The death of "Growing Pains" actor Andrew Koenig has prompted an outpouring of heartfelt responses from his family members, friends, co-stars and fans, as well as MTV News readers with strong feelings on the matters of depression and suicide.
For some fans, Koenig's passing conjured up old memories of the actor's famous portrayal of Richard "Boner" Stabone, the best friend of Mike Seaver, played by Kirk Cameron on "Growing Pains." Some "Growing Pains" enthusiasts recalled their affinity for the show, while others confessed to their childhood infatuation with Koenig himself. But the actor's suicide also prompted some readers to describe their own experiences with depression.
MTV News readers have shared their memories of the late actor as well. Here is a selection of responses from readers reacting to the news of Koenig's death. Please note that these comments, edited for grammar, do not reflect the opinions of MTV News on the matter. To join the conversation, please head to the comments section below.
"This truly does bum me out," wrote concertconfessions. "I loved 'Growing Pains' in my youth. It is hands down one of my all-time favorite sitcoms. Good vibes to all his friends and family."
June said: "I am sad, so sad. Depression is so overlooked; it is the cloud that darkens one's days."
"I admit that I expected it," confessed Heather. "He sold his possessions, canceled a job and turned off his phone before he left on his 'vacation.' That is someone preparing for an end in my book. Sad. He was my favorite character on 'Growing Pains.' I had a huge celebri-crush on him."
One reader detailed his own personal battle with depression. "[I] used to drink heavily and took pills," wrote David. "Can't explain why one gets depression for really no reason at all. Now I just live one day at a time and count on my wife to help me out. If it weren't for her, I don't know what I would do."
Another reader, Janette, implored others to be on the lookout for signs of depression. "Absolutely pay attention to depression as well as the medications that one takes for depression, as it many times does have a reverse reaction and instead of helping one cope with their depression, it promotes it," she said. "My mother committed suicide about 5.5 years ago and despite my pleas of the doctors not giving her antidepressants, I was told that she was the patient, not I. We as those who try to understand why one takes their life we see the depression but never ever imagine that it is something that would happen to our family; it is something that happens to others, not us. Well, this is not the case. Wake up and pay attention to those around you who are suffering. There are signs. I just thought that it was odd behavior never looking up the signs that one has prior to suicide. Perhaps we all should read those and take heed. My very, very deepest condolences to his family and friends. I believe it is a matter where we try for the rest of our lives to heal our pain and sorrow. After these years past, I don't believe it can be healed, not when you lose someone you love so much."
"Rest in peace, Andrew Koenig," Armando offered. "Please, don't let our loved ones slip through our fingers."