For some reason people seem surprised that Robin Williams committed suicide. If you had asked me a month ago to pick the celebrity most likely to kill himself, he would have topped my list. The last time I saw him on a talk show--several years back--it struck me just how desperately he wanted people to like him. (Which, in turn, made me desperately not like him.) The man was not psychologically self-sufficient.
I did not like him as an actor. He ruined or threatened to ruin any movie he was in, as fas as I'm concerned. The movies where he played a starring role are intolerable to me, with the lone exception being Aladdin. It's been my impression that he seriously fell out of favor with the public as well, but of course with his death everyone likes him again.
But suicide is an important topic to me. My brother killed himself. So despite the fact I rarely comment about celebrities here, I want to talk about it.
This is a blessing and a curse. Apparently a celebrity suicide often triggers a rash of suicides, and that's sad. At the same time, it's an opportunity to raise awareness. With other causes, awareness is a goal primarily because it raises money. With suicide, awareness is the most important goal. Not because people need to realize how selfish it is. That's not exactly accurate, because it's the result of powerful forces acting to overpower rational thought. Martin Luther said, "I don't have the opinion that suicides are certainly to be damned. My reason is that they do not wish to kill themselves but are overcome by the power of the devil." but because they need to realize they need to get help. And it's OK to ask for help.
So please, if you're depressed, you need to admit it to yourself, and get help. If anyone suggests they might be thinking about it, please be open, understanding, and encourage them to find help.