Robin Williams did have a choice. We all have choices, but with a history of
depression and the diagnosis of a debilitating neurological disease like
Parkinson’s I can totally understand. Years ago I suffered from severe
depression, and 8 years ago I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Has
suicide ever entered my mind because of what this disease has taken away from
me? Yes. I was working on my Ph.D. in neurobiology and was unable to finish,
can't walk now, live in assisted living... and also because I fear what
awaits me (official prognosis: total paralysis, inability to swallow, unable to
toilet myself, and having to be on a respirator.) I have a choice just like
Robin Williams and Michael J. Fox and others have/had. I choose to live for my
friends and family and for religious reasons. I also still find much joy in my
life. But no one can judge Robin Williams for the choice he made. In my own
small way I know the desperation and fear and mourning he was feeling, yet I
would still never judge him and neither should anyone else. RIP Robin. You are
Scientist, I hope Robin Williams' life won't be any less inspirational
to you when you know that he identified as a Christian. In 2007 he credited his
faith with helping him through rehab: “You get a real strong sense of God
when you go through rehab . . . Having the idea of a really loving and forgiving
God really helps if you’re an alcoholic.” In regards to his
Episcopalian faith, he said: “It's become much more personal to me. .
. . There's much more a sense of [religion] coming back to life for
me.” It's likely that his faith inspired his great humanitarian work:
“The idea of really working together, that means something. I’m
religious on that level, trying to take care of everyone, and the idea of
compassion is powerful to me.” Robin believed in an afterlife.
After his death, his son Cody said this about his father: “I will miss him
and take him with me everywhere I go for the rest of my life, and will look
forward, forever, to the moment when I get to see him again.”
In his way of life as well as his death, I found Robin Williams to much more
inspiring than any religious leaders today.RIP. You are no longer
out of focus.
I have a friend and colleague who has suffered from clinical depression his
entire life. The rest of us simply can't understand what it is like dealing
with something like that every day. He frequently has to change medication
because for some reason the prescription simply stops working. I can see where
Parkinson's Disease may have put Robin's depression beyond the reach
of treatment and overwhelmed him. His death is a great loss. Robin
Williams tore through life with his hurricane velocity humor. He also managed to
be one of the most accomplished dramatic actors of our time. Yet, what people
appreciate most about Robin was his kindness, generosity, and healing spirit.
That's a lot to accomplish in one lifetime while carrying such a heavy
burden.O Captain! My Captain! May you Rest in Peace.
My mother, who suffered from depression, also had Parkinson's, which threw
her mental health such a curve that we forced her into a mental hospital for a
time.Some of the lesser-common effects of Parkinson's is
depression, psychotic episodes, paranoia, and dementia. It's much more than
just a few tremors; for some people, it's a overloaded concoction,
especially if there's already a predilection to mental turmoil.When I saw they said he had Parkinson's, I thought, "Of course . . .
even more pieces to the puzzle just fell into place."
The hymnbook from which I sing each Sunday has a hymn with the following
words:"Who am I to judge another when I walk imperfectly? In the
quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can't see. Who am I to
judge another?"Words to live by....
Do not judge; you NEVER know what really goes on behind people's doors in
the privacy of their own homes.
RE Gary:I agree with you, we are all given choices. Mr.Williams
choice however was not made because of his Parkinson's. It was made because
of his mental Illness. You sound as if you have never suffered from
Mental Illness and for that I am happy for you. Coming from someone who has I
can tell you it in fact can be a debilitating disease and is for many. Mr. Williams may your journey to the other side be sweet. Godspeed and
Rest In Peace.
There is no possible way any of us can judge what was going through Robin
William's mind and what he was feeling and suffering at the time of his
death. It is not our place to pass judgement, nor conjecture the why's and
wherefores. It is our right to mourn his loss, to sympathize with his family and
closest friends who mourn, and an opportunity to think of those in our circle of
influence who may need some extra love, kindness and encouragement right now. No
one ever knows what quiet sorrows are being carried by those around us, but we
can be guaranteed that EVERY person carries something that is often too heavy to
bear alone. If this story does nothing else than inspire more kindness, more
gentleness, and more love around the world, then this death does not need to be
Hey Fred T -"I can think of two people, Mohammad Ali and Michael
J Fox.Both with Parkinson disease and not in the early stages."They made their choice too.That's because people are
allowed to make personal choices.I am all for it. It's not up
to me to tell someone what to do with his life, especially if he's faced
with a debilitating disease.I respect the rights of individuals. If
someone wants to make a living will or opt out of a painful life, I am not
going to challenge that.Why? . . . Because it's NONE OF MY
Gary O,You are so wrong.First, yes he made a choice, but
it wasn't his to make.I can think of two people, Mohammad Ali and
Michael J Fox. Both with Parkinson disease and not in the early stages.Lastly, Suicide NEVER makes sense.It is a reality, every 13
minutes and someone commits suicide. Some of these are probably helped by
people telling them, it is their choice.Glad you can now feel better
about someone taking their own life....I wonder if there will now be
a call to ban belts.
Parkinson's Disease!OK . . . Now his suicide makes a lot more
sense.Robin Williams once jokingly said "Life isn't for
everybody."So much has been said over the last couple of days
about mental illness.Well, I don't think it's mental
illness when someone makes a choice not to suffer through a debilitating
disease.He made a choice. And the choice was his to make.Personally, I feel a lot better now about the whole thing.I was
shocked to hear about the suicide. It seemed so senseless. But now it makes a
lot more sense.