iHeartRadio and 24/7 Comedy pay tribute to a giant of comedy, Robin Williams.  Listen to 24 hours of Robin Williams on 24/7. 

Robin Williams was beloved by America, and yet he felt deeply alone. His apparent suicide was likely the culmination of a brutal daily battle with severe depression that he shared with millions.

On screen or on stage, he was the most vivacious, happy presence, but a debilitating mental illness like depression can eat away at your confidence from within. Gradually you can lose control of your thoughts.

If this cherished and celebrated star felt alone, image how isolated the average sufferer can become, locked in a struggle against depression with little support and only America’s broken health-care system to fall back on.

The rates of depression are climbing. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) state that 1 in 20 Americans over the age of 11 reported current depression in 2005-2006. According to this data, adults age 40-59 are more likely to experience depression (7.3 percent), as are females (6.7 percent).  In 2012, an estimated 16 million, approximately 7 percent, of U.S. adults 18 or older suffered from at least one major depressive episode in the past year. It wasn’t too long ago that the Department of Veterans Affairs released data suggesting that every day, 22 veterans take their own lives, a rate of one suicide every 65 minutes. The numbers are egregious all around, and one can’t help but think that each and every death may have been preventable.

Read The Full Article On The Daily Beast

More articles from The Daily Beast:

© 2014 Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC

PHOTO: Getty Images