Common Sense

Cavuto: The side of depression you're not hearing

Tragic passing of Robin Williams


Those Robin Williams bits haven't been seen in decades and my friend George Schlatter wanted to share them with us.

Since no one else had them, or more correctly, the rights to them, let's just say this laugh-in producer's treasure trove of clips and remembrances stood out among all the Robin Williams' retrospectives.

Remember, if not for Schlatter, we might never have discovered Robin Williams, at all. Yet this prescient producer and unusually gifted talent scout, knew he had a good thing going in Williams. Schlatter was the guy who literally took Williams off the street, where he was entertaining crowds, and made him a star.

That was years before ‘Mork & Mindy' and now he's gone. Robin Williams is gone. And the reality of yet another star worshipped by millions, dying all alone has yet to sink in.

Jason in N.Y.

"I don't think I've ever cried through so much of a show, particularly when you linked Heath Ledger and Amy Winehouse and so many other stars, who left this world all alone."

Norman H., Ophelia, Va.

"Neil, I think Janice Joplin said it best: "I just made love to 10,000 people and I'm going home alone."

Mary Ellen C. in Mount Kisco, N.Y.

"Wow, an awesome tribute to an awesome man!! May God bless Robin Williams! And God bless, you Neil."

But Ed R. via Yahoo says Schlatter was wrong and I was right about one important aspect of Williams.

The comic most certainly did use foul language. A lot. Schlatter said for effect I said, then he did so for a lot effect.

"Neil had it right. Williams had a dirty mouth."

Sam in Scarborough, Maine

"Money and fame is not everything in life. Celebrities think they are invincible and immortal but all that is BS depression did not kill Williams; rather, his alcohol and drug addiction led to depression he chose his life path."

I don't know about that, Sam depression is a powerful illness. I really don't think Williams chose this illness. Best as I can see over his very long and tortured life, he kept trying desperately to fight it.

J.J. in Scranton, Penn.

"Perhaps Robin Williams' suicide resulting from depression will be a wake-up call for all of us to be more concerned about people suffering from depression than what the Kardashians did today."

Well, there is that, J.J. one can only hope.

Christine S. e-mails.

"Unfortunately, depression goes hand-in-hand for those struggling with addiction, and those who relapse can fall into a deep depression...Williams' death has shed light on an issue that needs to be talked about more often."

David C. e-mails.

"We go overboard talking about the greatness of the star, but forget about the horrendous void...he has left for his family and close friends."

True enough, David. Their loss, even anger at their loss, is more than understandable.

We tend to forget that there are various stages to grief.

Like that angry stage.

Like when a family cannot fathom someone they loved so much taking himself out of this world so horribly.

Of course, they miss him. But you can't tell me, they're also angry at him. Very angry. And very hurt. And very bitter.

So forgive them if right about now, they're not quite so understanding of depression.

Forgive them if they're angry about depression. Forgive them if they're depressed by depression.

Their husband, their father, is gone because of depression.

We can talk forever about how incapacitating this disease is.

How wrenching, and emotionally taxing a disease this is.

But forgive the families that deal with this, if they don't also blurt out how selfish this disease is.

How it so consumes the person in it, that he can't see all the loved ones trying to help him out of it and deal with it.

How it rips them apart and destroys memories, to boot.

How it ruins what they value, and just one peaceful holiday they'd value more.

That's the side of depression you're not hearing. The side of depression that gets no laughing. The life it sucks out of the room that goes far beyond the life just leaving this world.

That's their bitterness right now as it is for all families, and friends who battle this crippling illness everywhere today.

This doesn't make Robin Williams any less the comic giant he was or gifted entertainer the likes of which we will ever see.

But try reconciling that high praise for a star, who's a dad his kids will never see.

Because Robin Williams' self-described demons have attacked them as well.

His tortured soul will now be their tortured lives. And unending tortured questions.

What if we could have prevented it? What if had one more talk? One more moment together? Maybe we could have changed things.

They'll never know. Because they'll never see him again.

That's what I meant when I talked about the passing of a star loved by millions.

It's especially tragic, even infuriating for the family that loved him, that he left this world alone.

And the silence is deafening.

And for them, maddening.