Andrew Koenig, 41, former Growing Pains star, who reportedly suffers from depression, has been missing since February 16. He was last seen in Vancouver, Canada. Koenig was scheduled to return to his Venice, California home that day but never showed up.
Koenig’s father, actor Walter Koenig (who played the character Pavel Chekov on the original Star Trek series) says Andrew sounded “despondent” in a letter he and his wife, Judy, received from their son postmarked February 15.
In an interview with the Vancouver Sun, the elder Koenig said his son was “not in a good frame of mind when he called us. He was depressed.”
Koenig played Richard “Boner” Stabone in the 1980’s hit series Growing Pains for 25 episodes, after which he made guest appearances on various television shows including Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He then went on to do standup comedy, video editing, working on documentaries, and was an avid environmentalist.
Depression can affect anyone, no matter who you are or what walk of life you are from. Rich, poor, famous, or regular folk. Depression is very difficult for some to talk about and cope with, yet some of us learn to deal the best we can with our depression symptoms on a daily basis.
Famous people who suffer from depression include:
Actor Jim Carrey revealed in a 2004 interview with 60 Minutes that he had depression. Carrey had been on Prozac and another medication but has since stopped taking any medications. He prefers to deal with his depression in other ways.
Actor Heath Ledger suffered from depression, among other things, and had bouts of terrible mood swings. Unfortunately, Ledger died from an accidental overdose of anti-anxiety medications and sleeping pills in January 2008.
J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series of books, had suicidal thoughts after she and her former husband separated. She credits her doctor with saving her and she says she has never been ashamed of going through depression.
Actor Owen Wilson reportedly attempted to commit suicide in August 2007. He was found by his brother, actor Luke Wilson. It would later come out that Owen had cut both his wrists and had taken an undetermined amount of pills.
Bassist/Songwriter Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy said in a 2007 interview with Q that he suffers from bipolar disorder.
Though I am by no means famous, I also suffer from depression. I can attest to the fact that it’s a difficult thing to overcome and keep a handle on. Virtually every minute of every day those of us who suffer from depression try very hard to keep ourselves together and in check, just so we don’t sink deeper into the dark pit of despair or worse. Some of us are constantly seeking that magic cure – something, anything, that will make us feel better – whether it’s meditation, yoga, trying out a new religion, or something as simple as journaling and writing.
Some sufferers of depression want to get away from everything – they feel compelled to get away in high hopes of getting some perspective back. Some may view this as running away from our problems. I know I’ve certainly wanted to do it, and maybe, just maybe, that’s what Andrew Koenig is doing now.
If you have seen Andrew Koenig, please contact Detective Raymond Payette of the Vancouver Police Department at 604-717-2534.
See Also: Andrew Koenig’s Body Found in Vancouver’s Stanley Park