Over the Christmas holiday I found out that another member of a group I am part of tragically took her own life due to post-natal depression. She had a husband, a three year old daughter and a five month old baby. If you looked at her profile online you would think she was blissfully happy and enjoying life.
On Christmas day, she drove to a quiet woodland with her two children, and shot herself. Her baby was in the car, and her daughter was found lying partially on top of her – with gun fragments in her head.
Reading the news has affected me not just because it is a tragic story, but because I too have felt the way this stranger must have been feeling. Even with all my years of experience and learning to cope with depression, post-natal depression still found me. It might be hard for my family and friends to believe, but this story could easily have been about me.
I drew this picture of Robin Williams today, because he is a stark reminder of the fact that it doesn’t matter how happy people might appear to be. It doesn’t matter how loved they are, how wonderful their family are, or how talented they are. No one is immune.
If someone comes to you and tells you that they are struggling, please don’t ignore it. Don’t assume that someone else will help them, or that it is something they will get over in time. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand their reason for feeling depressed, or even if you believe that the reason doesn’t justify the resulting emotions. They have come to you, and I beg you to respond. Hug that person a little tighter, and be there to listen.
Robin Williams left behind a wife and children. Fame, talent, nor love could save him. As an amazing comedian, he reminds us that you can never judge a book by its cover.