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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Robin Williams

Many people, far more eloquent than I, have spoken about the tragic death of Robin Williams. I've noticed that the pieces Ive seen seem to be dominated by the good he's done for others, and the joy and laughter he gave us all,

But, Ive seen a sizable minority saying that his depression should not be classified as a disease, that taking his life was a choice. I wish to differ, a bit.

I will grant you that there was no disease, no pathogen, bacterium, or virus. But depression is an illnes, with a biological base. When it leads to suicide, it steals your options, until you're left with what seems to be only one remaining course. If you haven't ventured down this road, you can't be critical of someone who takes it.

Personally, I'm struck by the juxtaposition of the joy he brought others, and the pain he must have felt. If any small measure of good can come of this, it is the realization that people with depression are truly suffering, regardless of what they seem to have. Perhaps we can keep a closer eye on our loved ones, so we can keep them from going down that terrible road.