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My Reaction to the News about Robin Williams

Natalie McKinnon

       I write this entry in my blog with a very heavy heart, as I mourn with the rest of the world over the tragic news of Robin Williams passing. A brilliant man, in every sense of the word, an amazing actor, a Talented Comedian, a man who shared the gift of laughter with the world. It breaks our hearts in a million pieces to know his inner turmoil took him from his place in this world.

  A man, who loved to use his talents and gifts to make others smile, was fighting his own inner demons. Even if I didn’t suffer with depression, this still would break my heart, but all the more so when I’ve been there and felt that pain before. Years ago I was hospitalized for suicide attempts. So I know exactly where he was coming from, I know many out there know those dark thoughts, those dark crevices in their minds, where on the outside, they are putting on a façade for those around them, but inside the turmoil is deep and dark and very real.

  I usually don’t cry over losses in Hollywood, I feel sad, if it’s actor or actress that I love, but this one, this one hit close to home. This one touched the deep part of my soul, and I did cry, I cried because I  know, I cried  for his family and  close friends, A man, whose heart was so big. A man who gave so much, of himself to others, not just the laughter, but his own resources.

   I felt his pain, pain that he hid well, behind that contagious smile of his. Another loss, what could have been done? How many more tragic losses before society and the world wakes up to the harsh reality that mental illness is REAL! It does not discriminate against race, or male or female or status. I see more dialogue going on, why it makes me so angry that it took this loss to get the ball rolling.

    There needs to be more programs, more awareness, more funds, and more OPEN discussions, strip away the stigma, the myths, and reveal the truth. More and more people are being diagnosed every day. The world Health organization estimates approximately 121 million people suffer with mental illness and only 25% have access to effective treatment. Staggering statistics but it’s the truth, so what can be done? We all can be part of this change that needs to take place.

     More diagnosis and less that’s being done, we can’t just push it aside and hope it goes away, this is not going anywhere. And we are losing brilliant minds and precious lives. WE all need to speak out, let our voices be heard and unite as one. Suicide is an epidemic. We need to educate and offer support, train up individuals that can impact mental health! When we care for the individual, we need to care for the whole person, and that includes the mind.


I agree that the U.S. needs more programs, more awareness, more funds, and more OPEN discussions, It needs to strip away the stigma, the myths, and reveal the truth. More and more people are suffering everyday. Robin William's death hit me hard because I know I have been to a depth of darkness I did not want to come back to. I had, had enough. But by the Grace of God I was saved. Mental Illness needs to be discussed as openly as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses, with out hesitation.
One of the obstacles is confidentiality. The only way to help people is to be able to be more open about their depression or other mental illness. We need to get 'out' into the open.. Yes, we all can be a part of this change that needs to take place.

I can relate so very well with this story. I was dx with bipolar in 2008. I have been out of the hospital for 7 weeks now, another failed suicide attempt. The moment I heard of Robin Williams' death, I had to pull my truck off of the road as I fell apart crying. I took it personally, it devastated me when the announcer stated from apparent suicide. I kept thinking, "Oh my god". I wish I could've helped him, even though I never met him. I cried as if he was my family. I kept wishing that he could've kept some of the joy & laughter that he gave us. Why did he have to die? Still crying... The only thing that I think of is that with his death, maybe people will learn that having a mental illness does not mean you're crazy, or less of a person because of it. There is no judgement, there is no fear of us. We never asked for our minds & lives to be affected, we were handed this curse without our consent. So, if you see someone or know of someone who needs help or is hurting or suffering: lend a hand, give them a moment of your time & help them. This could very well be saving a life. I pray that we all continue to celebrate Robin Williams achievements. May he find his path. And may we all live our lives the very best we can.

His death hit me hard as well. Many people around me didn't understand how someone so famous and "seemed to have it all" could take his own life. I understand because I almost did it five years ago. I suffer from BD1 and struggled. God somehow sent angels to pull me back from the brink and it is sad that this didn't happen for Robin.

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