Good morning Tash Appreciators,
The human body is a strange thing. It’s capable of incredible ingenuity, creativity, feats of strength and endurance. It can experience love, hate and everything in between.
However, the problem with a complicated machine, like the human body, is that a tiny change in it’s structure can throw the whole thing off-kilter. A change in the chemicals fizzing around the brain or an experience which hasn’t been comprehended in a healthy way can have catastrophic consequences. It can get to the stage where it cannot fix itself and, for want of a better phrase, it self-destructs.
The seemingly randomness of how the human body can react is only too evident in the case of Robin Williams – it brought one of the funniest men on the planet to the point where he couldn’t bear to live through another day. All of the goodwill in the world couldn’t save him from his own body.
I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say about this. I thought about tearing into those who called him selfish, but I realised that very few people think like that these days. I thought I’d look at the statistics and bemoan that more can’t be done to help those suffering from mental illness, but after a bit of reading I found that dozens of organisations are already doing formidable work in this area and it seemed wrong to criticise their efforts.
To find something constructive to add, I looked to the man himself. He said this:
“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”
If words and ideas can ever change the world, it’s in the field of mental health.
Someone with a mental illness, particularly someone suffering from depression, relies on words and ideas to get them through. Those words and ideas often don’t come from within. Instead, they have to come from someone else. Often, the person who is suffering is blinded by a seemingly never-ending fog which clouds their brain and hides all that is good in their life. As a result, the only person who can guide them safely through is a friend or family member who has noticed that something is wrong.
If you were affected by Robin Williams death; if you thought it was a tragedy for someone who brought so much joy to others to feel like they had no option but to take their own life, remember that the chances are that someone around you is feeling the same way today.
If the idea strikes you that someone might be suffering from mental illness, find the words to take action – doing so might be the way in which you can make a really positive difference to someone else’s life.