Robin Williams' very public life and ultimately his death only magnifies the fact that mental illness and addictions have no boundaries. They do not discriminate. They affect all people, men and women, from all walks of life regardless of money, status, or life circumstances. No doubt his sense of hopelessness (a dangerous sign of suicide) led him to feel that he had no way out but to end his life. Therein lies the true tragedy. Yet, behind his death is a deeper, often unspoken tragedy.
That tragedy is the millions of people who continue to suffer from a mental illness and addiction every day, many of whom will ultimately also end their life by committing suicide. This holds especially true with our military — those very same men and women who serve and fight for our country everyday. Although we rarely hear about them, their families and friends experience the same extraordinary pain and suffering because of their loss.
Let us hope that the extensive coverage given on behalf of Robin Williams' death (and notwithstanding the many contributions he has made in his life), will reach others who are suffering in the same way and they will seek the help they so desperately need before it's too late.
Let's create more conversation about the debilitating effects of mental illness on a person's life.
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