The impact you make on someones life can make a huge difference. I came to realize this when the I saw a Facebook post from my son showing his sadness when he found out Robin Williams took his own life.
Robin Williams was a huge inspiration to my son Chase and so many others around the world. He made us laugh and cry.
I guess you could say that I have come to the realization that Chase is now starting to understand certain things that for so many years I tried to shelter him from. Chase was overjoyed when he got the part of Genie in the school play. He listened to the Aladdin soundtrack night after night when he went to bed. It was embedded in his brain, it brought him joy. I wanted to put this out there because so many people can't seem to see the warning signs of depression. Depression is a very dark and lonely place to be. A lot of the time people are able to mask it with a smile. One of the biggest reasons I know this is because when my parents passed away I was in that place.
I think if we all did a serious gut check we could honestly say we have known of someone who has battled depression at one time or another.
This can be as a teenager all the way up to the elderly. I think we have an obligation to our friends and family to see those signs and address them in a caring matter.
Robin Williams is a shocker, I think we all can agree with that. This tragedy also shows us that even though it seems like someone may have everything, they still may be fighting through it.
Here are some of the warning signs that someone may be fighting depression or considering suicide:
Information via helpguide.org
Warning signs of depression
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
- Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
- Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
- Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or over sleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
- Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
- Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
- Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
- Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
- Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
- Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
Warning signs of suicide:
- Talking about killing or harming one’s self
- Expressing strong feelings of hopelessness or being trapped
- An unusual preoccupation with death or dying
- Acting recklessly, as if they have a death wish (e.g. speeding through red lights)
- Calling or visiting people to say goodbye
- Getting affairs in order (giving away prized possessions, tying up loose ends)
- Saying things like “Everyone would be better off without me” or “I want out”
- A sudden switch from being extremely depressed to acting calm and happy.
Information via helpguide.org
Suicide is a tragedy that can be avoided, you just have to be aware of people you love and care about. One of the hardest things to do as a parent is trying to explain to your children why someone would do that to themselves.
Don't let it be too late, take action if you know of a loved one who is fighting depression before it is too late.
Here is the number of the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) Please call if you are dealing with depression or feel like there is no hope. You will be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.
I asked my son Chase a few questions about his favorite actor:
Why did you like Robin Williams so much?
Because he made me laugh and he was a great Genie.
If you could say anything to Robin Williams right now what would it be?
You're my hero
I personally can remember watching Robin Williams on Mork and Mindy. You where, and will always be remembered for making people smile.
Chase drew this picture of Robin Williams the day he passed away
My family sends our love and prayers to the Williams family.
Last but not least, Thank you Mr. Williams for giving us the gift of laughter.