If you haven’t heard the news by now you either haven’t turned on the radio or TV or you are on another planet. It’s been almost 48hrs and during that time I’ve read a number of blog posts and tributes as I am sure many people have and I’ve come to learn a lot that I didn’t know about the man Robin Williams. What strikes me is that nothing that I have read has surprised me. Unfortunately it all makes perfect sense.
I didn’t know that he had a serious drug and alcohol problem. That’s quite common for hollywood types…isn’t it?
He was plagued by depression. Of course he was he was a comedian/actor. All comedians have a dark side. If you don’t agree check out this link below. It’s a compelling piece written by american comedian David Wong.
There was another article that I came across earlier today that went to the root cause of his depression in it Christopher Stephens from the Daily Mail writes. “Williams was a lonely child raised in Bloomfield Hills in the Detroit suburbs. Today, the area is afflicted by bankruptcy, but in the Fifties it was one of America’s wealthiest cities. His rich parents had little time for him. ‘I was supposed to be seen but not heard,’ he said.”
He also added.
His closest friend, though, was his pet, a hunting dog called Duke. The boy was so desperate for a companion he spent hours trying to teach Duke to play hide-and-seek.
Most of his free time was occupied in the attic of the house — the only place he was allowed to play with his toys. The attic was badly lit and Robin was afraid of the darker half. It creaked, and he imagined he heard voices and footsteps. Susie told him it was inhabited by ghosts.
His father Robert, a Ford motor executive, scared him, too. Robin was rarely allowed to be with him, except when he was presented to guests at house parties. But it was his mother whose affection he longed to win. Most of all he wanted to make her laugh.
Williams discovered that the vivid imagination he had developed while playing alone in the attic could provoke howls of laughter from an audience. Suddenly he had the attention he had always craved.
You can read the whole article which also deals with his battle with alcohol and drugs at
Nothing in the article came as a surprise to me. A brilliant performer with a troubled soul .
For me the most troubling aspect of this whole event is that he had access to what you would think would be the “best treatment” available. And, as has been widely publicised he was on several occasions over many years engaged in these so called “treatments” or “programs” that get mentioned so often. Clearly it wasn’t enough.
Here in Australia suicide has become an all too familiar part of life. I don’t know of many who haven’t been touched by the darkness that surrounds the death of a friend or loved one by their own hand. It is clear that there is some really great and positive work being done to illustrate the effects of depression and ways of treating it and how to recognise the signs of depression in those closest to us and that’s fine. BUT IT’S NOT ENOUGH. If multi-millionaires who are suffering from this horrid condition can’t overcome it, then how can everyday working people with limited resources expect to have any hope.
It’s been encouraging to see so much discussion on this issue be it mainstream or social media, his passing has certainly put depression into the spotlight. But for how long? How long before some other news story hits the headlines and moves depression back into the darkness??? It remains to be seen. Hopefully this event will be seen as I see it. As an example of a victim of a disease who had access to all the possible treatments available but couldn’t beat it.
Perhaps there is something wrong with the treatment?