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Bill Handel

Listener response to Robin Williams and depression

 
Posted August 13th, 2014 @ 6:08am
Dear Bill: 

While in my car I was listening to you and Gary discussing Robin Williams suicide by hanging and the pain he must have suffered causing this action.  You stated the pain must have been intense.  My son, who was 42, 10 weeks ago committed suicide by hanging.  It was his 2nd attempt in 2 weeks.  During that 2 week period, in addition to taking him to therapy with a counselor and psychiatrist and attending group sessions 4 to 5 times a week, I and his sons were with him 24 hours a day in a hotel room I rented so we could be together.  While his sons went to school, he and I spent many hours discussing his actions, his life, his depression and the love he had for his family.  You said the pain must be horrible.  He was devoted to his sons, but during the final week of his life I expressed that when the feeling to end his life consumed him, he needed to call his counselor but as important to think of his love for his sons and their love for him. I always said to remember when we told them about his first attempt - the look on their faces, the tears, and the words pleading with him not to do it as they needed him.  They told him they would give up everything they had but not him - "please Dad don't do it".  The last few days I knew he was losing the battle and reminded him of what his sons said and he responded, "It used to stop me, but Mom it is not working."  They increased his meds.  The first night he returned to his home with his sons, he hung himself at 3:00 a.m.  He videotaped his love for his sons, myself and brother.  But as he stated, "Mom, the pain is just too deep.  I hurt so much." 

The pain he has left for his sons, myself and family are indescribable.  I e mail you as when Magic Johnson got HIV, when Michael Fox stated he had MS - the public took notice.  I hope that Robin Williams suicide will bring awareness to mental illness, depression, and suicide.  As a society and a government, we tend to ignore mental illness as we can not "see" it.  But the pain affects many young people and adults alike.  I hope the Williams Family will establish some kind of program to help bring about change as to how we think.  For me, I am not a public figure so individually I can not bring about this type of awareness.  But I would put a great deal of time and effort into supporting the Williams Family or any other program that was designed to make the public and our government aware of the devastation being caused by depression and suicide.

Thank you for taking the time to read my e mail.

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