Like many of you, I was shocked and saddened by the news of Robin Williams’ tragic passing.
He was a one-of-a-kind, larger-than-life talent who gave so much to the world. To say that he will be missed is a gross understatement.
His absence is made even more heartbreaking by the fact that we lost him to depression. In spite of his amazing talent and success, he was clearly suffering.
Although he was never diagnosed with clinical depression, he did share that he would “get bummed” and feel very sad for periods of time. He also struggled with alcoholism and substance abuse for many years.
Far too many people are living with severe, chronic depression every day.
According to a 2012 study by the National Institute of Mental Health, major depression, which is defined as symptoms that interfere with your ability to live your life, eat, work, sleep, and enjoy life for two weeks or longer, impacts approximately 7% of the adult US population.
Traditional therapies, which include anti-depressants, psychotherapy, and more, have had some success. Still, though, the World Health Organization estimates that 350 million people worldwide are suffering from depression.
It’s a difficult disease, often made worse by cultural stigma and confusion around what it really is. In casual conversation, we often hear phrases like “how depressing” and “I’m just depressed,” and give them little thought.
On a broader cultural level, we tend to have little patience for people who truly are suffering from severe, chronic depression, wishing they would get over it and move on. Too often, people who live with severe depression end up feeling isolated and alone, with no way out. .
Using EFT Tapping for Depression – The Results of a Licensed Therapist…
My friend Catherine Ewing, LCSW, MDiv, MSW, a licensed therapist with whom I’ve had the honor to work here in Newtown, CT since the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012, watched this pattern play out in her clients over many years.
As she wrote in an article on depression, published by PBS, for years she worried that her traditional training as a psychotherapist wasn’t getting to the root of her clients’ depression. (You can read her article here.)
Before using EFT in her practice, she shares, “I often felt as though I was letting my clients down. Although we made some positive changes in attitude and behavior, I sensed that we were not unearthing the real roots of their depression. Changes took place on a superficial level; healing was not happening at a level that allowed clients to experience deeply satisfying and joyful lives.” In 2006, Catherine began using EFT in her practice.
Since then, she’s been able to use tapping to help her clients release what is sometimes referred to as “cellular memory”, which is basically the result of events, traumas, memories that get stuck in the body, and then contribute to depression (and other conditions).
Because tapping allows people to access the unconscious mind, which is responsible for 93 – 97% of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, it’s effective at helping people overcome depression of all kinds, including depression related to events that happened in very early childhood, even before or during birth. It’s also a powerful way to release the emotional charge of traumatic events that lead to depression, and without being re-traumatized. .
Let’s Open Up The Discussion About Tapping and Other Alternative Therapies…
While Catherine’s success treating depression with tapping is exciting, her results are by no means unusual. A growing number of therapists are integrating tapping into their practice, and getting similar results. By bringing both the physical body and the mind into the healing process using tapping, we can let go of the physical and emotional energy that contributes to depression, that can’t be treated with more conventional therapies.
I’m not claiming that tapping would have prevented Robin Williams’ death, but I am saying that it’s time that we open up the discussion around depression to include new therapies like tapping, which is producing better results than many traditional therapies, and with zero side effects.
For many therapists like Catherine Ewing, tapping is also proving more effective than other alternatives like hypnotherapy, guided imagery, and other alternative techniques designed to access the unconscious mind. .
Resources for Dealing with Depression…
If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, I urge you to forward this post on to them, and to support them in seeking help. A great starting point is the list of EFT practitioners on our website, which you can access here:
If you’re battling something like depression, make sure to reach out to someone with experience on the topic.
Also check with your current healthcare practitioner.
And, if you or someone you love is contemplating suicide, reach out immediately here:
Or call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 1-800-273-8255 International:
We have also pulled some resources from our Tapping Insiders Club on using tapping for depression here: Depression: Learning the Signs of Depression and What Actions to Take with Carol Look:
Using Tapping Effectively for Depression Relief with Steve Wells:
There is Hope…
I think the most important message here is that there IS hope for treating severe depression. Many of the best-known and most common therapies haven’t provided the level of relief people are seeking, but there are new options out there, like tapping, that are allowing people to step out of the incredible darkness of depression and live rewarding and fulfilling lives.
There IS hope, and I hope you’ll join me in spreading it, and this post, far and wide so that everyone who needs support in overcoming depression can get relief before it’s too late.
Robin Williams, may you rest in peace.
You’ll be loved, always.
Nick Ortner .
P.S. I know I’m not alone in expressing how much I’ve always loved Robin Williams’ range. From his inspiring performances in Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, and Hook, which I remember watching many times growing up, to his many hilarious roles – Mrs. Doubtfire, The Birdcage, Patch Adams, his voice performance as the genie in Aladdin (a role he apparently improvised, wow!).
The best way I can think of to honor him is by appreciating his incredible talent. On that note, I wanted to share a few of my favorite Robin Williams clips: Here’s a mix of some of his best moments:
I think Robin Williams could have used a Patch Adams in his life:
The moving park scene from Good Will Hunting
A beautiful speech from Dead Poets Society – reminding us for the need for creativity and passion in our lives
When the Genie first appears in Aladdin
Fly Free Robin! You’re Peter Pan once again…
What’s your favorite movie/clip/performance of Robbins Williams? Share by posting below.