Robin Williams and the Murderous Mendacity of Depression – UPDATED

Depression is a hissing false witness. It lies and tells someone there is no hope; it lies and declares, “you’re a fraud”; it lies when it warns you to hide your feelings, because people won’t love you if they know how terrified and alone and desperate you feel; it lies and sneers that you’re weak — that you can just snap out of it, anytime, if you really want to; it croons the lie that love is not real, and hope is for suckers; it whispers the most insidious of lies: that your pain will never ebb, cannot be transcended, and has no value at all.

After a while, the pain begins to feel like all you are and all there is: a worthless, pointless void. And when your life becomes just pain-without-end, suffering-without-meaning, tomorrow seems like less a promise than a prison.

When depression wins, it is such a damned tragedy, no matter whether it has carried off a big rich somebody, or an ordinary nobody, because it is the victory of a an incessant liar.

Such a loss.

UPDATE: Tony Rossi has a collection of stories about Williams’ generous nature. Some people don’t realize how generous.

God is never outdone in generosity.

RIP, Mr. Williams. Such a broad artistic arc.

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And…

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As the Genie of Genies…

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He was a perfectly cast T.S. Garp, too, in The World According to Garp, but I couldn’t find a video I liked.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Melinda Selmys

    This is a good article…but I think it conflates suicide too much with despair. In my experience, when you’re on the edge of suicide tomorrow doesn’t seem like a promise or a prison — it’s just not on the radar at all. It’s like when you’re giving birth, when you reach that point of agony where you can no longer even think about the fact that you’re giving life to another human being because the experience of pain is literally too big to allow any other thoughts in. When all you can think about is how to alleviate immediate suffering. I think a lot of outreach to depressed people makes this mistake: it tries to provide hope for the future, or reasons for living, when the thing that is really needed is immediate intervention to stop the pain enough that the person is capable of thinking about the future.

  • Melody Sweeney

    So very true. Such a great talent,such a sad loss.

  • Tiffany

    Every last thing about addiction is from the pits of hell.

  • Adam Frey

    Around Christmas 2010, I was still in Afghanistan when Robin Williams came to our base on a USO tour with some other stars to put on a show. His comedy routine was very crass…which was exactly what a bunch of p.o.’d, frozen, homesick servicemembers needed to cheer up. It was great.

    What I remembered best was that after the show–which ended around midnight–most of the performers left to go to bed. I couldn’t blame them, since they were likely jetlagged and they’d been flying around the country all day. Mr. Williams, however, stuck around until every servicemember who wanted a picture and a handshake got one. I don’t think he left until well after 1 a.m. I’ll never forget that he did that for us. He will be missed.

  • rod masom

    The kind of depression Robin Williams suffered from is obviously from the evil one, and, unfortunately for Williams, he apparently caved to satan;s blandishments, i.e., “it’s all over, it’ll never get better, it’s better to do away with yourself,” etc., similar I’m sure to what Judas suffered after his cosmic betrayal and then suicide, which he did NOT need to do, as all suicides do not NEED to do. For me, it all comes down to the individual’s SPIRITUAL STATE at the time, should (obviously should) or do we cry out to God to deliver us from this horrible state into which we’ve fallen? Always remember suicide is an act of our FREE WILL, and in the case of Williams, free will severely impacted by the state of despair into which he’d fallen. So best to pray for his soul that he really didn’t have the capacity to reflect upon the eternal consequences of his final denouement, that’s very clear. May God have mercy upon his immortal soul.

  • MJ

    It’s obvious that you don’t understand what depression is. It’s a mental
    illness, one that causes such pain inside that the person wants to be
    done with it and the only way they can see out is by death.

    Your
    post is judgmental, it’s rude and it’s ignorant. Yes, we should pray
    for his soul. But also pray that you never have to endure the pain that
    Mr. Williams went through in his mind to bring him to a point where he
    would take his own life.

  • Mike

    Tragic news; great piece on this menace, esp. the opening paragraph.

  • Mike

    How many of us think we’d trade what little material wealth and power we have for the mountains of influence and money that he had…not realizing that he probably would’ve given up all he had to be more like us.

  • oregon nurse

    Comparing the despair of lifelong depression and serious addiction to the despair of Judas is so wrong-headed. Judas’s despair was born of his legitimate guilt. The despair of depression is usually about seeing yourself sucked down once more into the dark pit and not believing you have the strength to fight your way out again. Depression can literally feel like being in quicksand. Not the same things at all. But I agree, satan is around to encourage any kind of despair whether from guilt or illness.

  • Peggy Coffey

    Having experience with depression, I know first hand how it will suck ypu down into the black hole of despair. You are nothing and not worth loving, not worth anything. I had friends who refused to leave me alone for a second and they dragged me back. I wish he had people who could have helped him like I did. I hope he is at peace now.

  • Regina G.

    Rod, I can only pray for YOUR immortal soul, as it is quite obvious you lack the forgiving and all understanding light of Christ in your life. God help you.


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