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Robin Williams: Irrepressible Character

Robin Williams was one of the most explosively, exhaustingly, prodigiously verbal comedians who ever lived, says film critic A. O. Scott. And the only thing faster than Williams’s mouth was his mind.

Video CreditBy Adam Freelander on Publish Date August 12, 2014. Image CreditABC, via Associated Press

Some years ago, at a party at the Cannes Film Festival, I was leaning against a rail watching a fireworks display when I heard a familiar voice behind me. Or rather, at least a dozen voices, punctuating the offshore explosions with jokes, non sequiturs and off-the-wall pop-cultural, sexual and political references.

There was no need to turn around: The voices were not talking directly to me and they could not have belonged to anyone other than Robin Williams, who was extemporizing a monologue at least as pyrotechnically amazing as what was unfolding against the Mediterranean sky. I’m unable to recall the details now, but you can probably imagine the rapid-fire succession of accents and pitches — macho basso, squeaky girly, French, Spanish, African-American, human, animal and alien — entangling with curlicues of self-conscious commentary about the sheer ridiculousness of anyone trying to narrate explosions of colored gunpowder in real time.

The comedian and actor Robin Williams in 2002.

Very few people would try to upstage fireworks, and probably only Robin Williams could have succeeded. I doubt anyone asked him for his play-by-play, an impromptu performance for a small, captive group, and I can’t say if it arose from inspiration or compulsion. Maybe there’s not really a difference. Whether or not anyone expected him to be, and maybe whether or not he entirely wanted to be, he was on.

Part of the shock of his death on Monday came from the fact that he had been on — ubiquitous, self-reinventing, insistently present — for so long. On Twitter, mourners dated themselves with memories of the first time they had noticed him. For some it was the movie “Aladdin.” For others “Dead Poets Society” or “Mrs. Doubtfire.” I go back even further, to the “Mork and Mindy” television show and an album called “Reality — What a Concept” that blew my eighth-grade mind.

Back then, it was clear that Mr. Williams was one of the most explosively, exhaustingly, prodigiously verbal comedians who ever lived. The only thing faster than his mouth was his mind, which was capable of breathtaking leaps of free-associative absurdity. Janet Maslin, reviewing his standup act in 1979, cataloged a tumble of riffs that ranged from an impression of Jacques Cousteau to “an evangelist at the Disco Temple of Comedy,” to Truman Capote Jr. at “the Kindergarten of the Stars” (whatever that was). “He acts out the Reader’s Digest condensed version of ‘Roots,’ ” Ms. Maslin wrote, “which lasts 15 seconds in its entirety. He improvises a Shakespearean-sounding epic about the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster, playing all the parts himself, including Einstein’s ghost.” (That, or something like it, was a role he would reprise more than 20 years later in Steven Spielberg’s “A.I.”)

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Robin Williams was an irrepressible performer, on stage and off. CreditGary Settle

Onstage, Mr. Williams’s speed allowed him to test audience responses and to edit and change direction on the fly. He simultaneously explained and acted out this process in “Come Inside My Mind,” a two-and-a-half-minute tour de force of manic meta — “I’m doing great! I’m improvising like crazy! No you’re not, you fool! You’re just doing pee-pee-ca-ca, no substance!” But if Mr. Williams was often self-aware, commenting on what he was doing as he was doing it, he was rarely arch or insincere. He could, as an actor, succumb to treacliness sometimes — maybe more than sometimes — but his essential persona as an entertainer combined neediness and generosity, intelligence and kindness, in ways that were charming and often unexpectedly moving as well.

That was a role within a role, of course, and Mr. Williams’s best serious movie characters — or maybe we should say the non-silly ones, since an element of playfulness was always there — had a similar doubleness. Watching him acting in earnest, you could not help but be aware of the exuberance, the mischief, that was being held in check, and you couldn’t help but wonder when, how or if it would burst out. That you knew what he was capable of made his feats of self-control all the more exciting. You sometimes felt that he was aware of this, and that he enjoyed the sheer improbability of appearing as the straight man, the heavy, the voice of reason.

He was very good at playing it cool or quiet or restrained as other actors in his movies — Nathan Lane in “The Birdcage,” Robert DeNiro in“Awakenings,” Matt Damon in “Good Will Hunting” — brought the heat, the noise or the wildness. He was an excellent and disciplined character actor, even as he was also an irrepressible, indelible character, a voice — or voices — that many of us have been hearing for as long as we can remember.

 

Robin Williams: the sadness of a clown that couldn’t be fixed

“Williams, like many others, struggled with addiction and personal demons. Mental illness is a great leveller – but is still too little understood.

All illness is a great leveller, but none levels like mental illness. It remains the poor relation of medicine. Research is paltry. Therapies are halfhearted. Drugs are primitive. But addictive and depressive illness seems to probe deep into the relations between individuals and those around them. It is the crack in the window that can seem beyond mending. The sadness of the clown goes beyond irony. It is one of the great mysteries of life”

THEGUARDIAN.COM|BY SIMON JENKINS

 

Simon Jenkins
Tuesday 12 August 2014

Actor-Comedian Robin Williams Dies At 63

Actor-Comedian Robin Williams Dies At 63
Robin Williams backstage in Virginia in 2009. ‘It seems inexplicable that a celebrity’s addiction should be immune to personal success, the care of a loving family and all the therapies money could buy.’ Photograph: Jay Paul/Getty Images

The sadness of the clown is an old showbusiness irony. The death of the clown is even sadder. But Robin Williams was no ordinary clown, he was a clown in the round, a master of the one-liner, of verbal riff, mimicry, disguise, facial distortion, fury and hilarity. He made them laugh and he made them cry. He had the gift of enhancing the lives of others, yet he could not handle one person’s life, his own. Only last month Williams was admitted back into a rehab centre in Minnesota.

Williams’ presumed suicide is receiving the same scrutiny as the recent deaths of other celebrity addicts such as Philip Seymour Hoffman and Peaches Geldof. Addictive substances appeared to be the way in which these well-known people coped with the pressure of life. In that, they are no different from thousands of non-celebrities subject to even greater pressure. Yet it seems inexplicable that their addiction should be immune to personal success, the care of a loving family and all the therapies money could buy.

Physical illness is something the medical profession understands. It knows what to do when the human body malfunctions and what not to do. Mental illness, if illness is the right word, seems lost in some dark age. Otherwise healthy people with every reason to be happy are found wrestling with private demons. Therapists wander the scene like surgeons on a medieval battlefield, at a loss for what to do.

Williams appeared to have recovered from cocaine addiction but not from alcohol. He had been in and out of rehabilitation. In a remarkably frank interview in the Guardian four years ago, he was eager to discuss his problems lucidly. He was a regular member of probably the most successful therapy in existence, Alcoholics Anonymous, with its emphasis on non-judgmental group support. There was no help that Williams and others like him could not and did not receive. It failed.

All illness is a great leveller, but none levels like mental illness. It remains the poor relation of medicine. Research is paltry. Therapies are halfhearted. Drugs are primitive. But addictive and depressive illness seems to probe deep into the relations between individuals and those around them. It is the crack in the window that can seem beyond mending. The sadness of the clown goes beyond irony. It is one of the great mysteries of life.

