Archive for August, 2014

Funnyman Robin Williams Depression Sheds Light on Serious Topic

Robin Williams was one of the funniest people in the world. He brought countless laughs to multiple generations. His ability to ad lib was just one hint of his extreme intelligence and quick mind. Maybe this is one of the reasons he suffered so though the years.

It saddens me to know end to hear about his passing and the loss of his battle with depression. Having had a taste of depression myself, I can contest that it is no fun. My bouts of depression were mild but to many it is completely debilitating. For me, I can use focus, exercise, and correct amounts of sleep to keep depression away. That is one reason personal development teachings are such a big part of my life.

Five years ago I lost one of my best friends to depression. Dave and I were childhood friends growing up and then roommates in Colorado and Montana as young men. He was a fisherman at heart, but I taught him how to fly fish. As soon as he learned how to fly cast he could out fish me in a heartbeat. He became a Montana fly fishing guide. He was a sharp and funny guy with a quick wit like Robin Williams. He battled depression for years but did not really acknowledge it to many other people but me. Because he did not use the tools I did to combat his depression it was easy for me (and many others) to feel like he was not trying hard enough. He ended up relying on alcohol to subdue his demons and one night, alone on his couch, he drank himself to death.

I have always felt somewhat responsible for his death. Sure he would have been better off if he spent more time listening to Tony Robbins and less time drinking alone on his couch, but in retrospect I feel like I should have helped him find medical or professional assistance to combat his depression.

Part of the reason I created the Animal Leadership system is help people who are struggling with life. Sure Animal Leadership helps those who are thriving get to the next level, but it also is a fun way for people to learn their strengths, find passions, and turn their lives around. Dave would have loved the animal stories and unconventional approach to personal development. It may have helped him. Unfortunately some people may be past the point where they can use personal development to overcome their depression and chemical dependencies. I wished I recognized this and had gotten Dave medical help for his situation.

Everyone lives in their own reality. Someone like Robin Williams may be perceived as having everything, yet they are feeling trapped in their lives. Others may be perceived as having nothing and are feeling blessed. There is no one way to help someone move from one point of view to another. If you know someone struggling, pointing them to personal development might be the right answer, but remember that some people will need more than that, maybe even medical assistance. Combating this terrible disease may require a combination of support systems, and if you are a part of that system you may need to get assistance yourself because it is a big responsibility to bear, one that you ultimately have no control over.

It is a strange irony that one of Hollywood’s funniest funnymen can help shed light on this serious topic. We will miss you Robin. Thanks for the laughs.