The Do-Gooder Team knows your life is probably filled with the incredibly sad loss of Robin Williams on Monday. Each of us had our own deep connection with him, such as Tony’s blog discussing his personal encounters with him, and a lifetime of fandom and DVD collections. (Ed. note: I loved Robin since his first appearance as Mork on Happy Days - JM)
One aspect that has really hit the team hard is the circumstances of his death, which was by suicide - intentional or not. The vehicles to suicide are many, but one common denominator is almost always depression (which is just as varied in its forms and power). And sadly, like many people, we have all seen the effects of depression in our own lives. Depression is an ever present specter waiting to quietly push open a door to enter those affected by it and it always has its pale hand on the door knob.
Yesterday, this article called "Robin Williams and Why Funny People Kill Themselves" popped up from Cracked.com in my Facebook feed from a friend. Cracked.com, which makes its advertising money off of grade school humor in the form of lists, isn’t known as Pulitzer Prize material. But this article is a very realistic look at what many comedians and “life of the party” people are hiding. It has some dark, frank language but worth a read.
Here’s what we’re getting at with this post: Those happy, bright, funny, jolly, amazing people that make you laugh - or maybe you consider insecure and self-absorbed to draw attention to themselves - may only be presenting one side of themselves to you. There will be times when they are low-key and don’t feel like doing a song and dance. Yes, they can be just tired or relaxed. But they may also need *you* to make them laugh. Or just listen. Or just ask how they’re doing. Try to get get them out of the house. Call a little more frequently or stop by to say hi or leave a note on their screen door. It’ll mean the world and keep them going another day.
Do-Gooder supports many great causes, but there isn't an easy place to make depression go away with a PayPal donation or build a well that will catch the next big rainfall of dopamine and serotonin. It takes time, understanding, and empathy to keep that door pressing against depression's entry.
However, you can always support to the Suicide Prevention Hotline who can help those in need 24/7:
If you're depressed you can call their number for help: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Take care of yourself and others,
The Do-Gooder Team