• In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 08457 90 90 90. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14

Some Comments and Opinions already posted on 8/12/14

Candice Black Robin Williams is proof of the complexity of the illness: the man smiled, laughed and could make millions happy- yet depression plagued his life. Any notion that depression is a case of being “miserable” should be thrown out the window by anyone who still holds that view.

Michael Olaf Engedahl Good bye dear man,who brought more laughter than tears ,but couldn’t find happiness for yourself,today you brought me tears cos I will never see your genius again.Rest in Peace

Joe Hargett “…that couldn’t be fixed.” I call bullshit. We could fix it if we wanted to, but time and again the major countries of the world have swept mental illness under the rug. Depression and other mental illnesses are not “silent killers” or “thieves in the night.” They stare us in the face daily, and we ignore them. We need acceptance and action, not platitudes and cliches.

Lizzie Soden Robin Jenkins. Although you are right about much of what you have written here, you have painted an almost nihilistic picture of therapies, drugs and resources available to help with depression. As someone who experiences depression, I can tell you there are some amazing insightful, positive Drs, psychotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses, who are not ‘wandering around aimlessly.’ There is no ‘one size fits all’ or one depressive episode that’s the same, but you get there through trial and error and different combinations. Yes, we need far more research and funding; yes we need to build understanding; yes we need to talk about it more in the public discourse, but you paint a picture that suggests anyone going through depression and addiction ‘ may as well give up now because you won’t get the help you need’ that’s simply not true. By far the majority of people recover and lead active lives, and learn to manage their depressive episodes.

Katya Hernández So much ignorance about depression. It is not about being thankful for what you have, or living in a good place, or having everything: it’s your brain not working properly, it’s a chemical imbalance, and it’s extremely hard to control. You often know that you have no reason to feel sad, but you still cry. Reasoning it out, when you are too deep into it, does not help. “Snap out of it” has to be the most ignorant, insensitive thing you can tell a depressed person. You would not tell that to a schizophrenic, and depression is just not something that you choose, it’s something that your brain does to you.

Brian Lucas “Outside, the day might be blue and gold, but the light that creeps down, through the thickly-muffled glass of the small, iron-barred window beneath which one sits, is grey and niggard.”

Oscar Wilde: “De Profundis”

 

Merita Debbie Marble Blanchet Did you know humor is a coping skill ? A mindset of the brain that helps us hang on.. Being serious is too hard for folks with a great sense of humor because tears lie very closely beneath that smile.. Never forget that We make the world laugh so we don’t have to think of how sad we truly are.

 

Chrystal Andros “Heard joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, “Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up.” Man bursts into tears. Says, “But doctor…I am Pagliacci.”

Those of us who suffer from chronic depression understand this. For example with me I know that suicide can be inevtiable. It may not happen tomorrow, next week or even next month, but it’s with me and it may kill me at some point.

How do you treat something that comes and goes like bad weather? When it hits it’s a hurricane of twisting emotion.

I see a psychologist and I look at taking meds at the end, but I have been suffering it for a very long time. For now changing my mental state is what is helping.

 

Abigail Mouat Askew It’s part of what happens when our societal values go awry. I wonder how many indigenous tribes not exposed to Western culture have these levels of depression and addiction?

 

Jeremy Williams It annoys me when people say “snap out of it”, when i’m having a low mood, it’s not as simple as that, it’s a hidden illness, you don’t see it on the outside, but on the inside it slowly eats at you.

 

Harmony Aquarian

Three Wishes

You’re leaving on a super moon
But the details are still sketchy
The world is in a state of shock
The background story patchy

The last thing I expected to hear today
Was the news of your departure
And that your life was in disarray
It truly broke my heart, sir

I never cried when Elvis died,
He never touched me, really,
But Robin, you were another case
You were the King of Silly

The medicine of laughter
In world so full of pain
You meted out so selflessly
It all seems so insane

Perhaps we need to stop and think
About what is important
That life is rich when you have love
And though yours has been shortened

You touched our hearts and reached our souls
With no mention of religion
You made me smile so very many times
With a warmth that lacked conditions

The last thing I wanted to do today
Was to write this sad remembrance
But people come, and people go
In this endless song and dance

So here’s to life and here’s to hope
And here’s to fun and laughter
And thank you for the joy you brought
And if there’s a hereafter

I’m sure you will be needed there
As much as here on earth
Such a clever, brilliant man
An icon of infinite worth

So adios amigo
Happy trails and all of that
Life is short for all of us
But if I could bring you back

I’d have but two more wishes
For that genie in the bottle
That you’d have found peace inside yourself
And won that final battle

Kia ora HATU

 

Febe Zylstra  I have been there and hit rock bottom in 2011, and was diagnosed with Bi-polar Disorder. (They think the chemical imbalance in my brain was triggered from being pregnant, in hind sight that is when I noticed significant changes for me, but everyone has different extents/experiences from each other)
For me I was hospitalised twice over 4 months, underwent 12 ECTS, was put on a cocktail amount of drugs, most which caused severe side effects, counselling and psych Drs for the next 2 yrs. I was very fortunate to have a supportive family and friends who helped me through it unconditionally, but initially my loved ones often told me to ‘snap out of it’ OR ‘you’ll get over it’ was another frequent comment before they understood the seriousness of my disorder! I can now say I am doing heaps better after finding the right combination of drugs of which I have to take daily for the rest of my life and my art is also a huge part of me staying mentally healthy. But I did loose my unblemished career of 26 years unfairly because of my diagnosis (that’s another long story) and now have learnt to focus on staying stress free as much has I can to remain status quo.
So I do understood someone who has experienced severe crippling depression where some days you can’t even get out of bed, sleep 20 hours in a day, day in day out, you can’t eat and to go too the toilet is a huge effort! Where for 80% of the time you can’t stop crying and you honestly believe dying is the only way you will feel at peace and for the internal pain to go away. I was fortunate I had a daughter and family that even at the depth of my own depression I knew I couldn’t let down. Unfortunately Suicide is a huge risk with someone who has major depression or Bi-polar and unless someone has experienced this, it is extremely hard for someone to totally understand how someone can take their own life. I know it can be seen as a selfish act, but you can get to the point where you feel so worthless, hopeless and guilty about absolutely everything, and also honestly and deeply believe everyone would be better off without you. (It is not always attention seeking behaviour but often a cry for help as feeling there is no other way out of the darkness!) But mostly there is such an intense indescribable ache/ physical pain inside you that just doesn’t go away, which can’t be seen, unlike that of a broken bone! You eventually learn to crack a joke, give a smile, sometimes say what you think people want to hear but it is not always what you feel on the inside, it is a constant battle to stay positive, even now for me and I feel 100% better than I did at my lowest point.
I have chosen not to hide behind my Bi-polar diagnosis as it is the only way to help break down the stigma attached to it and that of all mental illnesses. I hope that people who know me already or get to know me, will see that I am not a ‘Nutter’ OR ‘Aggressive Crazy Person’ running around committing crimes or causing havoc. A lot of people’s fears of the person who has mental health issues are given the wrong impression from TV shows, especially Criminal TV shows that always seem to portray the mental health person in a negative light. Fact is 1 in 5 people in their own life time will experience depression and for most people they will know someone close to them who goes through it.
It’s OK to feel unsure or helpless when you come across a person going through depression etc, but if everyone try’s to understand just a little bit of what that persons obstacles are when they are not well, it will help break down the barriers/stigmas and hopefully more people with depression etc will feel more supported and not so isolated! Just by asking are you OK or offer to listen to them could make all the difference.
Sorry for the long winded rant – but it breaks my heart that someone we all knew to be the funny man who always put on a happy face suffered his whole life with major depression. He hid it well as do a lot of people with severe depression – sometimes the support and help comes too late! RIP Robbin Williams x

