Written By: Jeremy Baumhower
As America is still reeling after hearing the news of Robin Williams’ suicide, I am as saddened by society’s desire of needing-to-know how he went.
Actors are meant to inspire us with their ability to transform into characters and participate in situations that we, movie lovers, only dream of. The very best performers can have us in tears from laughter and heartache, Robin Williams was one of gifted.
Mr. Williams’ scenes as a counselor with Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting- captured the brilliance of his abilities, while also giving an unintentional-intimate look at his owns demons. He was perfect for that role because of his own life experiences.
The first thing people want to know after learning of a suicide, is “how did they do it?” This inquisitive thought is multiplied a thousand-fold with any celebrity death.
This specific knowledge is food for the Id portion of your brain. It’s like the little devil guy who’s sitting on your shoulder and whispering the question directly into your ear; a millisecond before you ask it.
The bigger often never discussed problem with suicides are how contagious they can become. Knowledge of a self-inflicted death can justify the darkest of thoughts in the sickest of brains. Learning the method in which one does it, only normalizes the process for someone already considering it as an option.
Robin Williams battled depression his entire life, with the illness eventually winning.
Mr. Williams tried to change the world with his acting and activism; bringing issues involving homelessness and marriage equality into the mainstream, while performing numerous times for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. He used his god-given talent to make others laugh as his method of inspiration and often relief.
Robin would’ve never wanted his final act to inspire others.
Just knowing it was suicide is enough knowledge. Mainstream media doesn’t need to give us the “how”.
Next time you hear the word ‘suicide’ stop yourself from asking the stereotypical follow up question. It’s unnecessary, uninspired and unoriginal.
Let’s stop glorifying every time a mental illness wins a war.
RIP Robin Williams