all the talent and humor in the world is no match for the power and darkness of depression. The way I see it, if you can fight off depression for 63 years and make others laugh and feel good, you are one courageous dude.
+ The Guardian: “Dismissing the concerns of a genuine depression sufferer on the grounds that you’ve been miserable and got over it is like dismissing the issues faced by someone who’s had to have their arm amputated because you once had a paper cut.”
+ “In Paris on a chilly evening late in October of 1985 I first became fully aware that the struggle with the disorder in my mind — a struggle which had engaged me for many months — might have a fatal outcome.” From one of the best pieces of writing on the topic of depression. William Styron’s Darkness Visible.
+ On Comedians and depression: Comedy clubs are “hardly the sort of venues where one goes to hear banter suited to a therapy session. And yet, for the past three years, the Laugh Factory has provided both: Once they’re done with a set, comedians can see an in-house psychologist.”
+ We should be talking about this topic. More Americans die of suicide than in car accidents.