August 11,2014 /The Cloudiest of Days


Hello Friends,

Today is Tuesday, August 12, 2014. Most of us woke with an agenda…Why? Because we wanted today to come. We expected it. We planned for it.  Today did not arrive for actor Robin Williams. Today, he did not see the sunrise.  Today, he did not have an agenda or check list. Today was not part of his plan. Why? Because his yesterday changed his today and all of his tomorrows.

Today, I woke. I saw the sun rise. I had an agenda for the days events but writing these words, on this page, for this reason, was not part of the plan. The tragic news of Robin Williams’ death shifted my thoughts to a place I had not planned on visiting. So now, I ask you to listen to the words I am about to say. When you have finished reading, my hope is for you to take them to heart, remember them, share them with others, “talk” about it openly, and not to ever dismiss them, no matter what.

Yesterday, Robin Williams was found lifeless, in his home in Tiburon, California, after police responded to a 911 call. The cause of death:  suicide due to asphyxia. How sad! How heartbreaking!  Heartbreaking to know that someone who was  once breathing, living and going through their agenda just hours before, would no longer breathe…no longer have an agenda… for the rest of their life.

According to reports, Robin Williams had sought treatment in early July after checking himself into rehab.   Williams had been battling drug and alcohol addiction throughout his life. He also had been battling severe depression. 

We all have cloudy days. Days when nothing goes right.  You know…those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days when the clouds seem to hang around and no sun in sight. We just seem to have the  rainy day blues.   But, for most of us…those days are temporary. The clouds disappear and we are able to focus on better things.

For Robin Williams, the clouds remained.

The clouds were too heavy. The clouds were too thick. The cloudy state of depression hung around  long enough until he could no longer see the light of day. He could no longer see his future worth living for. He could no longer wait for the tomorrows…when the clouds could be lifted and his eyes could see the patch of blue through the darkness.

Depression defined is: severe despondency and dejection, typically felt over a period of time and accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.

Depression affects all walks of life. All ages. For many reasons. At any time. And anywhere.  I have known those suffering from depression. I have  also know those who have taken their life. What do you do? What do you say?  What do you learn from such a tragedy?  First, we must know the signs  of depression. The signs may vary from person to person and we may all feel these symptoms at any given time, but if these signs become an overwhelming, everyday occurrence…one may need to seek help.

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
  • Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
  • Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
  • Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
  • Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
  • Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
  • Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
  • Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
  • Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
  • Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.

 

As with Robin Williams, severe depression can lead to suicide. 

Warning signs of suicide include:

  • Talking about killing or harming one’s self
  • Expressing strong feelings of hopelessness or being trapped
  • An unusual preoccupation with death or dying
  • Acting recklessly, as if they have a death wish (e.g. speeding through red lights)
  • Calling or visiting people to say goodbye
  • Getting affairs in order (giving away prized possessions, tying up loose ends)
  • Saying things like “Everyone would be better off without me” or “I want out”
  • A sudden switch from being extremely depressed to acting calm and happy

 These are just a few warning signs. Many facts can be found on the internet on both subjects. Depression is an illness not a personal weakness.  Depression can be treated.  If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, please seek help.  You can find out more about depression through:

The National Institute of Mental Health    866-615-6464   http://www.nimh.nih.gov/healthinformation/depressionmenu.cfm

There is light even in the darkest places only if we could look up long enough to see who is the supplying the light.

“My deepest condolences are with the Williams Family.  I pray they find strength through God as they seek light on these cloudiest of days. He made me laugh a little louder and smile a little bigger. He will be greatly missed!”

This article is ©Copyright- All rights reserved

©Photos by Laura

Ironically, these cloud photos were taken today.

Depression/Suicide Source: www.helpguide.org/depression_sign_types_diagnoses_treatment.htm

 

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