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courage, death, depression

Depression is a Duplicitous Asshole.

August 11, 2014

by Angela Giles Patel

Everyone battles something. Some of these battles are episodic and some rage over the course of a lifetime. Many of these battles are so private that they happen without anyone else even being aware of them taking place.

Today I learned that a man I respected for his ability to share himself so publicly died. His depression had reportedly been growing in severity and yet he still entertained. And I felt the harshest of reminders that just because someone is bold enough to speak openly about struggling with a disease, they are far from free of it’s grip. Just because someone’s job is making us smile, it doesn’t mean they are carefree–it just means they are very good at their job.

So I am, like many others, trying to make sense of how someone so adept at eliciting laughter is gone. How someone who legitimately brought joy to people on a regular basis could lose sight of their worth as a person. How someone could leave their best friend.

I know firsthand that there is no glory in a life ending and there is nothing romantic about succumbing to pain. I can’t help remembering my father. I am left looking at my own battlefield.

Depression lies. It’s a duplicitous asshole designed to confuse, distort and destroy. It isolates and it wages a fierce fight with one objective: cause maximum harm.

And I am reminded that to know a person, much less to judge a person, requires a long walk in their shoes and demands embracing their shadows as well. Take the time. If you need help, please ask. If asked please listen.

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.

–Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society


Angela Giles Patel has had her work appear in The Healing Muse as well as on The Nervous Breakdown and The Manifest-Station. She tweets as @domesticmuse, and when inspired updates her blog, Air Hunger. She lives in Massachusetts where she conquers the world, one day at a time. She is one of the editors of The Manifest-Station

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  • Reply barbarapotter August 11, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Beautifully written Angela. Thank you.

  • Reply Andi Watkins August 11, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    I adore you Giles, thank you for this.

  • Reply bev hagewood August 11, 2014 at 11:12 pm


  • Reply Rinna August 11, 2014 at 11:37 pm


  • Reply Angel willow August 12, 2014 at 12:37 am

    In tribute to Robin Williams
    Dear Mr Williams,
    What a legacy of joy you now leave behind, YOU, who gave the world so much, too much, that you left nothing for yourself behind, starved from your own making – the lesson of the “art of giving” now reminds us all that you first have to put something back into you – so busy you were making the world laugh, making us cry that you did not recognise the black circles swirling inside your mind. Too brilliant in your speech and so clever with your “stage door smile” but what a facade, you too laid beside a monster each night. For all you gave the world, it is so sad that not one person could help you “brave” those demons – I hope peace found you quickly & removed the torture from your soul.

    • Reply Lee H September 12, 2014 at 8:11 am

      Very well put, Angel…lots of us live with the monster…people who don’t have eyes to see him will never get it.

  • Reply margoness August 12, 2014 at 4:14 am

    Reblogged this on Margoness and commented:
    Perfectly said.

  • Reply Writers Dream 9 August 12, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Excellent, excellent, excellent!!! He will be sorely missed!

  • Reply nanashirl August 12, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Most of my co-workers are sad to hear of Robin Williams’ passing as am I, but we have one bitch-and yes that is what she is-who says “who cares that he died-it’s not like you know him or anything. He’s a coward for doing this, blah blah blah”. I hope this bitch never loses a loved one to suicide, but karma can also be a bitch. Rest in peace Robin Williams-there were shows of yours that I enjoyed and some that I didn’t care for, but you were a very versatile actor and that’s what made you a great actor. You will be missed-at least in my household. And for anyone who thinks they just can’t face another day-please get help. Tomorrow is truly another day.

  • Reply theculturedsass August 13, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Reblogged this on theculturedsass.

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  • Reply Lee H September 12, 2014 at 8:04 am

    I don’t know everything but I know a lot. I believe that Robin Williams suffered from complex PTSD and Dissociative Integration Disorder from events that occurred in his early childhood. Complex PTSD often times includes depression and suicidal ideation. He was able to be so many people in his comedic life because he had so many alters, and these alters helped him to survive and also made people laugh and made people love Robin Williams, the man. He made us all laugh when he was in terrible, horrible pain much of the time. People who have not experienced trauma will never understand what this is like. In the end his alters could not do enough to save Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up. He never felt truly loved the way his soul needed to be loved. In the end one of his alters ended the suffering in the body because it was all too much…it may have been the Parkinson’s diagnosis that was the last straw, or perhaps something we will never know. He suffered greatly.

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  • Reply Vicki April 2, 2015 at 5:21 am

    Thank you for writing this piece. Robin was a.bright light that depression did its best to destroy…While it is sad for his family and the pain depression has caused them also…Robins’ light was not and never really will go out..His light will shine bright on the cause.

  • Reply Depression is a Duplicitous Asshole. | Angela Giles Patel January 4, 2016 at 4:56 am

    […] piece originally appeared on The Manifest-Station, an amazing site you should be […]

  • Reply Mary Zack July 12, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    I’m hoping he is at last at peace. Getting to the point of suicide, actually going through with it, is a process of pain. His is gone. I understand completely. I’m sorry as hell to lose this miraculously talented man.

  • Reply Amir Campbell December 22, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. There was a time in my life when I experienced a persistent bout of depression, a long dark night of the soul. The light that leads the way out is different for everybody and I was lucky to find my guiding light. Thank you for inspiring others to hang on and find their way out into the light!

  • Reply Brandy BlackBull September 12, 2018 at 1:16 am

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