One of my favorite actors and comedians died today. Robin Williams committed suicide at his California home, according to his wife and his agent. He had suffered from clinical depression and substance abuse for most of his life.
Aladdin was one of my favorite films of all time and really influenced my own sense of humor. He also starred in classics like The Birdcage, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting, Insomnia, 1 Hour Photo (one of his best roles in my opinion) and had a fantastic guest spot as the anarchic anti-hero Merritt Rook on Law & Order: SVU.
As a person who suffers from clinical depression and bouts of severe self-loathing I can relate to what Mr. Williams must have gone through. I hope his family can find some comfort from the fact that his comedy made literally MILLIONS of people laugh and his acting inspired a generation of people to get into the craft. Rarely does someone have such an impact on so many in such a positive way. It is no shame to succumb to depression, just as it is no shame to be done in by diabetes or cancer, but too many people still see mental illness as a disease one can “get over” or “overcome”. That is not the case. It is painful and ruinous and can destroy lives. If you or someone you care about is suffering from depression please see a doctor or talk to a counselor. If you need help RIGHT NOW contact the Suicide Prevention at 1-800-273-8255 or @ http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/