Dr Niamh On The Plum Tree

Childhood Imagination Sows Seeds of Future Brilliance

Dear Robin Rest In Peace

Robin_WilliamsIt amazes me just how many people have been so deeply touched by Robin Williams’ death. My facebook page has been inundated with comments because I posted this short message: “So sad, so sad, so sad. Depression is an awful illness from which more of us than admit, suffer. Suicide is tragic for families, but it is NOT an easy way out. Neither is it a selfish act. It is often the action of someone who simply cannot tolerate the emotional pain anymore or bear the thought of being a burden to their families. Depression is an ILLNESS! Suicide is often a result of that illness.”

There is a big difference between feeling sad and down and suffering from clinical depression. I don’t want to describe how it feels or what might lead someone into thinking that death is a logical, practical solution. I doubt that many suicides are carried out in fits of rage. Rather, they are quiet affairs, prepared for and carefully thought through.

One thing I do know is that a suicidal person feels detached from the world and from the people they love. They feel ashamed of the depression as it sets them apart, makes them feel like failures, destroys self-esteem, keeps them in that dark place where every slight, every rejection is amplified to screaming.

There is still such a HUGE stigma attached to suffering from depression. Please world, wake up to the fact that sometimes, all a person needs is love and understanding and no judgement. It won’t cure the depression, but it does make a moment of difference; it does light a spark on an otherwise blackened, hopeless horizon. It is so very hard on families and they need love too. There is nothing more painful than watching someone you love and admire fade away, be torn apart mentally by the furies, inwardly seared with sorrow until they disappear into a void where they can no longer be reached.

Please, let’s be aware of mental illness and give it the same compassion and understanding as any other illness.

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About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books. www.drniamhchildrensbooks.com

22 comments on “Dear Robin Rest In Peace

  1. scillagrace
    August 15, 2014

    I was surprised to find out how fond I am of Mr. Williams…I have been thinking about him quite a lot. When I get the opportunity, I want to be brave enough to offer a simple question, “What is it like to be you?” and really strive to listen with my heart open.

    Like

  2. mudpilewood
    August 15, 2014

    I liked your post because it describes the way I feel when depression sneaks up on me..luckily blogging and writing have helped (along with an understanding husband) to stave it off. For me it was like being swallowed by a black hole, where events happened around you but you had no part in them and the light of hope was hidden out of reach.
    Your last line sums up the message beautifully, compassion and understanding are the only way forward.

    Like

    • Niamh Clune Plum Tree Books
      August 15, 2014

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment. My heartfelt greetings go out to you and yes! writing is a godsend.

      Like

  3. Darlene
    August 15, 2014

    So very well put my dear. Blessings to you.

    Like

    • Niamh Clune Plum Tree Books
      August 15, 2014

      Thank you, Darlene for stopping by. There really is not enough understanding of mental illness and I hope dear Robin’s death will help to highlight this issue.

      Like

  4. Patricia Tilton
    August 15, 2014

    This is an outstanding post Niamh. I am so glad you emphasized that it is “not an easy way out or a self act.” It is a deep pain that is hard for many to understand. But, I do believe we shouldn’t judge or make assumptions about what was going on for Robin. I hope it brings depression into the light and helps others. I hope the worldwide conversation continues.

    Like

    • Niamh Clune Plum Tree Books
      August 15, 2014

      Thank you so much Patricia for your continued support of my blog. Robin’s death has been so on mind that such a talented, brilliant, well-loved person can have been so ravaged by such an awful illness.

      Like

  5. J.P. Lane
    August 15, 2014

    Beautiful post, Niamh. So true. Depression is not the same as being in a blue flunk. I was amazed by how much his death affected me too. First I was stunned and then I had this overwhelming sadness. I hope Robin can feel our love.

    Like

    • Niamh Clune Plum Tree Books
      August 15, 2014

      I hope so too, J.P. as I hope all those who suffer from Depression will feel an outpouring of recognition for their often stigmatised illness.

      Like

  6. davidprosser
    August 15, 2014

    I had occasion earlier in the week to correct someone who referred to Robin Williams as selfish and taking the cowards way out. We both know this could not be further from the truth and yet it’s such a common misconception.
    Few people understand that the person who commits suicide often does so thinking they’re doing their partner, their family and the world at large a favour by doing this. The feelings of self-hate, inadequacy and worthlessness are strong enough to blind one to any talk of love.
    I hope he’s found peace now and that his family understand it may have been his biggest act of love towards them albeit wrong.
    xxx Massive Hugs Niamh xxx

    Like

  7. drpendyala2005
    August 15, 2014

    I treat very often patients with severe depression..they come to me for ECT…Electro Convulsive Therapy..under anaesthesia..most of them fully recover…recently, I was playing Volleyball some players..suddenly I realized that the guy playing with me was my old patient of ECT.

    Like

  8. patientdreamer
    August 15, 2014

    Beautiful post and tribute. I think he is on all our minds .He certainly has been on mine, I too was surprised by how sad I felt on hearing his death.

    Like

    • Niamh Clune Plum Tree Books
      August 15, 2014

      Hi Patientdreamer…It’s just so shocking to see someone so talented and brilliant be swallowed up like that. We really are so vulnerable. Thank you for stopping by.

      Like

  9. drpendyala2005
    August 16, 2014

    Did you watch the movie ” Beautiful Mind ” ..Professor Nash, was suffering from delusions and depression and he is shown being administered Elecro convulsive therapy…ECT…the exact mechanism is not well understood..how it works..but the idea is to give convulsions to the patient..either by hypogycemia..by giving Insulin as shown in the movie..or by giving electric shocks to the brain

    Like

  10. drpendyala2005
    August 16, 2014

    I am sure, most of you must have watched the movie A Beautiful Mind released in 2001 an American biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. Although being a genius, he was suffering from Depression and recurrent delusions and hallucinations. He was shown being treated with Insulin Shock therapy…also known as ECT. Myself being an Anaesthesiologist regularly give ECT shocks to depressed patients who are resistant to normal medicines for depression. We give anaesthesia to make it safe and comfortable to the patient while producing the convulsions by giving mild electric shocks to the patient’s brain. Believe it or not, it works..and the clear mechanism is not understood till date, how it works.
    The other day, I was playing Volleyball and was pleasantly surprised to find one of my ECT patient enjoying the game and playing Volleyball in the opposite team.

    Like

  11. drpendyala2005
    August 16, 2014

    PS. Needless to say, I wrote this post to educate people on Depression after recent celebrity death of Oscar winning Robin Williams allegedly by suicide due to depression.

    Like

  12. Jenny Barton
    August 16, 2014

    I love your tribute to Robin Williams! The man was a genius in every way and learning of his death was one of those moments that will stay in my mind forever. A friend of mine also wrote a blog as a tribute to his passing and an attempt to raise awareness to the insidious nature of depression and the difference that those around the sufferer can make. You might like to have a read at http://www.bitchescoz.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/make-em-laugh-respect-love-condolences.html

    Like

  13. gajohnson52
    August 18, 2014

    As a former counseling social worker who worked with many suffering from depression, and an almost lifelong sufferer of depression myself, the death of Robin Williams really touched a nerve. He never failed to bring out a laugh in me, and I know just how precious those laughs and good times are in life.

    Like

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This entry was posted on August 15, 2014 by in Articles, Niamh Clune and tagged , , , , , .
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