The Day the Laughter Died (In Memory of Robin Williams)

Robin Williams Graffiti Tribute

Robin Williams was one of the best comedians of all time. My first memories of him were on the sitcom, Mork & Mindy before he went on to star in some of the best movies in the business. During interviews and appearances, he seemed to be happy and chipper, always having a good one-liner on hand to brighten any mood.

I remember exactly where I was, and I was doing when news of his death first broke. It shocked me to my core as it did millions of fans around the globe. Because of his happy and upbeat demeanor, he was the last celebrity I thought would ever commit suicide, and it only goes to show that this manner of death often comes with no prior warning signs.

Unfortunately, outward appearances can be deceiving, and just because someone may look happy, confident, and outgoing doesn’t mean that they aren’t privately battling the evil demon of depression.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), close to 800,000 people die by suicide every year, which equals to one person every 40 seconds. It is the second leading cause of death among people ages 15-29. However, the elderly have the highest suicide rates, more than 50% higher than young people (www.factretriever.com/suicide-facts)

(www.who.int/mental-health/prevention/suicide/suicideprevent/en/)

One reason for the high suicide rate is that people frown upon mental illness. Because those unlucky enough to battle it fear others might judge them negatively and unfairly, they don’t admit that there’s a problem and refuse to get treatment.
Robin Williams was no different.

I can tell you that despite his fame and fortune, he was afraid of being judged. Being a man, came with the fear that society would revoke his proverbial man-card, as men are conditioned from infancy to be the pillars of strength, which is why suicide rates are much higher with males. Being a comedian, he was afraid of being discredited and possibly losing his career.

Because there is so much stigma which surrounds depression and mental illness, these were very legitimate fears. I have found that people judge those with mental illness worse than they do thieves and murderers, and it’s a shame.

What’s even more mind-boggling is that many of these finger-pointers also have some mental illness themselves or in their families. They only live in denial and point fingers to distract others from their own issues.

Yesterday marked the seventh anniversary of Robin Williams’ death. If someone as talented, vibrant, wealthy, and famous as Robin Williams can be stricken with depression or any form of mental illness, then anyone can at any time.
People suffering do not need your criticism or your pity. They need your support!

It’s time to stop hiding, stop passing judgment, and remove the stigma!

In Memory of Robin Williams

(July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014)

When Your Bullies Label You “Mentally Imbalanced” or “Crazy”

Unfortunately, the label of mental instability is the easiest and most effective label to stick to a person. Sadly, a label like this tends to have loads of staying power because it’s the hardest to disprove- especially when the object of it is being bullied and mobbed.

Also, there’s a good chance that any target of bullying will be an emotional wreck because of the chronic abuse they suffer. So, there’s another reason the crazy label would be a clever label to pin to them.

When bullies label you as crazy, it doesn’t mean they actually think you are. Allow me to explain further:

Remember that bullies are big cowards and if they really and truly thought you were crazy, they wouldn’t mess with you at all. In, fact, they wouldn’t come near you. Instead, they would do everything they could to stay out of your way and avoid poking the bear.

They’d go out of their way to be on their best behavior around you because they know that if a person is, in fact, crazy, that person could rip their heads off and poop down their necks! That person could go postal and wipe them all out, then go eat ice cream!

If a person with any common sense knows someone who is factually and utterly batshit crazy, their first instinct is to walk lightly around them and do their due diligence to keep from setting that person off!

So, if your bullies don’t really think you’re crazy, why then do they label you as such?

The reason your bullies label you crazy is to discredit you in case you get fed up with their crap and decide to either report them or stand up to them. And if everyone thinks you’re crazy and you report that you’re being bullied, who’s going to take you seriously?

Labeling the target mentally imbalanced is also a way to silence and subdue the target to keep them from reporting the abuse or standing up to it. If you know that people think you’re crazy you’re going to be too afraid to open your mouth about it because you know that people probably won’t believe you. They will only say that, because of your “mental instability,” you’re probably just being paranoid.

You’ll also be too afraid to fight back because if you do, you know that the bullies will only convincingly reverse roles and play victim. Then, others will only assume that you went postal and either hurt those poor, innocent bullies, or you just threw a temper tantrum and began shouting and cursing people out for no reason. All because you’re just “crazy.”

Sure. Mental instability is one of the hardest to prove. It’s true that your bullies can never prove you’re crazy, but there’s also no way that you can prove for certain that you aren’t. And it’s why this label is just too easy to pen on someone and make stick. In fact, it shouldn’t be this easy and be so successful. But it is.

Do you see how this works?

So, no. Your bullies don’t think you’re crazy, they think you’re weak. They only push the crazy label because weakness or helplessness in a person does have a certain allure and appeal and others may feel compelled to come to that person’s aid. Helplessness sparks a natural tendency in people to want to take care of the person who is helpless, but people are less likely to help the person who is deemed crazy. Bullies instinctively know this. So, they label the target crazy to strip him/her of that allure and appeal.

In labeling you crazy and making it stick, bullies are better able to avoid being held accountable and if they can successfully dodge responsibility for their abuse of another human being, then they get to continue hurting and abusing that person freely and with impunity.

Understand that there’s a method behind the label of mental instability, crazy, unhinged, or whatever name you prefer. If you’re aware of the motives behind that label, the better you’ll be able to catch it and counter your bullies with it.