In light of the tragic news of Robin Williams' death I have decided to push through with this blog in particular before my planned switch-over blog.
It has been reported that Robin Williams was found dead today (11 August) after a suspected suicide. Williams had previously been open about past drink and drug issues and was said to be suffering from severe depression. Made famous by his wacky role in Mork and Mindy, Williams became a household name starring in much treasured movies such as Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, Flubber, Good Will Hunting and many more to boot.
Pictures from IMDb
Waking up this morning, I immediately felt a dark fog clouding my brain and one word screaming out for attention; SUICIDE.
People generally have very strong views about suicide. Why wouldn't they? It's a hugely selfish act to commit... right...?
Suicide goes against the very nature of human beings. Self preservation is universal amongst almost all living organisms. It is a behaviour that ensures the survival of an organism. This behaviour includes pain and fear. Pain motivates one to withdraw from a situation and fear causes one to seek safety. However, both pain and fear are also linked to adrenaline which increases strength and the senses.
You must have heard the phrase "Adrenaline Junkie"? Adrenaline is a hormone and neurotransmitter secreted by the medulla of the adrenal glands. It is present in our bodies and is known to excite the fight-or-flight responses in our sympathetic nervous system. I don't wish to get too technical in this particular blog however if you have any further questions about the sympathetic nervous system or neurotransmitters in general please give me a shout and I can provide you with further information.
I digress. Adrenaline can be addictive and overcoming this addiction can be one of the most challenging psychological experiences a person has to deal with. When adrenaline initially enters a person's body, it can cause panic and discomfort. This can lead to a further release of adrenaline. This increased production eventually causes the individual to become conditioned to needing production for every day functioning. Following the initial discomfort caused by increased adrenaline, after an extended period, it can have an antidepressant effect.
Tomorrow (14 August) I will be at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at the Time to Change Village on the South Lawn. I will be there to speak with members of the public about my own experiences. There are a number of events taking place as well as opportunities to learn more about mental illness. I have it on good authority that Tom Daley will be present. All for free! If you're not busy tomorrow, come on down and say hello!
In the UK, you can contact the Samaritans for help and advice. You can also contact Mind.
If you think a friend may be depressed, speak to them. That's not to say ask them if they're depressed. Simply asking a person how they are doing can change their whole world around. Offer them a shoulder to lean on if that is what they need. On the other hand, it is important to give people space if they ask for it. Often it can be difficult to know which approach is the right one so simply asking is the easiest way around this quandary. More often than not, an individual will let you know one way or another. Failing this use your best judgement of the situation.
I shall try to resume more regular blogging and will be back very soon with a switchover blog. Those of you who are on my Facebook page will know what this is about!
In the meantime,
Keep Smiling :):