With the exception of the whirlwind of events surrounding Ri’s surgery and diagnosis, I don’t usually find myself in situations that leave me sad, sensitive, or weepy. Really. (But then again, it’s not like I ever expected or prepared myself to hear my child has cancer.)
Until today…when I woke up to the news that Robin Williams passed away, a likely suicide, due to depression. Sure, I don’t know him personally and his family has no clue I exist but the thought that such a funny, talented artist (that kept us laughing and entertained) battled depression (and died with it) bothered me.
When people hear that Ri has cancer, they are immediately very sympathetic and accepting, offering to do things for us from referring doctors, hospitals, food, supplements, to homeopathic remedies and herbs. Why? Because everyone knows that whether curable or not, cancer is a serious illness. However, when a person seems to be depressed, not as many people are sympathetic. There is a stigma attached to it that the person suffering depression is weak. A lot of times, depression is dismissed by telling the affected to “pull herself together” or “just be strong, hang in there” or “don’t worry too much.”
The sad truth is – Depression is an illness. It should be treated as seriously as cancer, ebola, or other life-threatening diseases because it slowly eats away at a person until it’s too late. I have heard of many tragic stories ending in death due to depression (including post-partum and menopausal)…many of which may or may not have been curable or preventable.
Hopefully, we can generate more awareness of this deadly disease.
R.I.P. Robin Williams. You are free at last…