I was shocked and saddened when I heard that Robin Williams ended his life, as I’m sure we all were.
I wasn’t an especially huge fan of his, but I liked the guy. He’s been around my entire life. I remember watching Mork and Mindy as a kid.
To hear that someone ended their life makes me hurt. Because I think–imagine how incredibly bad someone must be hurting to take such a drastic step. The raw, sharp, suffocating pain that must cloud their every moment, to where they feel like they can’t go on another second, that the only escape is to end their life. To end the pain. To be done with this.
Robin Williams was famous for being a goofy funnyman. His death puts a familiar face on the affliction of depression. We ask ourselves, how can someone who seemed to have a great life–we presume–still be so desperately unhappy? What hope do the rest of us have?
And it’s so desperate, so final. When I hear about a suicide, sometimes I think, “Why couldn’t someone help them?” or “How could their spouse/family/friends not know they were in trouble?” But I understand. The pain is so private. Even having a wonderful family life still sometimes cannot stop the nagging, dark thoughts that haunt you inside your own head.
I am so, so, sad for someone I didn’t even know in person, sad for his family, and sad for humans that we have to deal with the darkness of depression.
I’ve written about a possible connection between high sensitivity and depression before. We HSPs ruminate over things ad nauseum. We have empathy for other creatures’ pain. We feel emotions more intensely, good and bad. Williams once described himself as “introverted, quiet, and absorbent.”
I recently read that an ex-girlfriend of Jim Carrey committed suicide. Carrey said: she was “too sensitive for this soil”. That made me so sad. It’s like saying that some sensitive people just can’t take the pain that comes from living in this world. It’s easier to stop living in it.
HSPs shouldn’t bear the injustices of the world on their shoulders. We can’t hold on to every mean thing anyone has said to us, every failure, and every bad experience. We have to learn to let go and realize that we can’t fix the world, and that striving for a constant state of “happiness” is impossible. No one is happy 100% of the time.
Feeling “Ok” is ok. If your life isn’t perfect, that’s ok, too. You are ok, and everything will be ok. If you are feeling hopeless, and like you’d rather give up then keep feeling so much, please call up a friend or family member. Think about the great times you’ve had in the past, and that you might just have fallen into a deep emotional pit. You might need help crawling out, and it’s worth crawling out. Think of the simple pleasures in life that make you smile. Those are worth sticking around for.
I originally wrote this because I had such a strong reaction to Robin Williams’ passing. I’m not sure there was really a point to this post, other than just letting it out. If you know someone you suspect may be depressed or isolated, maybe reach out to them today to see how they are doing.
Related: Compassion Fatigue & Dr. Sophia Yin
Further reading: Robin Williams’ Death Underscores Connection Between Creativity, Depression And Addiction
photo credit: Castles, Capes & Clones via photopin cc
Great Article…I looked up to see if there was anything on Robin Williams being an HSP. I was amazed, so thank you!
I immediately could connect with Robin Williams’ situation and in it the fact that he was an HSP. His unselfishness, his loyalty to his fans, is what ultimately put him in the pain he felt. He was too proud to show the extent of his pain, but when someone gives you a “little here, and a little there” ,thers is always a lot more there. In other words, he was crying out for help and he was trying to relay his pain. He masked it.
Robin Williams didn’t want to let his fans down as he was known to be there for their darkness, to bring out the light and laughter for him, to lift them up.
I get it.
It would have been a disappointment to show his “real” true struggles, and for this, the pain of others and his fans, making them happy and bring them up, was one of his priorities, was much more important to him than his own sadness.
When it became too much, I’m not sure there was really anyone could do or say.
I think he struggled too much in silence and the paih was just too much. He had been on the ride too long, and wanted to get off. To me, I feel it show his enormous unselfishness but then became like a tidal wave and he coudn’t hold on again.
My heart goes out to him and his family, for they know and loved him truly for who he really was. We only know him as “robin williams”…A Comedian Genius and One of a Kind.
As with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, it’s hard to tell at first which famous men are HSPs(as I suspect that Pope St John Paul II, Benedict XVI and now Francis are) but I think it’s at least possible that the late Robin Williams was “one of us”!
I agree – we HSPs can pick up on that – you could see it in his eyes during the very moving final scene in Mrs Doubtfire… Have been crying on & off for the three days since I heard the news…
If that helps anybody, astrologically speaking, I believe he was definetely an HSP. Like myself, he was a water triade, the most sensitive of the elements oh the most personal traits: sun cancer, moon pisces, ascendent scorpio (I am sun pisces, moon scorpio and ascendent cancer). Also, he’s got a predominance on the western hemisphere of the natal chart (83%), with stands for others over the self. I have that trait too, and I consider myself to be a HSP, besides relating a lot to Robin Williams. Besides playing funny caracters, notice that he also played caracters with an enormous heart, wich is to say immensily compassionate (Patch Adams, the teacher on Dead Poet’s Society, the doctor on Awakenings…).
I should mention that I’m not an astrologer, just a curious on the subject.
I’ve thought so much about him this week. I’ve wondered if others like me..not a huge fan..but I liked him enough to watch Mrs. Doutfire 10 Times. I understand his pain. Wanting it to be over. Not seeing a way out. I hope his family can understand and find peace.
Me too. Thanks Stephanie.
Robin Williams also had lewy body dementia, which was going to be fatal eventually. So, he euthanized himself.
I agree too, I read something interesting the other day relating to him, it said he died from a disease (depression, & I think he was bi-polar too) makes sense tho, people who are critical of that statement though have obviously never been in his shoes or felt what he felt…that there was no way out, so sad, you are not in your right mind when you have depression & other personality disorders etc… but I feel for him & can relate.