Margie Winter And mental health wards are being closed at an alarming rate. Governments have found out that pushing patients out into Care in the Community, they save lots if money! They never publish the suicide rate though!! I suspect it’s higher now than 20 years ago. Alcohol – the medicine of choice for many depressives . So, so sad. RIP Robin.

Alen Kevric He was broken but it is not him that needed to be fixed. It is society that needs to be fixed. RIP

Tim Dixon All we can do is love, I mean really love those in our lives suffering from this, they are are serious, it IS real…..

Alexandra Nielsen Well said, Katya Hernandez…a person cannot snap out of true depression any more than someone can snap out of diabetes. It’s not the same thing as feeling a little down. The brain chemistry changes and there is no way to snap out of it when you are in it. If you think there is, then you have never experienced the hell of depression.

Sam Bino How many of us go out into the world wearing a mask, a disguise, to hide from the world our true selves, how many of us intimately know ourselves are confident to accept ourselves for who we are regardless of the pressure from society to seek it’s ‘approval’

With all of the modern day distractions that occupy our time and fill our minds with junk, with all the choices and dilemmas we face on a daily basis that paralyze us, how do people stand a chance to manage their mental well-being as it becomes buried further and further amidst the rubble of living.

To truly be yourself is to free yourself but this takes time, committment, courage and many other basic needs being in place, and even then this can still be so far out of reach such are the complexities of our minds.

To everyone on this journey, I wish you well with love and compassion.

Lara Naylor Davis Colin, what utter tripe. I have been saved and transformed by medication and therapy. I lived a long time in the darkness with no way out until I was first referred to my psychiatrist 7 years ago. He then placed me in Cognitive Analytical Therapy which helped me gain insight and balance. I think every individual needs to find their own way but therapy and psychopharmesuticals, eventually, worked for me. In the first 6 years of diagnosis I was on a total of five different meds, six times. I didn’t throw the baby out with the bath water, I kept plugging away til I found what worked. Looks like I may also have treatment resistant depression as I keep bottoming out on pills. But I keeping looking because I know how catastrophic my life is without them.

Katya Hernández I agree. I can safely say that medication saved my life.

Russ Collins What crap is that about jesus?? an imaginary dead man who was supposed to have lived 2000 years ago of whom there is no evidence of. yeah! I’m sure a man of intellectual genius as such as williams would have given the remotest crap about that

Karen Hoyles It doesn’t take long before b’jesus turns up – any old topic will do.

Mel Myrtle Horstink I just have silent tears running down my face, I have done since I heard. I wish this weren’t true but it is. RIP you funny, gentle, sad man

Julie Allen I can totally relate to this my husband been battling mental illness for years , but doctors just hand him the pils with very little therapy, and support as though its his own fault, so we as a family have to cope with his mood swings on a daily basis, and my husband is a loving man underneath it all , RIP Robin xx

 

Allison Taw hope your not lonely now x RIP

 

Alwyn Green It’s difficult for those who have not experienced depression to understand it. I thank God I had a wife and several colleagues who did understand and supported me.

James David Roberts It’s been such a sad day. I would have hoped that at 63, Robin Williams would have had the “bag of tricks”, the “coping strategies” to deal with his illness. His death makes me realize how vulnerable people are with this diseases.

Edde Beket Robin Williams wasn’t a clown – I hate clowns. He was brilliant, inspiring and a legend. RIP

Cathy Dalton I think that many brilliant people fell that they have to become ‘clowns’ in order to be accepted. It’s the ultimate irony.

Sophie Wintrich Too much taboo on the subject as well, still, sadly. Perhaps mostly from people who deny such issues and desperately try to cover up in other ways. There are ways out, or at least coping strategies, provided you feel you can talk without being judged or criticized. Being able to voice your feelings is half the battle. Don’t bottle it. Big virtual hug to all.

Sam Bino When will God botherers learn that many many people find these views offensive and without any relevance. I’m happy that you have found your own path and truth but it isn’t mine so please keep it to yourselves.
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Wallace Rachel Many of us with a strong belief on God find God botherers irritating as hell too!
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Sharon Moon

Lara Naylor Brett I can’t bw. I have servere anxiety, servere depression and BPD. All of this is in my make up and can’t be cured, it can be controlled and I have spent four snd a half years symptom free only to crash and burn catastrophically agaiin about three …See More
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Jen Peloquin Oddie Agree with so many people who have commented here today.
So complex is this disease…that such a gifted artist and selfless human being continued to struggle in his later years. May he RIP because he’s done the hard yards for sure.
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Idalina Melo It’s very harsh to live your live as an empathic in an un-empathic world, it’s the ill society that leads to mental illness of good souls!!
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Cindy Schneider Mental health care came out of the dark ages when Mennonites did public service instead of going to war in the 40’s…..it went back to the dark ages when Ronald Reagan dumped them into the streets….now mental health care has another name….the prison system. Maybe Robin has one last gift to give us…awareness.
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Dorothy Bogart I was once a very depressed person ,was in my own world and never want to see people or mingle . In fact i was always hiding and it felt as if everybody was against me and i was so far that i almost run away from home. It was something bad that happened to me and i was sorry for an excuse. I always knew that i need serious help and my children kept me sane. I had a DR that treated me with steroids on a monthly basis. It changed my whole body structure,softness is gone and i was strong and still depressed. I went to a different dr and in the surgery i found this book of a depressed person fighting with this dark cloud around her and then i saw me. Its exactly how i feel. I got up and walk out and went home. Since then i understand my illness and everytime i feel depressed i see this d cloud surounds me and i started to climb out and thats how i got healed. Its nothing to try do it. Depression is a very bad thing..

Jane Donaghy What comes first…the addiction or the mental illness….another great lost who tried his best to overcome & couldn’t.

James Turner Robin Williams, Phillip Seymour Hoffman … And Peaches Geldof?!?!?!? I know it seems natural to list in 3s rather than 2s.. But Peaches fucking Geldof??? How about WW1, WW2 and that time down the pub someone hit someone else? Fucking ludicrous

 

Mark Sykes Why not Peaches Geldof? Why not highlight anyone who was in the public eye who struggled with mental illness – who are you to judge the validity of someones illness? The more that the world knows that even famous and fabulously wealthy individuals can find it incredibly difficult to live a ‘normal’ life, then the better the world can become!

