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The Big D

“Boy, have I felt depressed ever since I saw that tearjerker movie.”

“Have you noticed how depressing the news is these days?”

We’ve all heard or said things just like that, haven’t we? But the casual use of the “D” word in that context tends to minimize the catastrophic nature of the actual condition — clinical depression.

That’s what removed the genius of Robin Williams’ brilliant comedy from our universe. That’s what was responsible for the suicide death of my friend and bandmate Mike Condello.

No manic need for approval for Mike. He was a gifted, laid-back, whimsical Italian elf who seemed without a care, especially since he was about to be married.

And then he shot himself in the head.

Most of us didn’t even know he took the medication he had run out of. And now all we have is Mike’s music and Robin Williams’ remarkable performances.

Robin Williams was an alcoholic. Mike Condello didn’t drink, but the one thing they had in common besides their creative gifts? A physical condition called clinical depression. That’s not the same as “sad.”

Sad is what we are feeling, because they’re both gone.

I’m Pat McMahon.