Robin Williams’ suicide has opened the door for more of us to open up about a dark subject.

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s revelation that she suffers from depression is admirable, though running a department that large and important from home while she deals with this challenge is not doable.

As I said, I admire her for speaking out about this issue that is not uncommon. I suffer off and on from it also, as do some of my friends. And when it hits, running the newspaper from home is not possible. By golly, running anything — from the dishwasher to the TV — isn’t.

William Styron, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of such great novels as “Sophie’s Choice,” wrote the best small book about fighting his own 1985 bout with depression and gave the book’s name the perfect description of what it feels like to be in that black hole — “Darkness Visible.”

Coming out of that visible darkness for me feels as though a cloud lifts and that painful weight is gone.

What brings it on, though? Everyone who suffers from this describes their own factors. It may be one thing — divorce, moving, loss of a home or loved one — or it may not be anything tangible to grasp.

I cannot always point to what sets it off with me. One thing I can point to is gluten. Yes, as strange as that may seem, eating a crumb of gluten will drag me into that deep well in a heart beat and keep me there for about 24 hours (and serious intestinal pain accompanies the depression).

Who knows what drags Bowen into her dark place. I’ve heard her speak more than once in Sacramento. She is a brilliant person who has much to contribute. I hope she beats this thing.

Becky Clark,