Fame, fortune and family. Robin Williams had it all, yet suffered depression and took his own life.
Many people struggle to understand how a man who seemingly had so much could be struggling so much on the inside.
Clinical Psychologist Patricia Bailey spoke about depression in the wake of Williams' death. "There are lots of people that suffer from clinical depression that seem to have everything including family, maybe fame, fortune, the career they've always wanted and yet they're really struggling with a mood disorder."
Dr. Bailey said that a lot of depression is genetic. Listing the 'signs of depression' is more myth than reality. "Because if we had these predictors, if we knew for certain, then we would be in a lot better place." She said men manifest depression differently. Many do not seem withdraw, sad or tearful. They may exhibit feelings of agitation and irritability with depression.
A man in Robin Williams' age group is actually in the highest risk group for suicide. Individuals who are in their teenage years or early 20's are generally what people assume is the high risk group, but Bailey said it's older males that psychologists tend to worry about.
Dr. Bailey said loved ones left behind by suicides are crushed and devastated, and may feel a sense of guilt that they should have picked up a warning sign. She said many people wonder if they should have been able to prevent it or intervene in some way. Bailey said that is not always the case, there are not always outward indicators.
She added people determined to commit suicide will find a way to do it. She said it even happens in psychiatric hospitals, despite every safety measure being in place. Dr. Bailey said depression can feel insurmountable, like living in a deep black hole that you can't climb out of.