In Sickness and In Health; What We Can Learn From Robin Williams

Robin McLaurin Williams was a beloved actor and comedian, and he ended his own life after a long battle with depression. Electra Cruises joins America in remembering the life of a brilliant man, and in raising awareness of an illness that claims the lives of far too many.

When one or both spouses live with depression, it affects the marriage as a whole. It affects the passion, the friendship, the love language – the very core of a person. Marriage provides a shelter against the storms and hardships of life, but when someone suffers depression, it can place a substantial strain on the marriage.

Those who are depressed often do not feel like talking, and communication is a marital lifeline. Those who are depressed often do not feel like making love, and sex is a marital joy. Those who are depressed often do not feel like playing, and friendship is a marital anchor. Those who are depressed often do not feel like listening, and being heard is a marital necessity. Those who are depressed often do not feel like laughing, and humor is a marital release.

Just a few symptoms of depression are:

If your fiancée or spouse is depressed, do not take it lightly. Listen to him or her, and give credibility to the feelings expressed. Show affection, and encourage physical activity. Seek objective help for yourself, and offer to go with your spouse to therapy. Husbands and wives come together in lifelong wedlock to protect and aid one another, and sometimes the very essence of that aid is to alert others to the situation. Whether you are reaching out for the right prescription from a doctor, the fervent and effective prayer of fellow church members, the expert advice of a therapist, or all of the above, depression is not something from which the sufferer can just “pull himself up by the bootstraps”.

There are many reasons someone may suffer depression, but rest assured, depression is not just all in your head, and it is not a sign of weakness. It is a real, identifiable, recognizable, and treatable illness.

New York Times bestselling author, Ann Voskamp writes, “There is no guilt in mental illness because depression is a kind of cancer that attacks the mind. You do not shame cancer, you treat cancer. You do not treat those with hurting insides as less than. You get them the most treatment…Shame is a bully and Grace is a shield.”

Robin Williams was a brilliant man, and we will always remember him as Mork, the alien from Ork (Mork and Mindy), the lovable Mrs. Doubtfire (Mrs. Doubtfire), psychotherapist Sean Maguire (Good Will Hunting), and Airman Second Class Adrian Cronauer (Good Morning, Vietnam). In honor of Robin Williams’ life, if you or your spouse suffer depression or have thoughts of suicide, cling to each other; do not run from one another. Listen well, love well, and get help. Your marriage can survive depression, but you must be proactive. Treat it just like any other illness, and hold each other in sickness and in health.

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