Robin Williams' suicide brings greater awareness to mental illness
CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. – The suicide of comedian and actor Robin Williams has brought mental illness and suicide awareness to the forefront.
Williams suffered from substance abuse and depression for a number of years, despite wearing a smile to make people laugh on and off the big screen. A preliminary investigation has revealed that Williams’ cause of death was suicide due to asphyxia. Williams, 63, was known for his roles in “Good Will Hunting”, “Dead Poets Society”, “Hook”, and “Mrs. Doubtfire”.
The Center of Disease Control states that 1 in 10 Americans suffers from depression, making Williams just one of many. Many factors can cause depression, including genetics, alcohol or drug abuse, medical conditions and treatments, or stressful life events.
Depression is described as a mood disorder that causes people to feel sad, hopeless, and unmotivated for long periods of time, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). It can be a debilitating illness that causes everyday functioning to become difficult.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, more than 90-percent of people who commit suicide have been diagnosed with a mental illness. Those mental illnesses associated with suicide include depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety, among many others.
There are a number of sources across the country that can be utilized for free for those suffering from suicidal thoughts and tendencies. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has 161 crisis centers across the country. The hotline can be reached at 188-273-TALK 24 hours a day throughout the year. There are also apps available on the iPhone and Android for suicide safety plans.