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Actor’s Death Sheds Light on Complexities of Mental Illness

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Robin Williams

Three days after the beloved actor committed suicide, Robin Williams’ wife Susan Schneider opened up about her husband’s battles with depression, substance abuse, as well as the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease.

We do not know exactly what led Williams to take his own life, but here is what we do know: Each year, 34,000 Americans commit suicide, about 1 death every 15 seconds. By 2030, depression is expected to outpace cancer, stroke, war, and accidents as the world’s leading cause of disability and death. To complicate matters, depression and substance abuse often go hand-in-hand. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, people who experience a major depressive episode are more likely to drink or use drugs—and conversely, a person whose addiction is out of control is more likely to develop a mental health problem.

As we continue to mourn this talented member of the American family, let us remember that mental illness is multifaceted. While there are no easy solutions, millions of individuals have learned to effectively control the debilitating symptoms of their disease. Only when we learn to avoid oversimplification and harsh judgment can we begin to remove the barriers that prevent far too many from finding the help they need.

We encourage anyone experiencing emotional distress or suicidal thoughts to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.


Source: NBC

Robin Williams Was Struggling With Early Parkinson’s, Wife Says

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