Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dealing With Depression

Robin Williams has died. That is so sad. How could a man, who had dedicated his life to making people laugh, been so depressed and despondent that he would commit suicide? When I was on the Internet last evening trying to make sense of Robin Williams’ death, I came across an article by Linda Carroll on the NBC News website ( In it, Carroll explains about the precedence of copycat suicides when celebrities take their own lives. For example, there were increases in suicides after the deaths of Kurt Cobain and Marilyn Monroe in people of similar demographics (e.g. race, gender, location, etc.). But, more importantly, this article acknowledges that many depressed people do not seek help because they do not feel they have reason to see a professional about symptoms such as theirs. Wow, can this very sad news story get any worse? What good should we try to find in this tragedy? Maybe the fact that since the nation and the world are talking about depression and suicide, it can actually help individuals and their families who are suffering with mental illness. Maybe in some small way, the nation will come a little closer to realizing how important mental health is and how to find doctors and therapists that can help. Addiction, also something Robin Williams was struggling with, is another issue brought to the foreground by his tragic death. Countless individuals and their friends and families from all walks of life are touched by the debilitating struggles of addiction. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Robin Williams were the last celebrity to succumb to depression or addiction? Wouldn’t it be just great if mental illness no longer had a stigma attached to it and people took care of their mental health just as actively as their physical health? What a wonderful world it would be if we were all just a little nicer to each other because everyone is struggling with something in their lives. As librarians, we look to books to find solutions and learn ways to make our lives better. Here is a list of good books on mental illness, depression and addiction:
  • Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by D. Amen
  • Understanding Depression by J. R. DePaulo
  • Helping Someone with Mental Illness by R. Carter
  • Fifty Signs of Mental Illness by J. W. Hicks
  • Danger to Self by P. R. Linde
  • Family Intervention Guide to Mental Illness by B. Morey
  • Adolescent Depression by F. M. Mondimore
  • Overcoming Addictions by D. Chopra
  • Understanding Addiction by E. C. Henderson

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