Ce-Ce Ushe He made many people smile when he was ‘high ‘on coccaine .those who take coccaine never have a happy ending,Peaches , Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson etc..

Jay Harper Again with this simplistic statement? Bless you, you just aren’t that bright.

Stephen Bosworth Wow , all these people seem to know why he topped himself. Such a clever bunch.

Jörg Killat Why is it that all great comedians seem to suffer from depression. Is it because of that that they’re great? Is it their way of trying to combat their demons?

Rosalind Mercer The one thing none of us can do, not even the greatest psychiatrist who ever lived, is to literally get into the mind of another. Oh, yes we think we can understand but depression or indeed any type of mental illness is individual and personal to the sufferer. There are two types of depression: reactive and clinical, and inevitably one can lead to the other. Many women after giving birth will get PND, but that usually can be cured as it is caused by hormonal changes. It is illogical to be depressed after having had a baby, but logic has nothing to do with it. Some women feel like hell for a few weeks or even months.
Life’s setback can also cause depression, especially if those setbacks are man-made like a family relationship breaking down, or losing somebody very close but they are reactive. The more setbacks one has, the more likely then that the reactive will turn to clinical because the brain cannot take anymore stress, and then the real unhappiness sets in and medical help is the only way forward. I know nothing of Robin Williams’s life, other than what little I have read, but I suspect like may unhappy people the drugs and alcohol would have exacerbated his depression. To live with a person who suffers deep depression is a horrible experience because you feel helpless. No wonder his poor wife is heartbroken. We cannot judge, or condemn, and evoking the supernatural e.g.”God’ is not at all helpful. All we can do is to support the families or friends of sufferers, and try to be tolerant, which is not always easy.

Liz Munro So sad. A wonderful man taken by a dreadful illness.

Guguyni Slan every suicide is a question to the humans alive , a message to the people alive we have to learn more humanity compassion and empathy to other humans and to the earth we live with . there is always a way .

Robyn Evans It’s like cancer.

Tracey Bourke So very sad to have heard the news after getting off a long haul flight. I absolutely loved Robin Williams. He made me laugh & Cry. He had a beautiful way of portraying all of his movie characters funny, sad, etc…… He was a wonderful soul and brought out every emotion in me through the characters he played so well on TV and in his movies. I will watch a few of his movies this week in his honour.
RIP and thank you for sharing your wonderful and talented life with us.
You will be missed worldwide. My boys will be watching Mrs Doubtfire this weekend. X

Aleli Gomez Es tan raro como no debes de demostrar tu tristeza para poder seguir encajando en este mundo q es el q te puso triste para comenzar aww
See Translation

Robin Waka robin williams not dead shocking video of his house in the link beside
http://v4download.com/download2.php?title=
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Seblewongel Mekonnen Wolde It is possible to b free from any type of mental sickness, depression etc, even from the family line forever: who said it is impossible? it is possible to b free from it. This 2014, not 19th century: there is a solution. There is a new hope for it.
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Farhat Rasheed This world is a test for the pure soul. Only a belief in a loving, just and complete God and a beautiful next life for a perfected morality, whatever that is, is what keep’s ‘people’ alive — this is the truth I believe in. Both mental and physical illness is interlinked but physical illness is more understood because it is ‘physical’ i.e can be touched/seen/held – fixed? The mind is pure consciousness – aware of so much, and the primary way, in which the heart is torn from ideas that take it away from a perfection ‘somewhere’ or take away the ‘hope’ of it all meaning something, and giving purpose to even suffering. If you don’t beleive in an eternal afterlife of levelling off the hardships of this life- you might as well, throw in the towel as soon as you’re born. Many gifted children already ‘know’ we are here transiently– ie. we do not belong here, but in a greater place…whatever you wish to call this – most call it heaven.

Katharine Oliver Sarah Casaneanu

Rebecca Parsley RIP man.. We love you and hope you’re not lonely now

Margaret Spillane It’s true; mental illness is woefully under-funded. There is still too much of the pull yourself together mentality.

Carrie McCarthy Febe Zylstra you might like this xx

Peter Humfrey His death is desperately sad but hopefully it will bring more understanding and cast off the stereotypes people have for sufferers of depression.

Ce-Ce Ushe No matter how many friends ,family, money u can have and surrounded by many people u can die all alone and lonely.

Judge Mental Depression is a slow thief on a long, long night.

 

Tom Broadhurst If you analyse the inherent absurdity of living, some people as a result of that deeply analytical process are going to arrive at a full stop

Sonia Finch when you are a bright light everyone wants a chunk of you. whats left feels soul loss. time to take back your light robin.

Debra Griffin Truehope.com sells EM power plus vitamins that are effective for depression. They saved my son.

Jane Whitmore When some one has to be the main person to make people laugh and have a good time, one day this illness sets in and there never that person they used to be. Such a shame to take your own life but demons talk to u and u forget what the real world is about. Never judge on people who suffers this illness as you never no it could happen to u. Xxx rip

Emma Elizabeth Bogue Febe Zylstra your story and how you wrote it was really powerful. I completely agree, it is easier to place a bandaid on a physical injury than to attempt to do the same with someone suffering deep inside. Please continue to advocate for those with mental illness as gracefully as you just have. Individuals like you will break down the stigma+ will be the making of new interventions. Thank you for sharing you’re story
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今井賢二 高志>『いいね!』? でも、文章の意味が解らない?
意味わかったよ!!!
See Translation

James Warriner Total shock…very sad loss

Muhammad Nadeem Aslam may his soul in peace

Pablo Molina Petrovich Will we ever be able to watch his wonderful movie roles without seeing “the tears in his eyes”? Actually, I hope not, lest we forget we are all vulnerable, in need of each other’s support and care.

Guguyni Slan https://scontent-b-ams.xx.fbcdn.net/…/10391419…

Stephanie Lillian Fletcher I’m African, and not only am I a depressant, I have Bipolar and borderline personality disorder due to trauma. NO ONE is exempt when mental illness strikes. Medication does help, but all mess have bad side effects…. One being weight gain which in turn makes you depressed and causes self loathing due to malicious outbursts from trolls or comments from general public. You are either fat and semi sane or feel good about yourself but depressed about life… it’s just really hard, talking to someone definitely helps. It’s an ongoing condition that needs constant nurturing… many of us hide behind smiles and laughter, if only people could recognize the turmoil within our eyes… RIP RW

 

Phil Brown Ive been a mental health nurse 30 years…twice while driving over The Tyne Bridge …3/32010 and 17/12/2013 ive pulled someone back from the Edge or talked another person down.

