Remembering Robin Williams and The Dangers of Depression

Robin Williams as Mork, in Mork & Mindy, is probably one of the first live-action television characters that made me truly laugh as a kid. I distinctly remember repeating his famous greeting, ‘Nanu, Nanu,’ and looking forward to watching the TV show with my family every week. Through the years, I continued to admire him as an actor and a comedian. About ten years ago, I had the pleasure and opportunity to see him perform stand-up at a private work function. He is, and always will be, remembered in my mind as the kind-hearted, funny, and lovable characters he portrayed. I was deeply saddened when I heard of his passing. The last thing I saw Robin Williams in was the episode of Louie (Barney/Never – Season 3, Episode 6), where he and Louie are the only attendants of a funeral of someone they mutually know; so when I heard about his death, it sent shivers down my spine.

He brought so much laughter to the population, that it’s upsetting to hear he battled depression, and even more upsetting to learn he committed suicide. Depression is a serious and real thing. It’s something most of us have experienced, even more so as mothers. I have personally dealt with depression – before, during, and after pregnancy. It’s not something I talk much about (nor do many people for that matter), but one of my main reasons for taking up my personal fitness challenge is to help combat depression. As a stay-at-home first-time mom, I needed an outlet for my daily roller-coaster of emotions. I was getting anxiety attacks too frequently and worrying about pretty much everything. When I went to the doctor for a physical, I mentioned my anxiety and other various physical pains. Their answer was medication – Xanax. The doctor proceeded to tell me the benefits of it, and although she did not have kids of her own, she mentioned her friend who does have kids is taking it, and it’s helped a lot. Now, I’m all for taking medication if I need it, like to save my life, but when I asked the doctor how long I would have to take this “until I’m better,” she said “There is no end.” I did not like that answer and declined the prescription. It may be for other people, but personally, it’s not for me. I knew there was another way to fight this. So I decided to work on myself, physically by exercise, internally by what I’m eating, and mentally by staying positive – by not allowing myself to complain, and by not sweating the small stuff. With the help and support of my husband, friends, and family, I am getting there, and I am thankful. But I also know it has to start with me. I think about how I carried my baby in my belly for over nine months and how I was the one that dealt with the labor pain and recovery. It’s up to ME to put my mind in the right place. No one can do that for me but myself. Today is day 20 out of 35, and I’ve been feeling better with each passing day.

Here are some online resources for postpartum depression

Postpartum Support International (http://www.postpartum.net/)

PPD Moms – Kristin Brooks Hope Center (http://www.1800ppdmoms.org/)

Helpguide.Org 

Online PPMD Support Group

Support Group list from Postpartum Progress.com