Tears of a Clown


I should have published this on Monday but couldn’t. As I write this I wonder if the monitors will pass this but I have to try.

This is about the sad and tragic passing of Robin Williams, not sad and tragic so much about his comedic genius or his great acting but sad and tragic as to why he died and how. 14.8 Million People suffer with depression in the U.S. and there are 34,000 suicides each year with a high percentage in older Americans.

You may suffer with this yourself or know of others suffering silently in their lives. If you do you know that words don’t help, sharing suggestions doesn’t help. Most medications only skirt the problem leading people to alcohol and drugs.

Please take some time today to stop your work, pull your hands away from the keyboard and put them in your lap and look down if just for 15 seconds and reflect on those suffering and pray for them to find peace. If you know someone and sense just a hint that they may be suffering put your arms around their neck and give them a long hard squeeze and don’t even say a word, you could be saving a life.

Post here your thoughts, great quotes from Robin’s films as a tribute to him and the millions suffering with depression.

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world” – Robin Williams

Aug 13, 14 1:17 pm

Nice tribute.


Also, one of the best things you could do is to donate to mental-health charities and free urban treatment centers.


On Golf:

"Not straight. I put shit in the way. Like trees and bushes and high grass. So you can lose your fucking ball. And go hacking away with a fucking tire iron. Whacking away, and each time you miss you feel like you’ll have a stroke. Fuck, that’s what we’ll call it, a stroke. Cause each time you miss you feel like you’re gonna fucking die."

Aug 13, 14 1:29 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

Nice words Carrera.

Robin Williams' passing has hit home for me as well and since the news broke I have not felt quite the same. Even-though it is tragic, perhaps the best I can take from his early death is to take time and reflect on my own past and struggles and remind myself never to take for granted those whom have been there for me and the steps I have taken to get to where I am now... or more importantly, get to where I am going.

Aug 13, 14 2:17 pm  · 
1  · 

God gave men a penis and a brain, but unfortunately not enough blood supply to run both at the same time.

    -- Robin Williams

Aug 13, 14 5:07 pm  · 

I've suffered from depression for several mom is bi-polar and has had clinical depression to the point of being hospitalized for months at a time...runs in my family I guess...Hearing of his passing was very sad...A true comic genius...

"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."

-Robin Williams

Aug 13, 14 5:52 pm  · 

“The human spirit is more powerful than any drug and THAT is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. THESE are the things that matter.”

Awakenings (1990)
Dr. Malcolm Sayer

Aug 13, 14 7:08 pm  · 
I never knew who said that, but I love that quote. Thanks Carrera.
Aug 13, 14 7:11 pm  · 

jla-x, I am sorry to hear you are having trouble. Having people in the family with same/similar difficulty can be helpful, they can be sympathetic but it doesn’t cure it. I have been dealing with this for years and my wife, while loving & sympathetic, just doesn’t get it. She just can’t wrap her head around it and neither can most people or our society. I didn’t expect this thread to blow-up for that reason, just look, 16 posts on snow guards? Our society has to get over this thing that you can only be sick from the neck down and get insurance companies to start paying for more counseling, without limits on visits. My insurance company just paid my hospital over 4 Grand for a 30 minute MRI I had, yet they get squeamish over paying my psychologist 150 Bucks for an hour to keep me alive. Counseling can’t cure it but it can help keep people alive.

As we wait for change, give your Mom a tight squeeze from me and tell her that I care that she gets better and I hope you do as well.

This isn’t Robin Williams but the true meaning of the Finnish word "Sisu" is “Tenacity of Purpose". It applies to all struggles including ours; just don’t ever, ever give up.

Warmest regards.

Aug 13, 14 8:33 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

Another "hit"?

For fuck's sake, can you even tie your own shoes?

