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Robin Williams Suicide Puts Depression, Substance Abuse and Suicide Under Spotlight

| August 12, 2014

ROBINWILLIAMSWEBSTORYA from WAGM-TV on Vimeo.

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The world is still stunned by the news actor/comedian Robin Williams is dead from an apparent suicide yesterday afternoon. Publicly, Williams seemed to have it all, fame, fortune and a worldwide fan following. But privately it was a different story. One millions of people can relate to.  Oscar winner Robin Williams…was known worldwide for his tremendous talent and a multitude of roles…COMEDIC, DRAMATIC…He spent his life making other people laugh and feel emotion. But it seems behind the scenes…he was masking incredible pain and battling personal demons. His suicide now puts a famous face on so many who suffer in silence living and DYING from DEPRESSION.

FILE

“Good morning Vietnam…”

Oscar winner Robin Williams was known for being a comedic and dramatic genius on screen. But in private he battled a deep depression. And Monday afternoon, he succumbed to those demons killing himself in an apparent hanging. Mental health practitioners say Williams’ suicide is sad but more common than people realize.

Jon Hamlin is a Psych Therapist for New Day Counseling Center in Caribou and says “this is more proof of the idea that this can touch anybody it isn’t just particular to certain people.”

Williams wasn’t just ANYBODY, he was an Oscar winning actor, had a family, the respect of the Hollywood community and a vibrant career. Still his private pain eclipsed all that. And he also battled substance abuse and addiction. Health practitioners say its common for substance abuse to compound depression.

Lorraine Chamberlain is the Director of Integrated and Emergency Services for the Aroostook Mental Health Center and adds “substance abuse has a tendancy to change people’s thought processing so they become more impulsive and may have a thought that they might act on.”

Hamlin adds “If left untreated it can worsen to the point where you’re ability to reason and see things clearly is distorted so obviously you get to this irrational place where the only solution is suicide.”

And many people in Maine have arrived at that irrational place.

According to Maine suicide stats provided by the source worldlifeexpectancy.com…

-on average Aroostook County is ninth (among Maine’s 16 counties) in suicide rates. The county has about 8 successful suicides a year.

The symptoms of depression include:

Appetite loss

Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings

Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts

According to Maine suicide stats provided by the source worldlifeexpectancy.com…

-on average Aroostook County is ninth in suicide rates. The county has about 8 successful suicides a year.

Kim Cousins is a Nurse Practitioner for Pines Health Services and says “Seek help don’t look at it as something that’s embarrassing that you shouldn’t talk about because there are huge numbers of people who suffer some level of depression and there is help.”

They say a lot can be learned from William’s tragedy. From life, an amazing talent. From death, a lesson that could save someone else’s life.

Mental health workers can’t stress enough the importance of not shrugging off depression as a case of the mild mannered blues that should go away. They urge people to take it seriously and seek help immediately if it becomes a long term problem that interferes with your everyday living.

For more resources to help with depression, suicide or mental health issues check out the following websites…

www.amhc.org , www.suicideprevention.org and www.nami.org.

 

 

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