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Robin Williams and a call to understanding

By Drake Bishop
On September 15, 2014

During the ‘90s Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails wrote and recorded the second album under that band name titled “The Downward Spiral”. The power of the music written was matched by the sadness of the story told by Reznor as it describes the main character sinking into depression and committing suicide by the end of the album. 

While well-known actor Robin Williams focused on being a genuinely nice human being and giving us emotion through his performances, he lived his own version of “The Downward Spiral”. Both Reznor and Williams sent a message we need to pay attention to even if they may have had opposite vibes and feeling from their entertainment.

Suicide is something that is not easily passed or shrugged off as if it were a non-issue and this is especially the case when it involves a loved one or someone who is admired. However, depression is sometimes shrugged off and not taken seriously.

People tend to use “depressed” in a minor way when one person asks another what’s wrong and that person says, “Oh, I just feel depressed today.” This can lead to focus being taken away from the big picture of what depression can do to people. 

Depression is a disease that can eat at someone in a way they don’t have much control over unless professional help is sought. Depression can be a monster in a person’s head. It tells people they aren’t good enough for someone who left them. It tells them they are too fat or not pretty enough. It tells them they disappoint people. It tells them they don’t really matter to people they care about. The worst part is that no matter how much money or how many fans a person may have, that individual can still be depressed. 

If depression knocks, it’s a matter of how a person handles it. Williams may have put on a mask for his performances just as any actor or comedian is supposed to do but on the inside, he was suffering. 

I can’t tell you what was tormenting him but what I can tell you is to learn from him. Seek help if you are depressed. Counselors on campus provide confidential services to students. Students who may need help while off campus can call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK. 

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