Pinay expert on Williams’ apparent suicide: “Mental illness, depression do not discriminate.”

By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Aug. 14, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – It’s been four days since one of Hollywood’s most beloved comedians, Robin Williams, died in an apparent murder suicide in his home in Tiburon, California. And while many kababayans are shocked of his sudden demise, they are also left wondering why a man, who seemingly had it all, chose to end his life.

Prior to his death, Williams reportedly suffered from severe depression, alcoholism, drug addiction and bipolar disorder. His wife, Susan Schneider, issued a statement today, saying that the actor was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease shortly before his passing, and that he was not yet ready to share it publicly. Schneider said, “It is our hope that in the wake of Robin’s tragic passing that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid.”

Joyce Diloy, a Filipino mental health expert, said that mental illness and depression affect everyone, regardless of their stature in life. She claimed, “Ninety percent of people who commit suicide suffer from mental illness, and more often from depression. It’s unfortunate that mental illness and depression are harder to detect than physical illness. Although, you will eventually see symptoms of these — isolation, mood swings, extreme sadness, out-of-the-ordinary actions, lack of self-care.”

Meantime, in Chicago, where Williams was born and raised, Pinoy fans said they are still dumbfounded with the tragic turn of events. Police said Williams hanged himself with a belt, and reportedly even cut his wrists.

Williams was born at St. Luke’s Hospital and grew up in Washington Road in Lake Forest. He also went to school at Gorton School and Deer Path Middle School. Filipinos in the neighborhood said they’re still trying to come to terms with what happened.

“I totally did not believe it. I was so sad. He was so hilarious and full of life. It’s so sad that he committed suicide. It proves that anyone can suffer from depression, even to someone as successful and seemingly happy as he was,” Laney Norman remarked.

Marlon Pecson added, “My favorite quote from him is, ‘Comedy is acting out optimism.’ It means that whatever challenges we face in our lives, we need to stay positive.”

Diloy said, people should not be afraid to get help if they feel they suffer from depression or mental illness, and should not hesitate to reach out to loved-ones in this situation. She concluded, “Get medical help. Normalize it. Discuss it among yourselves. When you talk about it, you normalize it. And you end up saving more lives because people will start opening up.”

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  • Mario
    16 August 2014 at 2:30 am - Reply

    Committing Suicide is a criminal act,why hang yourself inside the garage, so that your wife will find out?.Why not go to the forest and hang yourself? That is an act of punishment to the surviving family and relatives.Do you know what devastation will the wife, children, grand children, relatives will suffer? How many years are they going to suffer. How are you going to tell to your grandchildren, if they ask you “Grandpa was famous comedian how did he died… what will be your answer.Families will be devastated for generation to generation. If you do not want to be called criminal do not commit suicide and Stop glamorizing a criminal.