Thoughts on Depression and Robin Williams' Death

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Curt Sunshine
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Thoughts on Depression and Robin Williams' Death

Post by Curt Sunshine » 12 Aug 2014, 08:48

I've been thinking about how to write about my feelings regarding Robin Williams' death.

First, I loathe it when stats concerning the legal use of anti-depressants are used as criticism of any kind. I am so glad such use is becoming more acceptable, and criticism of any kind only furthers the stigmatization of depression and discourages people from getting the help they need.

I loved so much of Robin Williams' work, but my favorite scene of any of his movies was near the end of "What Dreams May Come" - when he apologizes to his wife for leaving her when she was institutionalized and promises not to leave her again, even if that means he will spend eternity in Hell with her. It hit me hard, because that's how I feel about my wife: I would rather live with her in Hell than be alone in Heaven. Life would be too dark without her, even in Heaven.

The world just got a little darker, but Heaven just got a little lighter. May we each, in our own way, make Earth a little lighter – and may we NEVER add to the darkness of those who fight the dragon of depression.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

RiverSong14
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Re: Thoughts on Depression and Robin Williams' Death

Post by RiverSong14 » 12 Aug 2014, 08:52

That was beautiful Ray.

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SamBee
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Re: Thoughts on Depression and Robin Williams' Death

Post by SamBee » 12 Aug 2014, 14:20

I think anti-depressants are a partial cover for external causes of mental illness.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Minyan Man
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Re: Thoughts on Depression and Robin Williams' Death

Post by Minyan Man » 12 Aug 2014, 16:51

SamBee, what would be an example of an "external cause" of mental illness?

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Thoughts on Depression and Robin Williams' Death

Post by Curt Sunshine » 12 Aug 2014, 17:33

Mental illnesses vary widely, even within a more narrow category like depression. I hope we never contribute in any way to someone feeling like they can't explore the full range of legal options to help deal with any illness. We don't discourage it with illnesses that are seen as strictly "physical", so we shouldn't do it with illnesses that are considered "mental" - since even that distinction carries loaded connotations.

The brain is part of our physical body, and to separate illnesses by their location within the body and invalidate approaches that recognize the physical nature of the brain by providing physical treatment (including that which is chemical in nature) is wrong. The illnesses are complicated; the idea that every illness is physical in nature, in some way, is simple.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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SilentDawning
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Re: Thoughts on Depression and Robin Williams' Death

Post by SilentDawning » 12 Aug 2014, 18:59

I empathize with depression. I've had it in enough doses to know just how awful it can be. It can sap your achievement motivation, make you sick with worry (anxiety), regret your life. I feel for Robin Williams.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

church0333
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Re: Thoughts on Depression and Robin Williams' Death

Post by church0333 » 13 Aug 2014, 00:02

Depression and suicide are tricky topics. My heart goes out to Robin's family but at the same time I think of suicide just as another means of causing death and death will come to us all. I think that I can speak this way because I have had a sister and a daughter take their own lives and I have had the same feelings myself. There probably is some bad gene in my family that makes it that way. I know how unhappy my sister was and my daughter had spent at least a year asking me to talk her out of ending her life. She had also seen doctors and was taking medication but for her it just wasn't enough. It makes me sad but at the same time I don't think that I would wish them back if I could because their lives were so painful and to be honest there were higher chances of them getting worse then there was of them getting better. Death is not something we look forward to for the most part but there are circumstances where choosing when and how would be a much better option for me at least.

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Forgotten_Charity
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Re: Thoughts on Depression and Robin Williams' Death

Post by Forgotten_Charity » 13 Aug 2014, 07:59

Mike wrote:SamBee, what would be an example of an "external cause" of mental illness?
http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc. ... 13012&cn=5
A small sampling of external and environmental+ social causes Mike.
A variety of social or relational interactions or events can trigger depression. Some common examples include:

Death of a loved one
Divorce or marital problems such as infidelity
Loss of a job, financial problems, or poverty leading to homelessness
A chaotic, unsafe, and dangerous home life such as violence in the family
Abusive relationships that undermine self-confidence
Social failures such as friendships
Moving to another city
Experiences that cause learned helplessness in which one believes that they have no control in life
Serious trauma such as abuse, neglect, rape, etc.
Social isolation

Abusing drugs and alcohol
Overwork
Poor diet, including excess caffeine or sugar
Lack of exercise
Poor sleep
Lack of leisure time as well as fun and recreational activities

Environmental Causes

Synthetic chemicals, in the form of food additives and preservatives, pesticides, hormones and drugs, and industrial byproducts, are bombarding our bodies at an unprecedented rate. In this article, we use the term "environmental causes" to describe environmental contributions to depression which are present in our environment in the form of air, water and food pollution. Other non-chemical sources of environmental stress include noise pollution, electrical pollution natural disasters, and other catastrophic environmental events. Although some authors consider events like childhood abuse, prolonged stress at home or work, coping with the loss of a loved one, or traumatic events as environmental, we classify them as social and relational causes of depression.

Recently, a small body of research suggests that electrical pollution may be linked to mood disorders. Electrical pollution is caused by the radio waves generated by the electrical equipment we use in our modern world. Electrical pollution is invisible, silent, odorless, and tasteless. Some United States military researchers have found that particular radio wavelengths can promote depression and rage. Larger, more controlled studies are necessary to determine the exact relationship between mood and radio waves.

Natural disasters such as destructive hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes, as well as man-made catastrophic and traumatic events such as September 11, 2001 can contribute to an already vulnerable person's susceptibility to depression. In addition, a person with very little innate propensity to become depressed can also develop symptoms after they encounter a significant and traumatic environmental trigger such as the annihilation of their home by a hurricane.

Our level of exposure to some of these environmental factors is partially under our control. For example, if water quality is bad in your area, you may be able to use an inexpensive water filter. Similarly, if you believe that your health is being affected by chemical or electrical sensitivity, you may be able to take steps to avoid these substances.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Thoughts on Depression and Robin Williams' Death

Post by Curt Sunshine » 14 Aug 2014, 12:25

Robin's wife just released a statement sharing that he was diagnosed with Parkinson's recently.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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SamBee
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Re: Thoughts on Depression and Robin Williams' Death

Post by SamBee » 14 Aug 2014, 17:06

Mike wrote:SamBee, what would be an example of an "external cause" of mental illness?
To name a few: poverty, divorce, Lack of sunlight, redundancy, abuse, and being a victim of crime.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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