Aug 13, 14 9:47 pm  · 

In all seriousness, this Hyperbole and A Half post about depression is the best description of how it feels that I have ever read.  I think it explains very beautifully how you have a problem ("My fish are dead.") and people who have never experienced the problem can't even conceive of what the problem is ("Let's go look for your fish! I'm sure we'll find them!").

Aug 13, 14 9:55 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

Very good link Donna.

And to avoid confusion, my comment above was directed to some poor sap who felt the need to imply his own paranoid conspiracies on a very important topic. I am happy to see his post removed.

Aug 13, 14 10:47 pm  · 
chatter of clouds

You remember his film One Hour Photo?

It was positively disturbing how sad, somber yet at the same time expressionless, self-effacing, almost catatonic he seemed. And in that film, Insomnia. Very strange. I don't think he looked tearful. He just looked catatonically sad. It was actually depressing to watch him; it was contagious. 

I read this article just today: Robin Williams and Why Funny People Kill Themselves

  I can totally understand that many comedians suffer from depression and that they use -and are driven towards- comedy in order to mask their deep seated dislike for themselves. But I also find that article a bit crass and simplistic, based on a too easy "psychological profiling" that finds that "nerdy defects" (an obsession within American pop culture) cause discontentment in oneself which in turn cause personal dislike which in turn etc etc.

I don't believe this is true. I suspect it is more complex,, deep seated and may also arise from brain chemical imbalances (thus it could well be psychiatric rather than just psychological).

Peter Sellers, for example. He didn't seem to have a sad childhood (although he had a weak heart condition), which the author of the above linked article seems to suggest as a near-principle for adult depression. He grew up to be admired by many women. But yet he, Peter Sellers, was known to suffer from depression (as well as other undesirable characteristics) and indeed, his last movie, Being There, he betrays this same inclination towards self effacement, expressive blankness, although not sad looking as Robin Williams'...a bit more scary though - a gentle stupor worn on his face.

Anyway, it is very sad that Ms Doubtfire had to go this way; she was much loved. RIP


Aug 13, 14 11:17 pm  · 

There is a good bit of empirical and clinical research showing that emotionally and intellectually intelligent people are more prone to depression. I would definitely argue that most comedians or entertainers are extremely emotionally intelligent, and Robin Williams was obviously fairly intellectually intelligent also. 

Being aware of so much shit, feeling so much empathy/ sympathy (and needing/ wanting to stop from it), and the world being such a disordered, pointless and nihilistic place are all common themes in both my depressive struggles and others I have spoken with about it. Not to imply that I am exceptionally intelligent or anything.

Aug 14, 14 12:49 am  · 
Non Sequitur

TAMMUZ, I agree with your point on the Cracked article. Although I can understand how someone could use comedy as a physiological moat to distance themselves I tend to find it too simple. But on the other hand, what Archanonymous says above is key in my opinion and that perhaps a combination of a critical sharp view of the world and an intelligent mind makes one less likely to convince themselves that every-thing is OK. George Carlin was a great one at this.



Aug 14, 14 8:19 am  · 

Yeah, Non Sequitur, I saw the conspiracy link you were questioning. Bizarre and glad it's vaporized.

Aug 14, 14 8:21 am  · 

I've been doing mini-med school type things and think this YouTube video on Depression in Human Behavioral Biology class at Stanford is pretty good if you are looking for something to listen to while drawing today. The whole class is available on YouTube, not just this lecture and it is all good. Professor Sapolsky is brilliant, no other way to put it. He calls depression anhedonia, or the lack of ability to feel pleasure. I lost my brother-in-law to this terrible disease 2 years ago. 

Aug 14, 14 8:45 am  · 

Donna, thank you for the Link, which was excellent, best I’ve read. Found this statement therein the most succinct -

“And that's the most frustrating thing about depression. It isn't always something you can fight back against with hope. It isn't even something — it's nothing.”

Thanks to all that have contributed and those too that I’m sure read-in but didn’t write-in.

Aug 14, 14 10:18 am  · 

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