R.I.P. Robin Williams. Alcohol and drugs can create depression or vice versa and take too many victims via the physical harm caused by the substances or suicide by the depression. I feel blessed that I have managed to keep alcohol and drugs just about in control, no matter how many times I have been or am on the brink, but am also always aware that the path to both is full of quick sand pot holes, as it were. I am so sorry that Robin couldn’t stay on the road of recovery. A great actor.
Far too many people with mental illness turn to drugs or alcohol as a way of feeling something – drunk can feel better than the negative symptoms, and it is a way of blotting out the pain of those symptoms. Vice versa, drug or alcohol abuse can cause issues for us mentally, so we can actually bring on mental health issues via substance abuse. It can become a vicious circle of one leading the other, and is very difficult to break. People in these situations need to have a will to get out of their situation, they need support from loved ones and they need medical and professional intervention. Often group therapy can help too.
But once we have addiction of any kind, we are always an ex not a non. ie a person who was addicted to smoking cigarettes will always be an ex-smoker, not a non-smoker, as it is a life long journey and effort to never smoke again. I have seen so many people give up something and then one little thing happens and they think they can just have ‘one’ of whatever it is and be OK. Next thing, they are addicted again and cannot stop. But, they can stop and we have to think positively and seek the help that they need to do so.
When it comes to mental illness and substance abuse/addiction, it is very important that people who have not experienced such things learn about the dangers and warning signs. Stigma often gets in the way of people’s ideas and understanding as it is easy to say ‘Get a grip’ or just bury their heads in the sand, but with a little compassion, a little time and a little empathy, people can be a positive influence on those suffering, rather than a negative one.
Stigma can kill just as substances can or mental turmoil can. Let’s try to help eh
To read more of my posts about stigma and how to help CLICK HERE (opens in a new window)
I strongly believe that Robins death will be a huge lesson to many and that this tragedy will help the cause for preventing suicide and for helping those with mental health issues and addictions. I hope people feeling suicidal or depressed will reach out for help. x
How many people do you know suffering from a mental illness?
I know many and some of those people are so good at covering up the truth via a happy face and bubbly personality (including myself) that it’s very hard to know how people really feel sometimes.
And it’s not always about money, as is clear when these adversities happen to the rich and famous. Mental illness and addiction and substance abuse can happen to a wide range of people. CLICK HERE to see my list of 300 famous people who have suffered with a mental health issue.
Sharing some of my experience of alcohol addiction and abuse CLICK HERE
It’s good to talk so get talking.