When I heard the news of Robin Williams’ suicide, I felt very sad. I was ready for the media and society to blame him for his death. Instead, I hear themes such as he was a man who was killed by an illness. He gave so much to this world, so much happiness and humor, and it is very tragic to lose him to a mental illness.

I can only hope that because of his death there can be more awareness of both the prevalence of mental illnesses as well as their possible severity. A mental illness is just like a “physical illness.” You cannot wish it away. They do not exist because of a weak character.

Mental illnesses cause much suffering and can kill people. I hope that the death of a great man who likely had bipolar disorder will shed light on the seriousness of mental illnesses and erase some of the stigma surrounding them.

Thank you for printing the news about his death as just the facts to allow readers to come to their own conclusions about the nature of his death.

Monica Alborg, M.D.

Falmouth