Robin Williams' suicide could have been prevented

08/12/2014 2:08 PM

08/13/2014 8:53 AM

Re "Robin Williams hanged himself with belt" (Page A1, Aug.12): After his death, Robin Williams' family issued a statement asking that he be remembered, not for his death, but for the happiness and joy he brought to countless millions around the world. It is fitting and proper that he be remembered in this way, but the manner of his death cannot be ignored.

Robin Williams suffered from depression, a brain disorder that afflicts one in 10 Americans- far more than will ever be affected by the Ebola virus. Depression can affect anyone regardless of fame, fortune, talent or worldly success. Williams' death demonstrates that depression can be every bit as fatal as cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.

We do not know the details regarding Williams' struggle with depression and we will never know what led him to take his own life. Yet it must be emphasized that depression is a treatable illness and suicide can be prevented.

-- Karl Lanocha, MD, Sacramento

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