Sadly, actor and comedian Robin Williams has passed away. The Marin County Coroner’s Department lists the death Robin Williams suspected suicide due to “asphyxia”. As a licensed Registered Nurse with emergency room trauma experience, every suicides listed as “asphyxia” that I have seen has been due to hanging. Here is the exact wording:
“The male subject, pronounced deceased at 12:02 pm has been identified as Robin McLaurin Williams, a 63 year old resident of unincorporated Tiburon, CA. An investigation into the cause, manner, and circumstances of the death is currently underway by the Investigations and Coroner Divisions of the Sheriff’s Office.
Preliminary information developed during the investigation indicates Mr. Williams was last seen alive at his residence, where he resides with his wife, at approximately 10:00 pm on August 10, 2014. Mr. Williams was located this morning shortly before the 9-1-1 call was placed to Marin County Communications. At this time, the Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made.”
Although this is an extreme moment of sadness, let’s be sure to celebrate the memories he helped us create with our friends and families. His wife, Susan Schneider, released this statement, “This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken…”
In honor of Mr. Robin Williams, Let’s take this moment to recognize that everyone everywhere is at risk for silently struggling with depression.
The National Institute of Mental Health reports that the Wold Health Organization states that 8.1% of American adults suffer from a Major Depressive Disorder while 5.09% suffer from diagnosable anxiety disorders. (click here for tips on overcoming anxiety)
These numbers seem minuscule to the amount of people who likely struggle with undiagnosed symptoms. Keep in mind that even when someone doesn’t require a diagnosis, similar symptoms as a result of difficult situations can be just as traumatizing.
If you are one of these people silently struggling, please know that you are not alone. Seek help and affection from those close to you as well as a counselor or therapist. There is no shame in admitting you need a shoulder to cry on. I’ve been there myself.
For everyone else, remember to never judge a book by it’s cover. A mental health diagnosis is not a life sentence, but is a description of symptoms. Please read more about the detrimental affect of diagnoses being used as life-long labels and how “asking why” can improve outcomes by clicking here.
Speak life instead of hate. Help instead of hurt. Encourage instead of belittle. Live and let live. Every person has value.
Captain Hook and Mrs. Doubtfire were my two favorite Robin Williams Memories, what were yours? Please share in the comments :)