You’ve gotta be wondering, how could the funniest man on earth be so desperately sad that he could take his own life? Mork, Patch Adams, Mrs. Doubtfire? Impossible. Well, like many comedians, Robin Williams battled substance abuse, alcoholism, and depression.
Experts say some comedians use their wit and humor to mask the turmoil they feel inside. If they’re really funny, and make others laugh, maybe they’ll feel a little bit better themselves. And they say, people who are particularly creative are at higher risk for mood disorders, like depression or bipolar disorder.
Robin Williams, was one of the millions of Americans who suffer from depression. In fact, depression affects about 80% of us at some point in our lives.
Depression can cause a whole range of symptoms, from sleep disruption (sleeping too much or too little), changes in appetite (eating too much or too little), feelings of guilt, problems concentrating at school or work, being on the verge of tears, worrying about the future, and not finding pleasure in activities you usually enjoy, including sex.
The cause of depression is not well understood. In some cases medications or underlying medical conditions are to blame, like thyroid or heart disease, but depression occurs in many people for no clear reason.
Treatment often involves a combination of medication and therapy. Exercise, avoiding alcohol and drugs, and eating a healthy diet can also help.
Feeling sad at times is completely normal, but if your symptoms last for weeks, you may suffer from depression. Please contact your doctor to be evaluated. And if you ever have thoughts of death or suicide, you must get help right away. Get to an ER where a doctor can determine if you might be a danger to yourself or to someone else…before it’s too late.
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