Depression is different for everyone, but for me it was like I wandered into a swamp and couldn’t remember how I got there, but more importantly I couldn’t remember why I wanted to get back out of it.” – Before Happiness author Shawn Achor, Super Soul Sunday

It’s difficult to grieve over Robin Williams’s death without asking, “Why?” He was successful, talented, and famous. But mental illness affects all of us.

Before Happiness author Shawn Achor talked to Oprah on Super Soul Sunday about how his depression caused him to lose 20 pounds and walk in front of a moving bus. He says depression was difficult to evade, but he no longer fears it. “Depression is not something we need to fear cause it’s not the end of the story.”

As a young adult, I also suffered from depression. Bouts of dismay and hopelessness felt permanent and unrelenting. But Achor was right. It was definitely one of the hardest things I had to go through, but with the support of loved ones it became the beginning, not the end of my story.

Williams’s tragic end is a reminder that none of us are immune to depression. But there are things we can do to get through it. Achor says, “Altruism is one of the greatest buffers against depression.” Giving to others takes the spotlight off our own problems and returns purpose and meaning into our own lives.

If you’re at a point where doing anything seems like a great feat, don’t try to cope with it on your own. There’s no shame in seeking help and support. We’re all susceptible to pain and challenges. Sometimes we need a helping hand to help us through it. Don’t wait for things to get better. Don’t wait until the end of this post. Seek help now!

If your depression isn’t severe or you’re just looking for support, resources and information following Robin William’s death, you’ll find a lot of relevant posts this week. Read on about depression, suicide, and childhood neglect to get a new perspective on the way you see yourself and what’s possible for your life.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Robin Williams’ Death Shocking? Yes and No
(ADHD from A to Zoë) – While public reaction to Robin Williams’s death has primarily been shock, Zoë shares why his tragic end wasn’t a surprise to her or anyone else grappling with mental illness, addiction and emotional hypersensitivity.

Do You Have Alexithymia?
(Childhood Emotional Neglect) – Do you have trouble expressing or describing your emotions? You may have alexithymia as a result of childhood emotional neglect. If so, this 6-step exercise will put you on a path toward healing by helping you connect with your feelings.

Robin Williams’ Depression and Suicide
(Bipolar Advantage) – Can you experience depression without suffering? Can you gain a deeper understanding of depression, function normally and find insights even in the midst of it? Read why this blogger not only believes you can, he lives by it.

Freeing Yourself from a Dsyfunctional Family
(Anger Management) – The key to coping with a dysfunctional family isn’t about helping them or anyone else, it’s about healing yourself. Read how one woman who grew up with an alcoholic father, a submissive mother, a sadist and a psychopath for brothers, eventually learned how to release her anger, take responsibility for her well-being and free herself from the dysfunction and damaging influence of her family.

Idleness and Being Creative – Part 2
(The Creative Mind) – If you need a reason to space out and unplug, this post will motivate you to do less. An idle mind, it seems, is a more creative one.