I was stunned to say the least when my friend called me to share this news. I gather it’s a known fact that Robin Williams had been battling depression. One factor that may have contributed to his decision to finalize his life was the conclusion of his latest show. Not to say that anyone is to blame, but you never know what straw is the final straw for someone. Suicide is so grievous as you can imagine. The one thing that I struggled with when my uncle committed suicide was the conflict of feeling that he was coward and understanding the plight of his life at that time. Needless to say the process was so hard to get through because, it is believed that signs exist and therefore the loved ones feel tremendous grief and guilt because they think-the signs were not noticed or they believed that they could have done something.
The harsh reality about suicide is that people weigh out the pros and cons and conclude that they are better off not living. Depression is a mental illness–suicide is not. It is one of the ultimate expressions of life being too unlivable and the person can’t see how things will balance out to offer any type of reprieve. Recognizing the signs provides time for intervention– but the reality is people have walked out of the hospital from a 72-hour-hold; a 14-day hold or perhaps even 30 days and still commit suicide. However, there are people who are placed and released from the same types of holds that find a semblance of hope that gives them that push to keep living.
So, how can you tell which person is presenting before you? You can’t, if you are not certain about the emotional/mental status of a loved one then have them evaluated. The Team that is responding must consider the information you hold, but please do not go through this alone. Seek help, cry out, scream out whatever it takes–get some help.
Read the article Suicide is a T.O.U.G.H. issue by LaQuita Suggs, LCSW to learn ways to approach this sensitive topic.