"No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world." -- Robin Williams
I can't believe we've lost our Genie... sucked back into his lamp... never to be awakened. Thank you Robin for showering the world with laughter! You inspired me to start singing as a kid. I remember I would cut holes in brown paper bags to make Aladdin vests and then show up at my neighbor's front door announcing, "Aladdin's here! Where's the Genie?"
I wonder what Robin would have asked his Genie if he had three wishes? Did he ever let the Genie inside out of his lamp?
As an actor, suicide seems all too rampant in this profession and it scares me a lot. It scares me because I know that so many actors are putting on masks, becoming other people, yet never truly knowing themselves. I've been guilty of it too...
Think about it... one of the most brilliant comedians of our time was also one of the most depressed. His inner life in no way matched the way he presented himself to the world. Perhaps that's what made him so brilliant, he knew the darkness inside and the only thing he could do to bring light into his life was to bring joy to others. It's actually quite beautiful. And thank God he did because the world would not be the same without this Genie.
In this day and age, depression is a very real thing, a word that gets thrown around frequently, but is often misunderstood. Yes, it comes from an imbalance within our mind. But whether it is a genetic cause or a prison that we've created for ourselves is still questionable. One thing is certain; we need to find a way out. We're still learning so much about the cause, severity, and the ways to treat it.
Depression can be extremely hard to treat; in fact, only about a third of people will get rid of it after starting antidepressants. Furthermore, pills often make the symptoms worse and lead to an increased risk of suicide, according to CBS News. Doesn't seem like a good option to me...
Now, I by no means pretend to have the answers. I've never been severely depressed but I've certainly experienced my own dark days when I was diagnosed with cancer...
And I do know that certain things lifted me from that darkness:
Again, I'm not saying these remedies treat depression, but I know for a fact that they don't do any damage. If you're truly interested in finding out more you should check out Dr. Daniel Amen's work. Basically he believes if you can create a healthy brain, you can beat depression.
Still, we obviously don't have all the answers. We don't have a Genie to wish it away. Of course Robin didn't want to suffer. Of course he didn't want to take his life. Maybe he just didn't know how to take off his mask... or call upon his Genie inside.
Maybe his passing will encourage us to search deeper for the answers. Hopefully we can find the Genie within the lamp...
We love you Robin!