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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin Williams RIP

We talk about the day the music died, yesterday will go down in history as the day that comedy died.

Robin Williams cannot be replaced.  He was a comic genius.

My heart goes out to his family and friends.

Mr. Williams was a perfect example of the notion, 'the higher the highs, the lower the lows'.  His manic performances are legendary, yet he often talked about the crushing lows.  In an interview in 2006 he stated that he had never been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder or Clinical Depression.  He stated that his mania was an act, but that the depression was real.

For those of us who have a loved one who struggles with the depression that accompanies Bipolar Disorder, losing Robin Williams to depression induced suicide is a wake up call to increase our vigilance......

and to talk about mental illness!

When will the stigma go away?  How many lives have to be lost in this way before we, as a society, lift the veil, step out from behind the curtain and actually begin dealing with this illness in appropriate ways?

I'm a bit of a hypocrite in this because, here I am writing a blog about parenting a Bipolar Son anonymously.  I do this to protect my son's privacy because he has yet to fully embrace his diagnosis; he is a prisoner of the stigma.

Mr. Williams gave the world so much, but maybe in the end he'll leave behind a legacy of not just his amazing talent, but also the beginnings of a movement to de-stigmatize mental illness.

In his honor, educate yourselves about mental illness so that you can offer support for the people in your life who suffer from it.  And trust me, there is someone in your life who is suffering from mental illness, whether you recognize it or not.