#Depression … it’s no LAUGHING matter

Robin WilliamsLike many in the UK, I woke this morning in London to hear that the US Actor and Comedian Robin Williams had died.

A man until now I did not know had fought severe depression, even though I had grown up with his movies like Mrs Doubtfire and The Birdcage to name but a few.

Depression is an illness that takes you to some of the darkest places possible, where you question your very existence. I know, because I have battled with severe depression myself for the last five years.

Unlike physical ailments, you cannot see depression and the havoc it causes upon ones life. When you’ve broken a bone, you can go to the hospital to get it fixed. When your mind is broken, who can fix that?

I’ve written extensively on this blog over the past four years about my battle with mental health, to help raise awareness of the illness that kills so many. In Britain alone, depression is the biggest killer of men under the age of 35.

As a result of my diagnosis I lost everything; my career, home and marriage. And have I thought about ending it all, of course I have. Something though so far, has stopped me from doing it. I might never know what.

All I do know is that the more people speak out about depression and other mental illnesses, the better we will be at tackling them. Not everyone though, wants to be so public as I have. So it’s important for those like me that do, we make sure we reach out to those who are afraid or ashamed of asking for help and support.

Robin may have died, but I know that his death will not be in vain.

The world has been reminded, that depression can dim even our brightest stars.

My forthcoming memoir Broken looks at my diagnosis with depression, and how I have battled to stay alive over the past half of decade. An illness, that at times has crippled my life.

If you’re suffering with depression, TALK to someone.

Rest in Peace Robin Williams, Max.