I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said; about suicide, the prevention of suicide, or the loss that everyone suffers as a result of the suicide. Especially when we lose someone as special a person and performer as Robin Williams.
I was still a teenager when I first stumbled upon Mork, the tv alien who was played by Robin Williams with an over-the-top comedic outrageousness. I didn't watch a lot of tv back then. But, 'Mork and Mindy' was exceptional. And, Robin's unique talent made it so. I can only imagine the out takes were just as hilarious. And, his stand up routines were captivating. It seemed as though he really was an alien comic who could exude such spontaneity and wit I'd never seen before on earth. A huge loss for for so many that found his genius to be as unique as it was human.
I agree with those inside and outside of the medical profession. Depression is and should be considered a disease. No more or less so than cancer or any other medical disorder.
I just read how suicide trumps many other causes of death. Including car accidents which have been addressed with seat belts and a growing assortment of technological advances in automobile safety. The stigma depression still carries, I believe, is a significant hurdle to overcome. As with so many emotions, we've been indoctrinated to believe that there are good ones and bad ones. And the bad ones we not only hide from others, we deny to ourselves. And, so we do not acknowledge, let alone share, these experiences which could otherwise provide us with the perspective and permission to be healthfully addressed.
Education is key. We've got to learn to treat people with diseases such as alcoholism and depression with respect for what they're going through. Rather than asking what's wrong when someone expresses their inner most struggles we must learn to ask "how can I help?" Empathy, rather than apathy, is a quality we are born with. It should be reinforced in our educational system. As we learn to see empathy and understanding as qualities to be proud of we will grow, personally as well as a society that deals increasingly effective at intervening and interrupting the most tragic outcome of such insurmountable pain. We're each a miracle in a galaxy of miracles. We are each no more or less a miracle than every other person on this planet. And, as such, each one of us deserves the love and respect we all treasure.