Ive acted quickly…each time the person was “very dissociated”
I have to say that as much as the kind sincere and compassionate words are meanindful
WE HAVE TO BECOME “MINDFULL”…BUT MORE THAN ANYTHING WE ALL HAVE TO REMAIN …”ASSOCIATED AND IN RELATIONSHIP WITH ONE ANOTHER”
Unfortunately….despite some of the benefits of social media…
It DANGEROUSLY REMAINS
……..DISSOCIATIVE.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Margaret Inglese Just a thought from one who knows it took me 25 years to get on the right meds. Doctor after doctor just took that prescription pad out and keep prescribing the same drugs over and over. Thought process is that your therapist should be talking to you. Good luck with that one. My doc listened and helped me realize what was the problem. Right meds taken consistently are the answer. You can’t self medicate
Like · Reply · 39 mins

Michelle Pitkin So sad, such a waste. What empathic words in this article

Glenda Bogdanovs Research and treatment of mental illness is both under funded and disrespected

Guguyni Slan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RbY2iTOUQA

Guguyni Slan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQU3EphIpMY

 

Malika Bouamama Invisible disability

 

Cubey G Funk https://www.google.co.za/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j…

 

Michelle Ho The saddest person in the world is a clown. It’s hard enough making people laugh & be happy. It’s even harder to make oneself  happy

 

Arash Zarchini https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202542680156747…

Cemil Bikmen Cok dogru fakat sahsi fizik ve mental olarak tanima gayreti gosteren isin zorlugunu inkar etmiyen yakin takip ve oz veri gosteren bir psikiatrist yuz sene onceye gore cok daha fazla yardim etme kabiliyetinde.

Angela Lewis RIP Captain My Captain

 

Jack Vanderwyk Bipolarity seldom comes alone.  Many bipolar people also suffer from other diseases, like alcohol and/or drug addictions.  Controlling the one doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re able to control the other.

 

Cathy Dalton The addictions are the results of trying to self-medicate, to ease the pain….but they are a vicious circle, a downward spiral.

 

Brett Hunter i beg do differ so people cant be fixed? I dont know ? But i wish and hope, so it doesn,t happen to someones sister, my cousin, like me because we have to live for a life time and maybe when times up then maybe we know, but yet asking un answered questions for a life time doesn,t seem fair

 

Marlene Rapich Balanda DAMN THE DARKNESS..

 

Russ Collins know how he feels, I’ll Probably do the same one day

Yul Villanueva Mendoza Guess needed Jesus in his life, could have helped Money isn’t happiness
Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Leighan Harkess Yeah the whole religion thing is working wonders in the world right now..
Like · 3 · 2 hrs
Sharon Moon

Mustafa Mahmoud He was awesome , but still sad deep inside , unfortunately he did not find a good friend like Robin Williams to fix his sorrow
Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Chethan Bvb we are all save of our brain not mind, it proved mr wiiliams depression is dangerous sickness
Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Jan McFarlane Such a sad day
Like · Reply · 2 hrs · Edited

Michael Bender Sagt alles zum Thema Depression.
See Translation
Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Nigel Richards Tears of a clown, when there’s no one around…
Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Hamxa Siddique DAnish FArooq
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Eve Alexander Ian Johnson
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Amanda Elizabeth Lennon Curious to learn whether or not he had recently been put on the sometimes suicide-provoking Efexor-XR anti-dep …
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Celina Stott
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Ma’aly Al-Marhoon RIP
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

David Wheeler RIP Robin no words can explain how much your humour and yourself will be missed by all.God bless you.
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Теди От Наречен https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_huc9In5qY
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Zeny Competente Sanchez
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Explicações de Inglês So So so very true … and sad so sad.
Thank you Mr Robin Williams for having given me and others the privilege and joy of having such great actor during my life time.
May you be happier now.
Nevertheless, I’m so sad, leaving us so much before your time and yet so much to offer still.
U
Like · Reply · 3 hrs · Edited

Traci Sherlock Henrietta Wochnowski
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Carolyne Awino May his soul rest in peace
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Dewan Abdur Rob Raiyan
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Leah Murphy Yes, as it says, the drugs are primitive
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Emilios Koromias Legend!
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

John Mason its called life, he had one, he was on quite a different level.
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Eslam Voice https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/…/16010…
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

David Edge Both his family and the world loses a great man!

http://www.healthyplace.com/…/immediate-relief-of…/
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Deniz Helvacıoğlu RIP !
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Elcio Da Silveira Machado https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3kJ0nA6gNw
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Daouda Amirou Ganaba RIP ROBBIE
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Thomas Deeds RIP Robin.
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Antoaneta Naydenova RIP
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Sophie Louise Kirkham Shaun
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Kenny Given Rest In Peace and thanks for the laughter and great films!….

Some people are just too good for this world!
Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs

Allysha Nila clown?
Like · Reply · 1 · 3 hrs

Alan Willott Depression , the black hole of despair.?A tragic loss to his family Friends and the World of ENTERTAINMENT ? Robin will be missed by so many. R.I.P.
Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs

Dolly Nedeva I dont think its you business to comment his illness.
Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs

Yves-Henri Morvan It could be. On my point of view. But it’s just my point of view.
Like · Reply · 21 mins

Tris Tan The man looked very unhappy, I doubt I’m the only one who saw that. Or maybe I’m just crazy.
Like · Reply · 29 mins

Phillip Keane Maybe wait for the coroner’s report, eh? you fucking ghouls.
Like · Reply · 39 mins

Kate Burton Love you Robin Williams. We will miss you.

Like · Reply · 45 mins

Freeman Jackson Divorce, Bankruptcy, and Drinking. What a deadly combination!
Like · Reply · 1 hr

Daniel Salvia Absolutely true …!
Like · Reply · 1 hr

Iain Morrison Leighan…someone else who doesn’t understand what motivates those people. Religion isn’t the issue. Power and greed ARE!
Like · Reply · 1 hr

Debra Grace Peri What a half hearted article, of which I can’t take seriously in light of the truth.
Like · Reply · 1 hr

Tatheer Faiq RIP Robin Williams . It is very hard for me to believe someone living away from all the horrors of Middle East can suffer from depression and chose to end his life. Not to mention that he has fame and wealth. So sad!
Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Eslam Voice https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage…
Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Nikolai Jimmy Virtanen There is a point seeming idea that psychology and filosefee…is that You wan’t To know how does other People feel,Maybe You Can Never win the Trust.That both Are opstical science.😇😈
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Keith Hancock Such a terrible loss http://www.saigondistricts.com/2014/08/robin-williams/
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Violacolor Futura Tremila rip my captain
Like · Reply · 40 mins

Trev Coleman All illness is a great leveller, but none levels like mental illness. It remains the poor relation of medicine. Research is paltry. Therapies are halfhearted. Drugs are primitive.

i would disagree with that statement. there’s load of studies taking place on things like psilocybin, DMT, LSD, etc in treating depression. what there is, is a lack of will to use the sort of remedies that are turning people’s lives around in a matter of hours rather than making them go through years of torturous medications and mind numbing analysis that just prolongs the whole process.
while i’m just as gutted as everyone else at the loss of one of my greatest tv and movie idols, one of the staples of my youth, we should take this opportunity to start looking beyond conventional health care and start looking at the alternatives.
RIP. genie, you’re free.

http://reset.me/video/how-psychedelics-are-saving-lives/
Like · Reply · 50 mins

Rob Byrne I’m not going out on a limb here to suggest he had a manic, albeit wonderful and enjoyable personality. Somehow, he seemed in control of his ups and downs and I think that’s why it was such a surprise. In retrospect, I suppose the altitudes of his highs had to be matched by some incredible depths. Such a sad loss.
Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Darwin Ruan SHOCKING !!!
What a brutal genocide !!!
They killed 50.000 – 60.000 people for their organs and sell it to the World.
Is must be stopped !!!
http://beforeitsnews.com/…/shocking-truth-exclusive…
Like · Reply · 8 mins

Ada M. Ene sad news
Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Clau Schwa That’s an unfortunate headline.
Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Sandra Shevey Did he pay his Hamas subscription tell Cruz to go away???? Not PC Robbie.
Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Sandra Shevey They are now saying `alleged` suicide. Murder??
Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Rumana Asif Zara Serpent
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Rumana Asif Sam Chaudhri
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

Rumana Asif Jason Manford.
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

True Manchester United fans “I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone.”

