The Passing of A Great Artist; Depression, Its Effects on You and Me

Reach out to someone

On the early morning of August 12, I learnt about the passing of a great artist, a well-known actor and comedian that had touched the hearts of millions – Robin Williams. He was 63. He had reportedly gone through a series of depressions and had apparently committed suicide at his California home on August 11, 2014.

There were many passing of admirable people that I have heard, but none affected me this much. The passing of Robin Williams was sudden and had me thinking quite a lot since the day I heard about the news. Partly because I grew up watching some of the movies from this exceptional man, and mostly due to the fact that it is hard to imagine what this wonderful man had gone through that brought this abrupt end to his life.

I know I am suppose to remember him not for his death, but for his kind soul and as someone who has brought laughter to many around the world. Since the last few days whenever I came across that news, in my heart there is a corner of huge sadness and uncertainty – what was in the mind of Robin Williams?

Denial, The Very First Step to Depression

I, for one had been through stressful periods of time. To be honest, at the beginning I had never thought I would be in that kind of situation. Like many people out there, I denied the fact that I was under stress. I would tell myself everything was okay, yet things turn out otherwise most of the time. With denial, I was slowly sucked into the spiral of anguish and self-accusation.

Be it from family, work, society; from things that seemed trivial and small, they can become a source of stress that sucks out the life energy off us. Failure in fulfilling expectations can be summed up as the ultimate reservoir of stress. When we failed to achieve what is to be expected, either from within ourselves, people around us or from the society, we feel bad.

The Effects – Mentally

The mind is a powerful gift from God, nevertheless it can still be quickly subdued by stress. When we realize that we start to become compulsive and have obsessive thinking about the past or the future, then stress has already got a hold on us. Anxiety is common, coupled with distractions of life, can become deadly if piled up day by day.

The Effects – Physically

Not only our mind reacts to stress, our body will also respond to it. Body muscles tensing up, blood pressure rising, and more. These are just some signs that the body tells us when we are indeed being under stress. Easily being agitated, loss of appetite, loss of interest in general, or even headaches and shortness of breath will then creep in slowly without us even realizing. If we choose to ignore these tell-tale signals, stress will continue to pound on our physical health and well-being, while at the same time taking a toll on our mind and soul.

Identifying The Problems

Like many things, there is a cause and effect. Stress can be caused by many things, some of them which are already being covered above. Stress can also come from within. Only you would know what is the main source of stress. Only you would understand your own true feeling. Find the root cause, and tackle them one at a time. Seek for solutions; try different approaches to solve one problem and continue to move on.

If stress comes from not within, but from the environment or from the people around us, identify them. Find ways to talk to the people who contribute the stress; consider alternatives to handle or avoid stress from the environment. Discover the inner peace with the guidance of religion or a friend, or even read a book on self-help to obtain some advice.

Don’t Wait

Don’t wait until you get depressed. Stress is a silent killer. Ask for help; open up. Anyone from your family, your spouse, and your friends will be able to support you. If not find professional assistance. If things turn out the worst, get help from suicide hotlines. There are many people who face the same challenges, and there are communities out there that can help.

When it comes to stress, there are many things to uncover, and the first step is to uncover ourselves: what lies deep beneath our hearts. Do not allow stress to take over our lives, or even worse, TAKE AWAY OUR LIVES. We might never be able to understand the mind of such a great man like Robin Williams, and his motives. However, he had left a legacy, a heart which we should remember and continue to carry on. There are many lessons that we can learn from him, and the most important thing that should be reflected is how we choose our path in life, especially in dealing with crisis such as depression.