Robin Williams, a comic genius, actor, father, husband. Some may even call him the most cheerful person in the movie industry. It seemed to people that Williams always had a smile on his face and cracked jokes no matter what he was doing. Behind all of the smiles and laughter, though, he held onto a secret for what might have been years.
On August 11, 2014, Robin Williams committed suicide. At just 63 years old, having much more life to live, it was all gone in an instant, by one simple act. There was no preparing for this moment, and few could believe it when they found out. Many can probably recall where they were when they heard the devastating news on the radio or TV. Many people wondered at that time, including myself, how such a lighthearted, humorous man could take his own life. It all seemed that there was nothing he had to worry about. He was married, had children, made loads of money, starred in big time movies; what more could he ask for? This was nothing compared to what was underneath the surface of the fame and wealth, however, the hurt, depression, suicidal thoughts. No one, besides his close family, could see how much he was hurting inside, and there was no way for anyone to tell. It seems to us now, that Williams put on a facade and tried to cover up his emotions for everyone else. Of course, he didn’t want his biggest fans, or the media, finding out that such a seemingly happy guy like himself was actually depressed and suicidal. His job (more importantly, his hobby) was to make others laugh and forget about their lives, just for a little while. Revealing his distraught state of mental health would have torn that to shreds. Williams even once said, “I think the saddest people try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.”
With his appearances in some of the most well known movies of the ‘90s, like Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, Good Will Hunting, and Dead Poets Society, no one would have ever known that such a talented, hardworking actor could have been contemplating taking his own life. From his death, almost five years ago, many people came to one realization: No matter how much it seems someone is content with their life, there is only so much a person can take. Knowing about Robin Williams and his story with depression can open the eyes of others to realize that people silently suffer everyday, whether it be with depression or suicidal thoughts, like Williams. Reach out to the friends that seem happy all the time, or even the ones that concern you, because no one ever truly knows what people are going through in their life.