Robin Williams, Parkinson's Disease, Depression and Suicide: Taking A Break From My Life

Dear Mr. Fantasy, play us a tune. Something to make us feel happy.                                                                                                                                                                                    You are the one who can make us all laugh, but doing that you break out in tears.                                                                                                                                                          Please don’t feel sad if it was the straight mind you had, we wouldn’t have know you all these years.

robinwilliams Robin Williams was the ultimate Mr. Fantasy. His stand-up and movies made us all laugh while at the same time he was spiralling downward towards his suicide.

When I heard about his death, I was shocked but not surprised. The addictions, heart surgery and depression were common knowledge.

The real shocker was finding out he was in the early stages with Parkinson’s. Within an hour of the announcement, I was getting calls, emails and texts. Some checking to see if I was okay, others were looking for a reaction.

My reactions and feelings have been all over the map. It ranges from being stunned, to be sad, to being angry…and going back and forth through them all. Not to mention being tired…very tired.

Here’s another reaction…if you have an illness and you find a celebrity with that illness, it’s easy to relate. You’ve found a partner in your battle. Solidarity and empathy.

Michael J. Fox and Linda Ronstadt have Parkinson’s. Mike is very open with his battles while Linda is private. I’m a little of both. I can relate to each one.

Along comes Robin Williams. Diagnosed with early stages of PD. Boom! Suicide! Let me tell you, that will fuck you up a little. Okay more than a little.

Now on to the anger. There’s a long list of famous people with Parkinson’s. It ranges the gamut from Hitler to Muhummad Ali.

Williams would have been the biggest name of them all. Sorry Mike and Linda. Love you both but Robin trumps you guys.

Awareness and fundraising would have been through the roof. All that is over before it had a chance to get started. Damn, damn, damn!

However, we have learned a few things in the last few days. More than 60% of people with Parkinson’s have some form of depression. Parkinson’s groups recommend getting checked for depression once a year.

The suicide rate is significantly higher for people with Parkinson’s than the general public. That’s cool…we also have a higher rate for Melanoma and Altzheimer’s. Hat Trick!!

As for my mental health, after a couple of rough days, I’m feeling better. Really, I’m okay. One more time…I’M OKAY!!

I know Robin Williams didn’t commit suicide because of Parkinson’s. At least I’m pretty sure of that. It’s that little bit of uncertainty that makes it so confusing. Ugh…here we go again. My therapist has her work cut out for her on Monday.

I do know one thing…I need a break from all of this. I’m heading to the proverbial basement for a week.

No more Robin news. No more Parkinson’s stories. I had a couple pieces planned for next week but they’ll still be there in ten days. So will Robin. His story isn’t going anywhere soon.

It’s time to have a little fun. Listen to some music. Watch some bad baseball. Take a ride to Wisconsin. See some real life people.

So I’m checking out til next weekend. Don’t be scared. It’s not permanent. I’m okay. See ya on the other side.

Seems I’ve got to have a change of scene. Left here on my own or so it seems. I’ve go to leave before I start to scream.                                                                                      Feeling alright. I’m not feelin’ too good myself.

 

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