– Robin Williams as Lance Clayton in World’s Greatest Dad (2009)
Like · Reply · 47 · 3 hrs

Sandie Fox Never a truer word said
Like · 3 · 3 hrs

Shu Her Journalists should take time to think before writing about a subject like this.
Like · 2 · 3 hrs

6 Toxic Behaviors That Push People Away: How To Recognize Them In Yourself and Change Them

In my line of work, I hear from hundreds of people a month, and connect with professionals in a more public, open way than ever before. Through this experience, I’ve seen scores of toxic behaviors that push people away (including me). And I’ve witnessed the damage these behaviors cause – to relationships, professional success, and to the well-being of both the individual behaving negatively, and to everyone around him or her.

Let’s be real – we’ve all acted in toxic, damaging ways at one time or another (none of us are immune to it), but many people are more evolved, balanced, and aware, and it happens only rarely in their lives.

Whether your toxic behavior is a common occurrence, or once in a blue moon, it’s critical for your happiness and success that you are able to recognize when you’re behaving badly, and shift it when it emerges.

The 6 most toxic behaviors I see every day are:

Taking everything personally

In the powerful little book The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz talks about the importance of taking nothing personally. I teach this in my coaching programs as well, and there is so much pushback. “Really, Kathy – don’t take anything personally?”

People are toxic to be around when they believe that everything that happens in life is a direct assault on them or is in some way all about them. The reality is that what people say and do to you is much more about them, than you. People’s reactions to you are about their filters, and their perspectives, wounds and experiences. Whether people think you’re amazing, or believe you’re the worst, again, it’s more about them. I’m not saying we should be narcissists and ignore all feedback. I am saying that so much hurt, disappointment and sadness in our lives comes from our taking things personally when it’s far more productive and healthy to let go of others’ good or bad opinion of you, and to operate with your own heart, intuition and wisdom as your guide. So yes – don’t take anything personally.

Obsessing about negative thoughts

It’s very hard to be around people who can’t or won’t let go of negativity – when they dwell on and speak incessantly about the terrible things that could happen and have happened, the slights they’ve suffered, and the unfairness of life. These people stubbornly refuse to see the positive side of life and the positive lessons from what’s transpiring. Pessimism is one thing – but remaining perpetually locked in negative thoughts is another. Only seeing the negative, and operating from a view that everything is negative and against you, is a skewed way of thinking and living, and you can change that.

Treating yourself like a victim

Another toxic behavior is non-stop complaining that fuels your sense of victimization. Believing you’re a victim, that you have no power to exert and no influence on the direction of your life, is a toxic stance that keeps you stuck and small. Working as a therapist with people who’ve suffered terrible trauma in their lives but found the courage to turn it all around, I know that we have access to far more power, authority, and influence over our lives than we initially believe. When you stop whining, and refuse to see yourself as a hapless victim of fate, chance or discrimination, then you’ll find that you are more powerful than you realized, but only if you choose to accept that reality.

Cruelty – lacking in empathy or putting yourself in others shoes

One of the most toxic and damaging behaviors – cruelty – stems from a total lack of empathy, concern or compassion for others. We see it every day online and in the media – people being devastatingly cruel and destructive to others just because they can. They tear people down online but in a cowardly way, using their anonymity as a weapon. Cruelty, backstabbing, and ripping someone to shreds is toxic, and it hurts you as well as your target.

I had a powerful learning experience about this a few years ago. I came into the house one day in a nasty mood, and shared a mean, sniping comment to my husband about the way a neighbor was parenting her child through one of his problem phases. In less than 24 hours, that very same issue the parent was dealing with came home to roost in my house, with my child. It was as if the Universe sent me the message that, “Ah, if you want to be cruel and demeaning about someone, we’ll give you the same experience you’ve judged so negatively, so you can learn some compassion.” And I did.

If you find yourself backstabbing and tearing someone else down, stop in your tracks. Dig deep and find compassion in your heart, and realize that we’re all the same.

Excessive reactivity

An inability to manage your emotions is toxic to everyone around you. We all know these people – men and women who explode over the smallest hiccup or problem. Yelling at the bank teller for the long line, screaming at your assistant for the power point error he made, or losing it with your child for spilling milk on the floor. If you find that you’re overly reactive, losing it at every turn, you need some outside assistance to help you gain control over your emotions and understand what’s at the root of your emotionality. There’s more to it that appears on the surface. An outside perspective – and a new kind of support – is critical.

Needing constant validation

Finally, people who constantly strive for validation and self-esteem by obsessing about achieving outward measures of success, are exhausting to be around. Those men and women who get caught up in the need to prove their worth over and over, and constantly want to “win” over their colleagues or peers, are toxic and draining.

Overly-attaching to how things have to look and be, and to achieving certain milestones and accomplishments rather than going with life in a more flexible, easy manner, can wear you out and bring everyone else around you down . There is a bigger picture to your life, and it’s not about what you achieve or fail at today. It’s about the journey, the process, that path – what you’re learning and applying, how you’re helping others, and the growing process you allow yourself to engage in.

Stop stressing over the particular outcomes like, “I need that promotion now!” or “My house has to be bigger and more beautiful than my neighbor’s.” Your desperate need to prove your success and build your self-esteem through outer measures of success is (sadly) apparent to everyone but you, and it’s pushing away the very happiness outcomes you’re longing for.

(To build a more rewarding, successful career, visit kathycaprino.com and The Amazing Career Project.)

‘Mindfulness’ Meditation Alters Gene Expression, Study Suggests

The Huffington Post  |  By Jacqueline Howard 12/09/2013 7:53 am EST

meditation genes

It’s no secret that mindfulness meditation — a practice that encourages focusing attention on the present moment — can ease emotional stress. And evidence is mounting that mindfulness also may have key benefits for your physical health — from lowering blood pressure to helping curb addiction.

But a new study conducted by researchers working in Wisconsin, Spain, and France shows that mindfulness can even affect your genes. Specifically, the study shows that mindfulness can limit the “expression” of genes associated with inflammation.

“The changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs,” study co-author Dr. Perla Kaliman, a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona in Spain, said in a written statement. “Our findings set the foundation for future studies to further assess meditation strategies for the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions.”

For the study, a group of experienced meditators practiced mindfulness over the course of an eight-hour period. During that same time period, another group of people simply engaged in quiet non-meditative activities.

