By Ivy Hitz
When you talk to someone about suicide in the United States the word depression will probably be thrown into the conversation at some point. It’s likely that the words, “They must have been depressed,” or “They had depression,” will be said. The famous comedian and actor Robin Williams was reported to have been suffering from depression at the time of his death. He was found hanging in his closet from a belt and it was ruled a suicide. This shocked millions of Americans across the country and sparked a conversation about depression and how suicide is not the answer. That brings up an important question, do you have to suffer from depression in order to commit or attempt to commit suicide?
It was hard for those who didn’t know Robin Williams personally to see that he was suffering from depression. Although no date of diagnosis can be found, his wife Susan Schneider reported that he was suffering with severe depression and was taking anti-depressants to relieve symptoms. Not much has been said about his personal symptoms, but those close to him said he was disconnected (Kaufman, Romney, Rottenberg, 2014). According to his wife, he had not watched TV or read anything in the six months prior to his death. It is said that his life long struggle with substance abuse played a role in his depression. Along with depression, he had anxiety. In an interview he talked about what having anxiety was like for him, “It’s literally just being afraid. . . (Afraid of) Everything. It’s just a general all-around arggghhh. It’s fearfulness and anxiety” (Matthews, 2014). He often would lean towards drinking to help with his anxiety, thinking it would help but according to Williams it never ...
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...d him to such a horrible act. There were too many other factors in the mix too pinpoint an exact cause. Many say it’s because of his depression and many will say it is because of the Lewy Body Dementia. I believe that because he was a beloved celebrity, that a majority of the information you find on the topic online is speculation and rumor. We may never know what led him to the act of suicide. As previously stated 90% of people who commit suicide have a depressive disorder or another diagnosable disorder. That being said, what about the other 10%? Why did they commit suicide if they didn’t have a mental disorder? Although I feel that my question of, “Do you have to suffer from depression in order to commit or attempt to commit suicide”, has been answered. No you do not have to have depression but the chances are high that a person who commits suicide has depression.
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