What We Can Do about Depression

By Ken Duckworth, NAMI Medical Director Rest in Peace Robin. We shall all miss you. I am one of many who would say that Robin

Aug 14
2014

By Ken Duckworth, NAMI Medical Director

Rest in Peace Robin. We shall all miss you.

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I am one of many who would say that Robin Williams was among my favorite actors.  His portrayal of a psychiatrist in Good Will Hunting is my all-time favorite. A colleague of mine told me her kids said to her last night, “Mrs. Doubtfire is dead.” They were crushed by this news which seemed so unbelievable based on their experience of the character. He was a figure that transcended generations. It was a very sad day for many, and my heart goes out to his family, who will bear the incredible pain of his death long after the news cycle ends.

 

I recalled that he had a history of struggles, but I was still shocked to hear that he had died by suicide. He was a genius and had many supports. But of course depression doesn’t calculate those things. Severe depression distorts rational thinking and can lead to the fixed idea that hopelessness and pain are to be your experience forever. I have heard this from patients who have lived after suicide attempts. They told me they had lost all perspective and simply wanted to end their pain. They often reported simply losing a sense that they mattered to other people and forgot that they too were loved.

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