Robin Williams’ death has reminded the world that depression does not discriminate between the rich and famous and the rest of us and that it is not something that people can simply “snap out of”.
Many sufferers have taken to social media in the wake of the actor’s apparent suicide to talk of their experiences and remind people that help is available.
The Samaritans was one of several charities urging anyone feeling down or alone to speak out.
Quotes on depression
Quotes on depression
1/14 Alistair Campbell
Alistair Campbell: "One day, we will look back and wonder how on earth we used to believe that depression was a lifestyle choice, only to be debated and taken seriously when an A List film star took his life, and the world filled with people saying how shocked and saddened they were. "
2/14 On living with depression
Stephen Fry: "Depression is as real as the weather…it’s all about a kind of mental umbrella. 'Hey-ho, it’s raining inside: it isn’t my fault and there’s nothing I can do about it, but sit it out. But the sun may well come out tomorrow and when it does, I shall take full advantage.'"
3/14 On living with depression
Ernest Hemingway: "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." (He also said "happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know")
4/14 On living with depression
Jonathan Davis: "A lot of people don't realize that depression is an illness. I don't wish it on anyone, but if they would know how it feels, I swear they would think twice before they just shrug it."
5/14 On passing judgement on depression
Geoffrey Boycott: "Until you've had depression I don't think you're qualified to talk about it."
6/14 Jack Dee
Jack Dee: "I have had issues with depression all my life, and it's probably true to say there was a tendency towards it even when I was very young, during my schooldays. There was often - and this is quite common with comics - a sense of not feeling as if I belonged anywhere."
7/14 On living with depression
Jason Manford: "The world needs you even if you don't think it does. I promise, we need you here, now."
8/14 Author Jeanette Winterson
Art saved me; it got me through my depression and self-loathing, back to a place of innocence.
9/14 On life and depression
Agatha Christie: "I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know that just to be alive is a grand thing."
10/14 On living with depression
Albert Camus: "In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
11/14 On dealing with low mood
Dolly Parton "The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."
12/14 If you're feeling depressed right now..
Annabel Giles: "If you’re depressed right now, then let's remember that we only have to do today, that's all. Nothing more. We can do just a day, can't we? And don’t forget, we haven't always been like this. The good days will come back. We've just go to do as much as we can, when we can."
13/14 Helen Keller on looking for the positive
Helen Keller: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
14/14 On it happening to all of us
Mariella Frostrup: "Only those with skin as thick as elephant hide can hope to sail through their teens unscathed by self-doubt and bouts of depression."
Catherine Johnstone, the chief executive, said: “We know that that when a person is in crisis and struggling to cope, they feel trapped in their situation with no way out, and that the future holds nothing good for them.
“They may not be able to see beyond their situation and truly believe that suicide is the only option for them.
“The service we offer provides a safe space for people to be themselves and talk about their problems without fear of being judged.”
Jason Manford was one of many celebrities who spoke about depression in tributes to Williams.
With love. xx pic.twitter.com/34Y57OQUay— JasonManford (@JasonManford) August 11, 2014
The 63-year-old actor's publicist confirmed that Williams had been suffering from “severe depression” in recent weeks and he had made no secret of a decades-long struggle with cocaine and alcohol abuse.
Officials said all evidence indicates the actor committed suicide by hanging himself but a final ruling will be announced after toxicology reports and interviews with witnesses are complete.
Anyone who has been affected by the news of Williams’ death can call the Samaritans on 08457 909090 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.