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Suicide: Cowardly or Courageous?

Suicide: Cowardly or Courageous?

With the heartbreaking news of Robin Williams’ death on Monday 11th August, everyone has climbed onto their social-soapboxes to offer an opinion on the nature of his passing. Suicide is often described as a ‘cowards way out’ and that has never sat right with me. To even contemplate taking your own life is a dark and dangerous thought that rarely enters the heads of most people, and if it does is quickly pushed away with horror. To make a decision that, that is your only solution to whatever problems and issues you may be facing in life, to plan it out, to carry it out, knowing the devastating impact it will have on your friends and loved ones and still believing it is your only option, must come from a place that I feel so lucky never to have visited.

So when confronted with the opinions of Facebook friends that Robin Williams was a ‘coward’ or ‘selfish’ because he had three children and a wife, I just think even more so how desperate he must have been. And where is the compassion, the support and the pity for someone who was battling with all-consuming depression? For people out there contemplating suicide as their only escape from whatever demons they are facing? Robin Williams’ family have attributed nothing but kind and supportive words about their father/husband, why are we (the public) so quick to label him contemptuously? Would we be so quick if it was our own loved one who was suffering?

Yes, he was a parent and with that comes responsibility. But with responsibility comes guilt, every parent knows that. And if you couldn’t provide for your children, whether it is emotionally or financially, for a sufferer of depression that guilt can quickly manifest into extreme behaviour.

Robin Williams’ suicide was a result of depression. Depression is an illness, and being ill in any form requires support, love and most of all courage.

Rest In Peace.


  • Nobody has the right to judge someone until they have faced it themselves.
    That’s the society we live in unfortunately. We are all quick to judge without thinking or knowing the bigger picture.
    I don’t think suicide is either cowardly OR courageous, but I will never understand what someone must be feeling/going through unless it happens to me.
    I for one feel pain for people who feel it is the only way out.

    • Joy Cassidy says:

      Totally agree Kristi, I wouldn’t say the act of suicide is a courageous one but to battle demons and consider options no matter how tragic certainly requires bravery x

  • Very well written. There’s been a lot of ill-warranted drama hanging round in the air since Robin Williams’ death. The bottom line is, his family should be allowed to grieve in peace, and it’s nobody’s place to say whether what he did is right or wrong.

  • Poppy Rose says:

    Depression is a lonely place, you think you should be strong and beat it, become the life and soul of the party to overcome it, hope that no one notices you’re ‘weird’ because of it. A very hidden disease unfortunately, it’s good it’s getting more attention, hopefully it will become less of a stigma.

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