Robin Williams, as well all know, was a splendid soul. He was a talented actor and a hilarious comedian. Aside from his career, he showed a gentle heart.
Susan Schneider, Williams’ wife said, “Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the frontlines, or comforting a sick child — Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid.”
But while he was making us cry tears of laughter, he was crying tears of pain. Although Williams’ life medically ended from asphyxiation, taking his final breath from his body, his life had long before been robbed by depression.
Schneider said, “He was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.”
It is heart wrenching to know that a man with the ability to find support and resources to battle his struggles (that many do not have the means or access to) felt the need to end his own suffering. This proves to the world that mental illness is uncontrollable and cannot be cured simply by money or support.
Lawyers and Depression
“There is still a lot to learn and there is always great stuff out there. Even mistakes can be wonderful.” – Robin Williams.
Although it may seem unclear, Williams’ unfortunate and tragic passing actually has had a positive outcome: Increased awareness on mental illness, more specifically, depression.
Depression can develop from a number of variables including a complex interplay of genes, neurochemistry, emotional history, and personality. However, the main perpetrator is stress. Consequently, it’s no surprise that lawyers have twice the rate and attorneys four times the rate of depression than that of the general population.
A career in the legal industry has stress bound in its contract.
Lawyers can learn a great deal from Williams, but the most important detail is that money and support isn’t always enough to battle depression.
If you’re a lawyer and struggle with depression or mental illness, visit LawyersWithDepression.com to learn more about it and find resources to help you cope with stress and/or mental illness.
If you’re a lawyer and you do not struggle with depression, visit LawyersWithDepression.com anyway. Ensure you’re well educated on the subject. Just because your not struggling now does not mean you never will. Learn the signs of depression and how to help your peers if you suspect they may be struggling. Many people suffering depression do so in silence. And most importantly, understand its depths so you never judge someone battling depression or mental illness going forward.
Let Robin Williams’ legacy live on and his passing be a reminder to reach out your hand to those battling mental illness.
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