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The sad news of Robin Williams’s death has brought the issues of suicide and depression to national attention.

It is a paradox that a man who brought us so much laughter was struck down by such a serious condition.

Depression affects millions of people throughout the world. It has no boundaries as far as race, socioeconomic status, education, or gender. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 9 percent of Americans say that they are depressed at least occasionally, and 3.4 percent suffer from major depression. Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States, ahead of homicide, which is the 15th. Depression can strike anyone at any time, even children and adolescents.

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