Depression, Mental Illness Brought to Light After Williams' Death

West Columbia, SC (WLTX)- The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention expressed their condolences to Robin Williams' family and friends after hearing he took his life by suicide.

"It is our hope that we are able to have an open conversation that depression and addictions are real illnesses that can sometimes be fatal."

The AFSP stated, every 13 minutes someone dies from suicide.

Helen Pridgen, the South Carolina director for AFSP, lost a son to suicide when he was 25 years old. She says her love for her son brought her to the work, but the hope for others at risk is what fuels her passion. Her mother and son both suffered from depression.

"My mother survived. I watched my mother live into some of the best years of her life. My son did not have life experience yet. He died within the year he was diagnosed," said Pridgen

Here are some risk factors provided by

  • Mental disorders, in particular:
    • Depression or bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder
    • Alcohol or substance abuse or dependence
    • Schizophrenia
    • Borderline or antisocial personality disorder
    • Conduct disorder (in youth)
    • Psychotic disorders; psychotic symptoms in the context of any disorder
    • Anxiety disorders
    • Impulsivity and aggression, especially in the context of the above mental disorders
  • Previous suicide attempt
  • Family history of attempted or completed suicide
  • Serious medical condition and/or pain

The national suicide prevention hotline (24 hours a day) 1-800-273-TALK


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