I can't believe that Robin Williams has passed away. Mental illness is such a serious problem, and I don't think this world takes it seriously enough. It has robbed us of a great talent.
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Yeah too bad about that one. He was a genius comic. He will be missed. Nanu Nanu
depression is a mental illness regardless of what caused it
I first met Robin Williams at Venice Beach. I was 18 and just moved out of my family home to rent an apt. there. He was a local street performer, always on roller skates as was the fad at the time. I congratulated him on his recent appearance on Happy Days as Mork. He informed he was getting a series, "Mork from Ork" ... later changed to Mork and Mindy. It was thrilling for me to see his career explode into the stratosphere. A'few years later, he entered an L.A. after hours club. The crowd parted like the Red Sea. Intimidated. He was left standing in the middle of the room, awkwardly alone, excruciating. I walked over to save the day, reminding him of his Venice Beach roller skating days. He lit up with the memory .... and actually remembered me! I led him to the side and out of the 'spotlight'. We chatted briefly until he spotted a friend, grateful for my 'rescue.' And I will forever be grateful I had such personal encounters with a true genius ... and genuinely sweet human being.
Alle, I've got to disagree with you. Yes, of COURSE society has a huge influence on our behaviour/decisions etc, but for one person whose husband beats them they might be able to move on, for another person they can't. That's why they are mentally ill. They are unable to see that there's hope, that there is a future. People with depression have automatic negative thoughts which don't allow them to get out of their negative cycle. They think the world is out to get them, and they think they deserve it. Those are not the thoughts of healthy people. People need to recognise that although bullying etc really does need to be tackled, the people who suffer from it need to be helped too. It's all about thought processes, conditioning and how we connect our experiences with one another. For some, we may view life on the merit of it's successes. For others, it's viewed on failures. That's not due to society, that's a fundamental problem in the mind. That is mental illness, and it cannot be disregarded.
Alle, you may have read more meaning into my comment than I intended. My own sense as to his illness is this. He already suffered bipolar depression. His heart attack and surgery triggered more vulnerable synapses in his brain which he admitted to. Then, the clincher. Parkinson's. As a child he was a loner. Then, he had to deal with the sudden onslaught of fame and the perception that the world loved him. Which of course, the world did. But he would ask, "Why does the world love me?" "Does the world really know me?" Mick Jagger said fame is like ice cream. A little bit is okay. But too much and you get sick. Robin was a super intelligent guy. Intelligent enough to check himself in for treatment. What did him in was momentary intense depression ... a moment that would have passed. In that moment he realized, irrationally, that the world will no longer love him if he could not perform in the genius fashion they had become accustomed. It wasn't ego. It was deep deep seeded insecurity. The same insecurity that drove him to become who he was. One wonders if a conversation with Michael J. Fox -- at that moment -- may have saved him.