Robin Williams' death teaches us to get help

The death of actor/comedian Robin Williams has no doubt shocked us all. I was lying in bed when one of my sisters came and told me. My heart sank because it felt as though I lost a family member. It's not too many people who can leave an impact like that. Williams came into our lives initially on the sitcom Happy Days as Mork from Ork. He came to Al's Diner and humorously put The Fonz in a trance. This of course led to the spin off Mork and Mindy and the rest was history.

Unfortunately, however, Williams suffered from severe depression and was reportedly battling alcoholism and substance abuse over the years. Everyone has been depressed at one time or another but how do we know when to seek help? What are the red flags or catalysts? Mental health has always been a taboo topic because of the various stigmas and stereotypes associated with it. Hollywood has made a mockery of it as there are countless films portraying characters in straight jackets, preparing them for shock treatments.

Mental health in my opinion still has a long way to go before it's totally embraced, in spite of new treatments and medications. Some cultures refuse to accept mental health in fear of their family being "tarnished". Either way, there must come a time in your life when you have to do what's best for you. If you find yourself feeling more sad than usual, find someoneĀ  to talk to who truly has your best interest at heart. If you don't know anyone who fits the bill, then by all means seek professional help.

My condolences to the Williams children as they really suffered a loss. Williams fulfilled his destiny by bringing joy into many lives. Too bad he couldn't find the joy he needed for himself.

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