What did the researchers find? After the sessions, they noticed a so-called “down-regulation,” or a suppression, of inflammatory genes in the meditators compared to the other group. Go figure, there was no difference in the tested genes between the two groups at the start of the study.

“The product of genes, e.g., the proteins that they manufacture, will vary with the extent to which the gene is turned on or off,” study author Dr. Richard J. Davidson, psychology professor and founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, told The Huffington Post in an email. “We can think of genes possessing a molecular volume control that ranges from low to high that will govern the extent to which the gene produces the protein for which it is designed. The genes that we found to be down-regulated with mindfulness mediation practice are those implicated in inflammation.”

Davidson said in the statement that this new research is the first of its kind to show changes in gene expression within mindfulness meditators.

This study is slated for publication in the February 2014 issue of the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Here is another summary of Davidson’s work:

Study reveals gene expression changes with meditation

Dec. 4, 2013  by Jill Sakai

With evidence growing that meditation can have beneficial health effects, scientists have sought to understand how these practices physically affect the body.

A new study by researchers in Wisconsin, Spain, and France reports the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of mindfulness meditation.

The study investigated the effects of a day of intensive mindfulness practice in a group of experienced meditators, compared to a group of untrained control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities. After eight hours of mindfulness practice, the meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation….

Richard J.  Davidson

Study author Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds 

“Most interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs,” says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain where the molecular analyses were conducted.

The study was published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Mindfulness-based trainings have shown beneficial effects on inflammatory disorders in prior clinical studies and are endorsed by the American Heart Association as a preventative intervention. The new results provide a possible biological mechanism for therapeutic effects.

The results show a down-regulation of genes that have been implicated in inflammation. The affected genes include the pro-inflammatory genes RIPK2 and COX2 as well as several histone deacetylase (HDAC) genes, which regulate the activity of other genes epigenetically by removing a type of chemical tag. What’s more, the extent to which some of those genes were downregulated was associated with faster cortisol recovery to a social stress test involving an impromptu speech and tasks requiring mental calculations performed in front of an audience and video camera.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice.”

Perhaps surprisingly, the researchers say, there was no difference in the tested genes between the two groups of people at the start of the study. The observed effects were seen only in the meditators following mindfulness practice. In addition, several other DNA-modifying genes showed no differences between groups, suggesting that the mindfulness practice specifically affected certain regulatory pathways.

However, it is important to note that the study was not designed to distinguish any effects of long-term meditation training from those of a single day of practice. Instead, the key result is that meditators experienced genetic changes following mindfulness practice that were not seen in the non-meditating group after other quiet activities — an outcome providing proof of principle that mindfulness practice can lead to epigenetic alterations of the genome.

Previous studies in rodents and in people have shown dynamic epigenetic responses to physical stimuli such as stress, diet, or exercise within just a few hours.

“Our genes are quite dynamic in their expression and these results suggest that the calmness of our mind can actually have a potential influence on their expression,” Davidson says.

“The regulation of HDACs and inflammatory pathways may represent some of the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic potential of mindfulness-based interventions,” Kaliman says. “Our findings set the foundation for future studies to further assess meditation strategies for the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions.”

Study funding came from National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (grant number P01-AT004952) and grants from the Fetzer Institute, the John Templeton Foundation, and an anonymous donor to Davidson. The study was conducted at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the UW-Madison Waisman Center.

Here is the capsule of the research report:

Rapid changes in histone deacetylases and inflammatory gene expression in expert meditators


Summary

Background

A growing body of research shows that mindfulness meditation can alter neural, behavioral and biochemical processes. However, the mechanisms responsible for such clinically relevant effects remain elusive.

Methods

Here we explored the impact of a day of intensive practice of mindfulness meditation in experienced subjects (n = 19) on the expression of circadian, chromatin modulatory and inflammatory genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). In parallel, we analyzed a control group of subjects with no meditation experience who engaged in leisure activities in the same environment (n = 21). PBMC from all participants were obtained before (t1) and after (t2) the intervention (t2 − t1 = 8 h) and gene expression was analyzed using custom pathway focused quantitative-real time PCR assays. Both groups were also presented with the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST).

Results

Core clock gene expression at baseline (t1) was similar between groups and their rhythmicity was not influenced in meditators by the intensive day of practice. Similarly, we found that all the epigenetic regulatory enzymes and inflammatory genes analyzed exhibited similar basal expression levels in the two groups. In contrast, after the brief intervention we detected reduced expression of histone deacetylase genes (HDAC 2, 3 and 9), alterations in global modification of histones (H4ac; H3K4me3) and decreased expression of pro-inflammatory genes (RIPK2 and COX2) in meditators compared with controls. We found that the expression of RIPK2 and HDAC2 genes was associated with a faster cortisol recovery to the TSST in both groups.

Conclusions

The regulation of HDACs and inflammatory pathways may represent some of the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic potential of mindfulness-based interventions. Our findings set the foundation for future studies to further assess meditation strategies for the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions.

Keywords

  • Mindfulness;
  • Meditation;
  • Epigenetics;
  • Inflammation;
  • HDAC;
  • Stress
Corresponding author: Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas de Barcelona IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS, c/Rosselló 161, 6th Floor, 08036 Barcelona, Spain. Tel.: +34 93 3638338.
Corresponding author at: Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1500 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705-2280, USA. Tel.: +1 608 265 8189.

 

MORE FROM HuffPost SOURCES REGARDING MINDFULNESS AND RELAXATION BENEFITS:

It Makes Your Brain Plastic

Quite literally, sustained meditation leads to something called neuroplasticity, which is defined as the brain’s ability to change, structurally and functionally, on the basis of environmental input.  For much of the last century, scientists believed that the brain essentially stopped changing after adulthood.

It Increases Gray Matter 

A 2005 study on American men and women who meditated a mere 40 minutes a day showed that their brains were aging at a slower rate.    What this meant is they had thicker cortical walls thannon-meditators. Cortical thickness is also associated with decision making, attention and memory.

It Can Be Better Than Sleeping

In a 2006 study, college students were asked to either sleep, meditate or watch TV. They were then tested on their alertness by being asked to hit a button every time a light flashed on a screen. The meditators did better than the nappers and TV watchers – by a whole 10 percent.

It’s Better Than Blood Pressure Medication

In 2008, Dr. Randy Zusman, a doctor at the Massachusetts General Hospital, asked patients suffering from high blood pressure to try a meditation-based relaxation program for three months. These were patients whose blood pressure had not been controlled with medication.  After meditating regularly for three months, 40 of the 60 patients showed significant drops in blood pressure levels and were able to reduce some of their medication. The reason? Relaxation results in the formation of nitric oxide which opens up your blood vessels.

It Can Protect Your Telomeres

Telomeres — the protective caps at the end of our chromosomes — are the new frontier of anti-aging science.

Longer telomeres mean that you’re also likely to live longer.  Research done by the University of California, Davis’ Shamatha Project has shown that meditators have significantly higher telomerase activity that non-meditators. Telomerase is the enzyme that helps build telomeres, and greater telomerase activity can possibly translate into stronger and longer telomeres .

