I've seen Robin Williams' death co-opted for agendas. I'm not a fan of this. I've seen it stated, point blank, that he had bipolar. When you say this, you are diagnosing him. He may have had, he may not, but to make it about your circumstances, and your family's circumstances, does not sit right with me. It seems as if there's another agenda that you are forcing onto this.
Me pointing out that it seems like an accusation when one says that we're spreading misinformation? Not meant to be cold or calculating. If, IF, he had bipolar, both he and his family choose not to disclose this information. What we have been getting is the statement that he was depressed. I'm not spreading misinformation, I'm talking about the only information I have.
I will not diagnose someone unless I have actual confirmation of their illness. We don't have that. We don't have friends, or family, or doctors saying anything. And when we don't, and someone who only knows him via movies, interviews, and paparazzi pictures states that he has something, that's damaging. It's damaging because they don't know what's going on. Mr. Williams, hopefully his doctor(s), and anyone else he choose to share this with? They know.
I'm not going to disrespect the family and their wishes by stating I know anything that happened. That was my whole point. The point isn't that I was right. The point is this is tragic, but it's not about you, or your situation. It may be a chance to talk about the stigma of mental illness and how that affects those afflicted, but what it shouldn't be is about our personal pet causes. Me stating this isn't me being a cold-hearted bitch who doesn't give a shit. It's me trying to stick to facts I know.
And yes, I know different mental illnesses come with different levels of, and types of, stigmatization. But in my mind, that's all the more reason to be sure we know what we're dealing with before we throw out accusations that someone doesn't know what they're talking about and statements that someone has something before we do diagnose.
PS - one of my favorite books about mental illness is Madness by Roy Porter because it gives a brief history of how mental illness was treated. It illustrates beautifully how not understanding and misdiagnosis can really harm the cause of getting people better.