With the sad and tragic death of Robin Williams, there is now a lot of talk and speculation about depression and suicide. Suicide is always a tragedy. Ironically, a man who made the world laugh is now making people cry.
I do not agree with the people that are saying Robin Williams is free now and in a better place. Yes, we can entrust him to a loving and merciful God but I am not going to presume he is in a better place. It is so tragic that he felt there were no other options than to end his life. I do not know if he was a believer in God. It is almost understandable for someone to lose hope and become depressed if they are not a believer. I also do not know what was going on in his mind or if he was suffering from a mental illness. Even though I probably could talk about mental illness because I have a degree in Mental Health, I am not going to address that here. After all, I did not even agree with much of the stuff I was taught in my Psychology classes. I felt the perspectives were too much from a secular world view.
What I would like to talk about here is the subject of depression for the average Christian without a mental illness. Personally, depression has been a temptation for me. Occasionally it knocks on my door. It usually starts with discouraging thoughts which stem from lack of hope and trust in God. There have been times I bought into these discouraging thoughts and gave into depression which I believe gave the enemy a foothold. The result of this was a spiraling downward of deep depression that was then hard to come out of. The Lord has warned me about giving into this. It is a sin and I have a choice. I can either choose to put my hope, trust and faith in the Lord even when life seems bleak or I can choose to have a pity party and give into depression.
That all being said, I would like to talk about grief and the difference between grief and depression. It is normal and human for us to grieve when tragedy strikes. Even Jesus grieved when his friend Lazarus died. You can grieve and still have hope and faith. When I had a miscarriage a couple years ago, I grieved but I did not give into depression. Instead I surrendered my grief over to the Lord and he turned it into something beautiful.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18, "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."