Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Depression. It's a Disease

In eight days, it will be seven years since Jim killed himself.

Yesterday, one of his favourite actors did the same thing.

There may be only a couple of hundred people who remember Jim...people he touched and influenced in his life.  Students.  Friends.  Co-workers.  Family.  Me.  There are millions mourning and speculating about Robin Williams.  And some of them are crying, "Coward!"  I did that when Jim died.  I guess it is, in a way, a measure of my journey down the road to forgiveness that I no longer feel that way.  I now recognize that depression is not a moral failing, it is a disease.

So, when stupid what's-his-name on FOX called out Robin Williams for cowardice, I was appalled at his ignorance.  

Depression is not something that can be cured with a hug, or a hundred "likes" or a smile, or a song, or a pill.  It's not something a person can pull himself out of or joke his way out of or sing, or run, or walk himself out of.  It is a deep, black pit that sucks in everything, to the point where the victim can see nothing else.  Suggesting that a victim "reach out" for help just tells everyone that you have really no clue what depression is all about.  To the victim, there is nothing to reach out with, or to, or from.  There is just the pit.  All the beauty of the world, of life, is gone and nothing remains except the pain.

I wish I could have helped Jim.  I wish someone could have helped Robin.  I hope others who suffer from this disease can be helped.

I am very sad, today, like thousands of others.


  1. Sometimes with all the help in the world and all the resources the abyss is just too deep

  2. ronni,

    i thought of you and jim when i heard the news about robin williams.

    robin was experiencing the beginnings of parkinson's.
    jim was afraid that he would get it just like he had seen his mother, addie, die from it.

    parkinson's, depression, and financial stress pack a wallop.

    you, your family, robin's widow and kids are left to pick up the pieces.