Robin Williams.  Source:  Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.  Photographer's Mate Airman Milosz Reterski - Navy NewsStand.   Actor/comedian Robin Williams entertains the crew of USS Enterprise, December 19, 2003 (cropped) Actor/comedian Robin Williams entertains the crew of USS Enterprise (CVN 65) during a holiday special hosted by the United Service Organization (USO). The show took place in the ship's hangar bay and featured the visiting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, NASCAR driver Mike Wallace, and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) celebrity Kurt Angle. The shirt worn in the picture is the popular "I Love (Heart) New York" translated into Arabic.

Robin Williams. Source: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain. Photographer’s Mate Airman Milosz Reterski – Navy NewsStand.
Actor/comedian Robin Williams entertains the crew of USS Enterprise, December 19, 2003 (cropped)
Actor/comedian Robin Williams entertains the crew of USS Enterprise (CVN 65) during a holiday special hosted by the United Service Organization (USO). The show took place in the ship’s hangar bay and featured the visiting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, NASCAR driver Mike Wallace, and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) celebrity Kurt Angle. The shirt worn in the picture is the popular “I Love (Heart) New York” translated into Arabic.

So many people are posting on Facebook upon learning of Robin Williams’ apparent suicide.  I posted, too, then tried to do something else.  I feel compelled to post here as well.

Read the NY Times article

Depression needs to receive much more press and public discussion.  Comedians, actors, artists, musicians, dancers, writers… often struggle a great deal, unbeknownst to the public.

Toni Nadal, who is Rafael Nadal’s uncle and coach, once said in an interview that people just don’t get it.  They see what happens during the performance (or, in his case, the tennis tournament) and think that represents the artist’s/player’s daily life.

I agree.  People don’t see what happens in everyday life, whether it’s jet lag, lack of sleep, performing/rehearsing when under the weather, altitude changes, relationship issues, sleeping in a different bed every night… it’s a very long list.  In tennis, even the balls are different from tournament to tournament.  They come off the player’s racquet differently, react to weather conditions, and travel through the air differently in each location.

From what I’ve read, people with a well-developed sense of humor are often depressed.  Harvey Korman, for example, was known to have struggled with major depression throughout his life.

So Robin Williams’ death, in some ways, should come as no surprise.  We need to pay more attention.

R.I.P., Robin Williams.  Thanks for all you gave us.

Please share your thoughts.

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