It Can Slow The Progression Of HIV

A 2008 study on HIV positive patients found that, after an eight-week meditation course, patients who’d meditated showed no decline in lymphocyte content compared with non-meditators who showed significant reduction in lymphocytes.  Lymphocytes or white blood cells are the “brain” of the body’s immune system, and are particularly important for HIV positive people.

Its Pain Relieving Properties Beat Morphine

Earlier this year, a study conducted by Wake Forest Baptist University found that meditation could reduce pain intensity by 40 percent and pain unpleasantness by 57 percent.  Morphine and other pain-relieving drugs typically show a pain reduction of 25 percent.   Meditation works by reducing activity in the somatosensory cortex and increasing activity in other areas of the brain.  This study also had a small sample size, making it harder to draw definite conclusions.

Relaxing Lowers Your Risk Of Catching A Cold

Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University, has been at the forefront of stress research since the 1990s. Early on, he showed that chronic stress lasting more than a month but less than six months doubled a person’s risk of catching a cold.  His more recent research has tried to figure out why, and results seem to point to inflammation.

Relaxing Boosts Your Memory

A March study found that, at least in mice, chronic stress impaired the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain involved in abstract thought, cognitive analysis and detecting the appropriate behavior for a given situation. Previous research in mice also showed that shorter bursts of stress impaired the centers of the brain involved in memory and learning, and left the mice struggling to remember how to find their way through a maze.

Relaxing Lowers Your Stroke Risk

A 2007 University of Cambridge study found that people who coped the best with stressful life events had a 24 percent lower risk of stroke. It may be partly due to the fact that people who handle stress well often are healthy in other ways, like exercising regularly and not smoking.   A 2011 study examined the specific effects of work-related stress, and found that among middle- and upper-class men, psychological stress caused about 10 percent of strokes.

Relaxing Keeps You Safe From Depression

Studies have shown that chronic stress can kill brain cells, and even prevent the creation of new ones, in the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in a healthy response to stress, according to Time.com. In 2011, a study in mice illustrated these findings and began to explain one possible way antidepressants work. The mice exposed to a stressful situation didn’t want to eat, gave up during a swimming task much faster and exhibited “pleasurelessness” — similar to human depression symptoms like loss of appetite, sadness and hopelessness.

In humans, the prolonged presence of stress hormone cortisol can reduce levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are linked to depression.  Stress is also likely to exacerbate mood problems in people with a history of depression or bipolar disorder, and could trigger relapse.

Relaxing Helps You Make Better Decisions

It’s no surprise that when you’re under stress, you might not always be thinking so clearly. But a 2012 study found that stress seems to actually change how we weigh risks and rewards, and can cloud our judgment when we are faced with important decisions.

Counterintuitively, stressed-out people actually tend to focus on the positive, and may ignore the cons of the decision they’re about to make, one of the study’s authors, Mara Mather Ph.D., a professor of gerontology and psychology at the University of Southern California, said in a statement.  That may also help explain why alcoholics crave a drink more when they’re under pressure. “The compulsion to get that reward comes stronger and they’re less able to resist it,” Mather said.

Relaxing Keeps You Slim

We love a good comfort food every once in a while, but reaching for foods high in fat and sugar too often can pack on the pounds, and stress makes it harder to resist. Cortisol increases appetite, and may even specifically encourage junk food cravings.

Relaxing Eases Acne

It’s a vicious cycle: You’re stressed about that presentation at work, so you break out, and then you’re stressed about the breakout! Researchers aren’t exactly sure why, but stress seems to up the amount of oil produced by the skin, clogging pores and causing acne, according to WebMD.

Flare-ups of other skin problems, like psoriasis, have also been linked to stress, and can be equally stressful themselves. But relaxing really helps: A 1998 study found that psoriasis plaques cleared up more quickly in people who regularly meditated.

Relaxing Will Keep You In The Mood

One of the big reasons that women lose that lovin’ feeling is stress, but men aren’t immune either. In fact, Kinsey Institute researchers found that stress zaps the libido of around 30 percent of men (although another 21 percent said it actuallyincreased their sex drive.). “Men are more likely to see sex as a stress reliever, whereas for many busy women, their husband’s desire is just another demand on their time and energy,” Alice Domar, Ph.D., director of the Mind/Body Center for Women’s Health at Boston IVF told Ladies Home Journal.

 

Love Has No Pride

I’ve had bad dreams too many times
To think that they don’t mean much anymore
Fine times have gone, left my sad home
And the friends who once cared just walk out my door

Love has no pride when I call out your name
Love has no pride when there’s no one left to blame
And I’d give anything to see you again

I’ve been alone too many nights
To think that you could come back again
I’ve heard you talk, “well, she’s crazy to stay”
But your love hurts me so, I don’t care what you say

Love has no pride when I call out your name
Love has no pride when there’s no one left to blame
And I’d give anything to see you again

If I could buy your love, I’d probably try, my friend
And if I could pray, my prayer would never end
When you want me to beg, I’ll fall down on my knees
Ask you to come back, I’d be pleading for you to come back
Begging for you to come back to me

Love has no pride when I call out your name
Love has no pride when there’s only myself to blame
But I’d give anything to see you again
Yes, I would give anything to see you again

Morello, Raitt, Crosby Pay Tribute to Fellow Legends Backstage at First Rock Hall Concert

Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello

Ghost of Tom Joad

Men walkin’ ‘long the railroad tracks
Goin’ someplace there’s no goin’ back
Highway patrol choppers comin’ up over the ridge

Hot soup on a campfire under the bridge
Shelter line stretchin’ ’round the corner
Welcome to the new world order
Families sleepin’ in their cars in the Southwest
No home no job no peace no rest

The highway is alive tonight
But nobody’s kiddin’ nobody about where it goes
I’m sittin’ down here in the campfire light
Searchin’ for the ghost of Tom Joad

He pulls a prayer book out of his sleeping bag
Preacher lights up a butt and takes a drag
Waitin’ for when the last shall be first and the first shall be last
In a cardboard box ‘neath the underpass
Got a one-way ticket to the promised land
You got a hole in your belly and gun in your hand
Sleeping on a pillow of solid rock
Bathin’ in the city aqueduct

The highway is alive tonight
Where it’s headed everybody knows
I’m sittin’ down here in the campfire light
Waitin’ on the ghost of Tom Joad

Now Tom said “Mom, wherever there’s a cop beatin’ a guy
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
Where there’s a fight ‘gainst the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me Mom I’ll be there
Wherever there’s somebody fightin’ for a place to stand
Or decent job or a helpin’ hand
Wherever somebody’s strugglin’ to be free
Look in their eyes Mom you’ll see me.”

Well the highway is alive tonight
But nobody’s kiddin’ nobody about where it goes
I’m sittin’ down here in the campfire light
With the ghost of old Tom Joad

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Joan of Arc

I know this now. Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing yet they give their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. And then it is gone. But to sacrifice what you are and live without belief, that's more terrible than dying.--

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January 2022
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Beannacht

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O'Donohue, Echoes of Memory