Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Robin Williams

Robin Williams.
The inspiration of my teenage-dom.
The man who inspired me with 'Good Morning Vietnam'.
Who, through 'Dead Poets Society' inspired me to stand on my desk, and insist I wanted to study Drama then French.
The man who helped me survive Sunday morning hangovers reliving 'Mork and Mindy'.
Every film which followed I would buy on vhs, where the soundtrack was great on cd.
For some reason, my daughter has now inherited so many genie figurines from 'Aladdin'. Just because.
He is the reason, before parenthood, a fridge magnet returned from Copenhagen, which still adorns my kitchen: Carpe Diem.

On the flipside it frightens me.
Robin Williams, I held close.
Alongside Kurt Cobain.
The words.
The music.

And what resonates so close is how fearful the acknowledgement of these illnesses remain in our lives.
Illnesses which embody so much of a person they can persuade them to part with their life.

That whilst depression maybe considered more acceptable around pre and post natal periods.
They remain surrounded in a questionable in any other circumstance.

And most especially in men.

As always there are things we choose to reveal.
The parts of our lives we choose to cope with in our own way.
For why?
For fear of judgement, for fear of reprisal.

I was recently discussing the impact of depression.
My fear, selfishly, of someone being prescribed citalopram. With the knowledge that once it begins to take effect, in can take up to six months to wean away.
I was scared, selfishly, that this was a true acknowledgement, that someone's health was being so severely impacted.
To have the response "well, the doctor may have prescribed, it doesn't mean he's taking it.".
Why didn't the statement instantly gain a supportive approach.
Or even acceptance, as a more physically recognisable illness might have.

Do I have to think it's just one of those things?
Do some people think depression has become a cop out? An easy diagnosis?

I have watched, felt like I was spectating, the decision to take citalopram, the effect as it reached into a person's body, the difference it made, and the weaning journey.
And I lived with caution, and fear, of the impact on the individual and the family which surrounded, and supported a return to health.
And now I know.
I know it was for the best. I know that time brought strength.

In this case, it was a man.
In the case of the recent discussion, it was a man.

Which makes my experiences of people taking citalopram, acknowledged to me, more common in men than women.
Of course, this is probably not true, for some reason people will take painkillers and antibiotics without fear, push on an inhaler. People will ensure that provisions are made for those with physical disabilities.

But where does our society stand on supporting those with stress, anxiety, depression?
Why does it remain questioned?
Why do we still think it acceptable that illnesses which aren't tangible should warrant our questioning.

What will it take for us to support people.
People, who like everyone around us, contribute to our lives, make our lives better for being a part of them.

Why do I feel as though suicide can be avoided.

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