It is with much sadness that the UK has woken up to the news this morning that the actor Robin Williams has passed away following a suspected suicide.
I have long known that Robin Williams had suffered from depression and had self medicated with alcohol, though I was unaware he was still suffering.
As is so often the case, someone that brought so much joy and laughter to others, was unable to bring it to themselves.
Depression and anxiety are the consequences of believing something that factually isn’t true and therefore sits badly with our body. This could be something like, ‘I will never be successful’, ‘the world is not a safe place’ or ‘I cause more harm than good’.
If I had to guess what Robin Williams believed from his mannerisms and facial expressions it would be that there was something wrong with him that meant he was unloveable, a pattern most probably laid down in childhood.
When our bodies respond to us with feelings of lethargy, darkness, fear and anxiety it is telling us that our thinking is unbalanced and we must pay attention and perhaps make some changes.
Short periods of depression and anxiety are healthy and normal, and remind us we are a human that is capable of a full spectrum of emotions. For these periods, I recommend time with friends and meditation, where you can learn to witness your thoughts and feelings with a compassionate and detached perspective and in doing so allow them to move through you and leave.
For long periods of depression and anxiety, I recommend a Mind Detox to look at the underlying emotion and belief as to why depression and/or anxiety is showing up in your life. It may be that there is just one, or that there are a number of reasons, each adding to the intensity of the feelings you experience.
Many of our beliefs are created when we are very young or adopted from the adults around us. This can result in us not questioning our thoughts and beliefs, or feeling like we are a fraud because there is no obvious outer cause for feeling the way you do.
In Robin’s case, I suspect there was also a large amount of keeping an outward facing facade of joy and happiness, when inside it was a very different story. This too adds to our burden and creates uncomfortable conflict within us.
Working with a skilled therapist will first of all allow you to open up to the way you are feeling without being judged or needing to be ‘fixed’. In time, with your permission they will allow you to see where your thinking has become unbalanced and help you to set that straight.
Taking time to tackle the things that negatively impact you pays dividends in the long run. Not only will this improve your life, but it will improve the lives of the people around you as well as improve your mental and emotional resilience and your chances of staying physically and mentally healthy.
Some may find they can overcome their challenges quite quickly, whilst others may take a little more time to restore balance.
We each have our own journey to take, and instead of seeing depression and anxiety as a problem that needs to be ‘cured’, it is perhaps helpful to see it as a gift of growth and learning that will take you to wonderful places you wouldn’t have otherwise experienced.
If you, or someone you know is suffering from anxiety and/or depression I offer a free 30 minute no-obligation phone chat to find out whether Meditation or Mind Detox would be right for you. You can find out more on my Mind Detox website: www.MindDetoxTunbridgeWells.co.uk with Skype and telephone consultations are also available.