I obviously did not know Robin Williams, and as far as I know he never publicly announced that he had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD. However, I don’t think anyone who saw his crazy, topic to topic, anything can and will pop into his head, style would be surprised. As we’ve mentioned before, ADD and depression are comorbid indicators, meaning one often goes along with the other.
I have no intention of trying to build something off of Robin Williams’ tragic death, nor will I use it as an excuse to promote anything. However, I would like to take this opportunity to remind readers of several things.
First of all, mental illness is a real medical, biological thing. That is, it is not a defect of character. You don’t have a mental illness, like ADD, because of something you did, because of something you didn’t do, or because you just aren’t trying hard enough. Even someone in wonderful circumstances, with everything life can offer at their fingertips can be depressed, have ADHD, or any other mental issues. Just because science can’t put its finger on exactly what is wrong yet, doesn’t mean it won’t eventually. Current theories of depression revolve around the body not properly producing, or overly efficiently eliminating brain chemical such as serotonin. You can’t make your brain change how it deals with chemical reactions just by getting a better attitude, and you can’t make your brain less ADD by just focusing harder.
Second, there are always going to be people who can, or won’t, accept that ADHD is real, that depression is real, or that mental illness is real. That is irrelevant. Science doesn’t care if you believe in it or not, it just is. These people apply their own personal histories as the arbiter of facts for the entire human race. That’s not only crazy, it’s incredibly self-centered. Just because you haven’t experienced it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real. If it seems that ADD and depression, and other mental illnesses are more common these days it is only because medical science has learned so much in the past 30, 40, and 50 years. The human brain is hard to study because the experiments must be delicate and involve complex instruments. Even then, we are guessing that we are measuring the right things. The next 50 years will bring even more discoveries about the human brain. None of them will be less relevant just because nobody knew about them in 1955.
Third, and this is the most important. There is no need to be miserable in life. No matter what is going on with you, there are people who can help. Free counseling is available in many venues. You doctor can, and should, be a good starting off place, but if they aren’t willing to take your help to the next level, find someone who can. Talk with a friend, a stranger, a loved one, anyone. Just saying out loud that you are worried, sad, or scared can be a huge relief. You don’t have to take prescription medications, or change anything about yourself if you don’t want to, but just pretending there is nothing going on because of fear, loneliness, or doubt, is not the solution. If you are thinking of hurting yourself, please call the National Suicide Hotline first at 1-800-273-8255.
Enjoy your day. There are many out there who cannot. If you are one of them, make today the day that you seek out answers.