Hello everyone. I read the only drug in Robin Williams’ blood was an antidepressant with a suicide side effect. Hmmm. Of course, he used tons of cocaine, unfortunately, to calm down. This can bring on Parkinson’s disease. Probably being bipolar was enough. I loved his comedic genius. His serious nature was sublime. He felt too much.
I was relatively happy in 2015, I had a job, lived on a 5-acre farm, had 2 horses, 2 goats, 4 dogs, 7 cats, lived organically, had a nice garden, greenhouse, privacy and a partner of 12 years and we worked together on the farm and doing writing and art. The house was his however even though I built the animal housing and fences, remodeled the inside with him and bought materials for that, fences, etc. etc. He promised to put my name on the deed but never did. I bought all the groceries, much of the animal supplies and food and paid 1/2 the bills. Most of the contents in the house are mine, furniture appliances etc. In December my mother became ill. In January I visited her 250 miles away. When I came home my partner and I talked about taking care of one another in our old age. Mom passed away in February of 2016. I drove furiously to get to her hospice bed but was a few hours too late. At my father’s house, I comforted him, at 94 he was frail and very sad he had lost his wife of 66 years. I had to stay for 2 1/2 weeks to make sure he was taken care of. When I arrived home I was met by a partner who had been in touch with an ex he found on facebook. He told me it was over and he wanted me out. This is right after I had just buried my mother. Shocked! I demanded time to get myself in order. Then in April, my father was rushed to the hospital, again I made the 250-mile trip with just an overnight bag. I had to stay through doctors, surgeries, hospice and finally Dad died May 22nd. His estate and home in a mess, I had a battle with an alcoholic sister and won, now I am trustee, been at Dad’s house for 4 solid months, cleaning, painting, giving things away, 5 garage sales, on a very tight budget, dad had no money left and a mortgage on the house and I have all this responsibility thrown on me out of the blue. I’ve been out of work now all that time, thank God they understand and I am welcome back when I can get there. I am highly sensitive. I am also very suicidal. My partner (ex?) keeps putting pressure on me to get rid of the animals, while all this is going on, he also says I am not allowed to go back there to get a plan together. All this is making it harder to be productive and do what I have to do to get this damn house ready to sell. I am so afraid, I am going to be homeless. I miss my animals! I can’t keep this house, there are 2 other beneficiaries. I think I may do it. Give the money (not enough to buy my own rural place) to my daughter and then just croak. I see no other way, I am really messed up and can’t concentrate. It is like out of the blue my life was completely destroyed and I lost everything overnight. I want to die. I really do. I am in Florida and there is no common law marriage laws. Thanks, Florida. I kissed his ass for 12 years being awesome and this is how he treats me at the worse time in my life? Both parents dead and this now? Yeah, I really want to just end it. wouldn’t you? I am not saying I will. I just don’t see a way forward with so much to do to make it right. It is true nightmare. I have no friends, not good ones all our friends are his and now that horrible woman is visiting the farm that I HELPED TO BUILD and sitting her ugly ass on MY COUCH?? eating off my dishes? using my towels??? UGH! wouldn’t you want to die? I am a mess. That ex of his has been married 3 times. She left him after 5 years, she then married someone else and left him too. She just busts up people’s relationships and then gets bored. What a loser! Here I am, an empath, highly sensitive and suicidal. Thank you Life!!! I have been painting the inside of the house, myself, pressure washing the outside by y self, doing it all by myself and for what? To get the most money for it? Then what? I can see now how people go berzerk and kill themselves.
Hello Beth, thanks for your note and I’m so sorry to hear about what’s going on with you. Have you been able to speak to a trained mental health professional, like a therapist or psychiatrist?? Before you go any further, I beg you to please talk to someone. A trained pro can help us HSPs see things more clearly, and to work through things, and see the light at the end of the tunnel, even if it is faint. Please don’t give up yet before speaking to someone. You definitely owe it to your daughter and family to try that. I’m sure you know the suicide hotline is also there to help, too. I also hope you don’t have to get rid of your animals–why was he demanding that? Animals are amazing companions so I hope you can keep that light in your life. I’m so sorry your ex has been so terrible, especially after having to cope with your parents. You sound like a wonderful person to care for your parents as you did. I hope you can hang in there until you are able to get away from him, close that chapter of your life, and get on with your life with your daughter!! I really do hope you will reach out to a therapist, they can do wonders. Stay in touch and let us know how you are doing! 🙂
Thank You, I had a bad day, I needed to get this out. As for a therapist, they are expensive. I can’t afford it. I know people say it is worth it but if you don’t have the money, they won’t see you. Maybe I will try but I can’t see talking to someone who has never been where I am. Years of schooling but not much like experience. Also, very few have experience with HSp and Narcissists. When you go to a sliding scale clinic they are even more oblivious to the real world and real people and problems they have never been through themselves. I do not care what HE says. I am going home and I am going to stay there until I can figure out the next move. It has been my address for 12 years! I will stay until the house sells. I will work and go home and care for my animals as always and make a plan. Thanks for your reply. I am not really OK, I have had months of unyielding stress and it takes it’s toll. I will keep on, my daughter and I will find a hime. Even if it’s really cheap. I am hanging onto that thought! Thank you! <3
You do know that Robin Williams was diagnosed shortly before his
demise with Lewy body dementia? Was that the catalyst that took
his life? Some people have a hard time with this type of thing.
I had heard his case was fatal but the disease would have caused a slower death.