Gary Coleman’s Death: End of a Tragic Life

*This one really hit close to home because Gary Coleman (Arnold in the Different Strokes sitcom) and I are both 42 years old. I was just reflecting on his life. It appears to me that each time his name (or character which ever you prefer to call him) hits the media, there was always some scandal or tragic event attached. This is so sad, but such is the case with many child stars. With the death of Arnold, Todd Bridges (Willis) is the sole survivor of the trio. (Kimberly, Willis and Arnold) However his life has not been a crystal stair, either. Was there a trend of depression, suicide and addiction in this set of sitcom characters that went unrecognized?
Let’s just review the cast of stars for a brief minute. Do you remember Dana Plato (Kimberly)? She had a life full of addiction. Guess what she died of an overdose. Please be reminded that 95% of people who complete suicide (gingerly called an overdose in some circles) have a mental illness. Also, 85% of that group has a depressive illness. However, none of that was discussed with her case. Now, I must inform you that she left a 14 year old son who subsequently completed suicide recently. The rumor mills states that he never got over his mother’s death.
Let’s quickly shift to Todd Bridges. Now Willis is no stranger to substance addiction and even homelessness. I would love to have a conversation with him on today. I wonder if he could be transparent about his life, depression and pain. He opens up in an occasional interview, but I would love to have a face-to-face and go a little further below the surface of his life.
Finally, Arnold is the man of the hour. He made us all laugh. He was the cute little child star with the chubby cheeks. Did he parents really steal all of his money? Did he really have a handle on his esteem issues and his chronic medical illness? Was he ever able triumph over his pain? The child star syndrome haunts many; however there is a way to tackle the demons of depression and addiction. You fight both of these trouble with the proper care and follow-up with a licensed professional. However, whatever you do open yourself up to self-introspection and get the help that you need.
Just a reminder, if you have been suffering on an emotional roller-coaster, take a few minutes to take the test on to see if you need clinical help, life coaching or a prescription for success.

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