16 Aug, 2014 Learning From Robin Williams’ Suicide
Robin Williams’ suicide proves that people who look happy on the outside, could be suffering on the inside. Watch for warning signs of a suicidal person.
As a kid, Robin Williams was one of my all-time favorite actors. Those of you my age and older can remember some of the hilarious scenes from “Mrs. Doubtfire” and his first major TV show “Mork and Mindy.” Behind the scenes, however, Robin suffered from depression, mental health issues and battled a drug and alcohol addiction throughout his life. When I lived in LA I remember thinking, why are there famous people who are struggling with eating disorders, drugs, alcohol, depression and suicide when they have it all? Money. Fame. Celebrity status.
Over the years, I realized that a lot of people are constantly under pressure to perform in Hollywood. Celebrities are just like us, who have difficulties in life whether it be mental, emotional or physical issues. We don’t see their real life situations when they are acting on a TV show. Therefore, it is increasingly important that we recognize the warning signs of someone that is considering suicide so that we can help prevent another tragic death. In my decade of speaking, I have encountered many teens that have struggled with these issues. Here are several warning signs that may help YOU save someones life.
SIGN #1: Talking about wanting to kill themselves.
SIGN #2: Mentioning they have no reason to live. They have no hope for the future.
SIGN #3: Wanting to be alone most or all of the time. Becoming isolated from others.
SIGN #4: Recently buying a weapon along with other behaviors listed above.
SIGN #5: Addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.
SIGN #6: Family history of suicide.
SIGN #7: Previous suicide attempt.
SIGN #8: Disorderly conduct (especially in teens).
SIGN #9: Financial loss or death of another family member.
SIGN #10: Being exposed and engaged in negative, graphic, suicidal messages in today’s media and environment.
If you recognize ANY of these behaviors, tell a trusted adult, parent, counselor at your school or call 1-800-273-TALK. Many times a teen will tell me that their friend told them they were suicidal but to not tell anyone. Let me remind you that the last thing you want to do is attend your friend’s funeral next weekend. In spite of the repercussions, you MUST tell someone! Many teens are also being bullied in today’s schools, which can lead to suicide. The stories I hear when I speak, just rip my heart out. Here is a recent story of a teen boy who took his life because a classmate took a video of him while he was in the bathroom and posted it online, where it went viral. These are the devastating things that are happening among our youth today and we need to help prevent others from being bullied and taking their lives.
A few years ago after an event in Bozeman, Montana, a mom frantically came up to me after the seminar and said that her son owned many of the CDs I had talked about. She went home, talked to her son, and discovered that he had planned to take his own life just 48 hours later with the suicide note already written. He was majorly depressed and the music he was listening to only gave him the option of suicide to deal with his issues. This clue helped this mom save her son’s life.
This past January another teen heard my plea to run from depressing entertainment and she too, decided to get help for her depression instead of taking her life. My very own husband, Luke, years before we met, tried to take his life TWICE in the same day. Both times he shouldn’t have survived. A separate series of posts are coming soon with his personal story.
Everyone was born with a gift. A gift to give to others, instill hope, save lives and create change in our culture. When ONE person dies, we ALL lose. That one person’s gift to the world is missed by all of us. We need to strive to notice the hurting people around us so that we can help those that feel they are going through their struggles alone. Many times the people who have lost the loved one due to suicide can become suicidal as well. It is important to help your friends and family during this time of loss.
If you’re currently having thoughts of suicide, please cling to this verse found in Philippians 1:22-25, “If I continue living in my body, I will be abel to work for the Lord. I do not know what to choose – living or dying. It is hard to choose between the two. I want to leave this life and be with Christ, which is much better, but you need me here in my body. Since I am sure of this, I know I will stay with you to help you grow and have joy in your faith.”
Here is an excellent video that describes what the survivors go through in the aftermath. Please reach out and get help for you or your friend if you’re having suicidal thoughts!
May we all help save lives around us. Rest in peace Robin Williams.
Question: How can we reach out to help those people showing these warning signs? You can leave a comment by clicking here.