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Robin Williams’ suicide raises depression awareness
The death of Robin Williams is shedding light on depression. The actor and comedian died Monday of a suicide.

Bob Arndt is very familiar with depression and the darkness that comes with it. The Maple Grove realtor was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder in the late 1990s. He said it stems from mental and physical child abuse.

"I put on my happy face. I just try to act happy when I'm around people. I  have my good moments and my bad moments," he said.

While Arndt sells houses during the day, he is a singer at night. He said he's a different person when he's on stage performing.

"I still sing with my eyes closed, pretty much of the time because, and I wear dark glasses. It's just the way I cope with it," said Arndt.

At times, Arndt has had to mask his illness. He admits he even thought about taking his life.

"I think the thoughts of suicide were getting more frequent, and the feeling of worthlessness."

Arndt is not alone in his struggles. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an estimated 25 million Americans suffer from depression each year. Statistics show women are twice as likely to suffer from depression than men.

"Depression is something that is very real. It's something that's physical so when you become depress you physiologically have a lot of different experiences," said Dr. Matthew Syzdek, a clinical psychologist with Hennepin County Medical Center.

But many people who suffer from depression, don't get help because of the stigma often attached to mental illness.

"People may be concerned that people may think they are crazy, often many men are concerned that family and friends will overreact," said Dr. Syzdek.

Arndt said he's glad he made a call for help more than 10 years ago. He's hoping others in his shoes will do the same.

"If you think you have depression or you know there's something wrong, anxiety, seek professional help."

There are many resources available to help deal with mental illness. Hennepin County Medical Center has an Acute Psychiatric Service center that provides a 24-hour emergency room for patients with a mental crisis. Hennepin County also has a 24-hour mobile crisis team.

Other Helpful Resources:

Crisis Text Line

Walk-In clinic--no insurance needed

MN Crisis Line: 612-379-6363


Sonya Goins, reporting
sgoins@twelve.tv

8/12/2014


 

 
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