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  • Writer's pictureNidhi Trivedi

Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain, Millennials, and High-Functioning Depression.

Many of us have been touched and inspired by the life of late Mr. Anthony Bourdain. His zest for life, travel, food, and cultures have continued to color my dreams and ideas of what a “good life” would look like. Who would have thought that a person with such a perfect job and an adventurous life struggled with feelings of unmanageable sadness? Even with his death, he seems to have left me with a very crucial message that depression comes in all shapes and forms.

Mr. Robin Williams was yet another influencer who had managed to bring smiles and laughter to so many people in the world. Yet, very few people possibly know what Robin Williams was really going through. Who would have thought that such a clown and comedian had been masking his true feelings and was battling depression for such a long time in his life?

The symptoms of Depression do not manifest in the same manner in everyone. Some people might not even realize that they are depressed, but they may find themselves to be less motivated, more sleepy, less hungry, and overall tired for no reason at all. Some people might experience no changes in their appetite, sleep, or fatigue, but they may struggle with a more negative outlook towards life. It really depends.

Now, if Bourdain and Williams did not have a life that they wanted to see through completely, it makes me wonder about the plight of many millennials. Most millennials I know are either pursuing Bourdain’s interesting career or are seeking joy and happiness like Robin Williams. Our generation has been blessed with Instagram, fad of travel, a positive-seeming facebook life, and FOMO. Many are pursuing the adventures of Mr. Bourdain and the joys that Mr. Robin Williams Promised. Every millennial I see on facebook or Instagram is just “living the high life” and just being surrounded by people who seem constantly happy, makes me sometimes wonder about where I might be falling short. Therefore, I deduce that if I feel this way, I wonder how many people constantly feel as though they are trying everything they can to feel happy, but falling short in comparison to the lofty standards that the society has presented.

Depression does not always manifest as an unemployed single person who has no friends and no romantic pursuits. There are numerous individuals with well-paying jobs and seemingly close relationships, who live with a depressive abyss in their hearts. Some emotional wounds not only go unnoticed, but seem to present themselves as overtly optimistic and life-loving beings= such as Bourdain, Robin Williams, and ……not sure how many more people. If you are experiencing high-functioning depression, please seek necessary help and support from family and friends, and take reasonable steps for treatment. Antidepressants along with short-term CBT  psychotherapy is the best evidence-based treatment for severe depression.

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