Social media has been abuzz with shocking news comedian and actor Robin Williams was found dead Monday at his Northern California; an apparent suicide (the Marin County Sheriff’s Office believe the cause of death was asphyxia).
The sheriff's office said they received a 911 call reporting reporting a male adult had been found unconscious and not breathing inside a home in Tiburon, Calif. EMT arrived and pronounced him dead at 12:02 p.m.
Derric Glass, a returning citizen who lives in Prince Georges County, said he was shocked and surprised when he saw several Facebook and Twitter feeds announcing Robin Williams' passing.
"I was seriously surprised," he said. "Robin Williams was a funny dude and had performed in movies and TV shows that have shaped pop culture in America."
Glass says that he remembers when he was younger he watched Mork & Mindy with his siblings, and says that when he had the unfortunate circumstance of being incarcerated for the first time he had an opportunity to see Mrs. Doubtfire, during a movie nite event.
"I watched that movie and left from the beginning all the way to the end," Glass recalls.
The legendary entertainment professional's publicist stated Williams was "battling severe depression" in the time before his death.
Glass went on to say, "While I'm sad to hear about Williams passing, I hope people will take an even closer look at depression. His passing only shows that sometimes the happiest people on the outside are far from happy on the inside."
Derric Glass also says that lack of happiness often dwells inside those who have been incarcerated. He also has suffered from depression while he was imprisoned and since he has released some 10 years ago. He mentioned that people tend to say those who are in prison or have been to prison can easily get out of depression by simply getting a job and working hard every day. Glass believe that depression is a real silent killer.
"Depression is something that can sneak up on you gradually, overtime," he mentioned. "I wasn't noticing my depression until I feel like I was deep in it. There are still days where the last thing on my mind is to be around people and socialize, but I know that I have to because I have to eat and I have to live."
He further said that part of the problem in dealing with depression is people sometimes think returning citizens are making using it as an excuse for them not working hard or staying out of trouble.
"People know when you are released from prison that you have to start over, but, I mean… you really have to start over because you don't have anything. No money, no job, nowhere really to live but you can call your own; you just don't have anything."
Glass remembers when he first got out of prison he had no proper support system and was not properly treating his depression. This led him to making some poor decisions and returning to prison 2 1/2 years later. After 22 months he was released and was right back where he started because he began a relationship with a woman who didn't believe his depression issues were as serious as he claimed. This led to continue his arguments and after nine months they broke up; that "stinkin' thinkin'" reemerged and he eventually violated his probation. He was sent to a sanction house for 90 days, but upon release he was connected with a group of people who were able to help him in his recovery from incarceration and put him on the road to positive thinking; which led to a full-time job and stable housing.
He added that anyone with any common sense would know when you are faced with all those situations and you're dealing with a national culture of reentry that is designed to put returning citizens back in jail, then it makes sense that he, and other returning citizens, would be have bouts of depression. He also pointed out that Robin Williams had it all and he was still depressed.
Glass says that's why he's participating in Out of the Darkness Community Walk, a fundraising walk from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Participants walk to break the silence and bring the issues of depression and suicide into the forefront of conversations around the country, because every 14 minutes a person dies by suicide in the U.S. The event is organized by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).
You can learn more about Out of the Darkness Overnight by visiting www.afsp.org.
The Marin County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.