Robin Williams, 63, was found dead in his Northern California home on August 11 from an apparent suicide, say police. Robin had a tragic, long-documented history of depression, and HollywoodLife.com reached out to experts who clarified how Robin may have been feeling at the time of his death, and how he was able to hide his depression for so long.
The death of Robin Williams, 63, has already had a huge, worldwide impact following the August 11 announcement of his apparent suicide by asphyxiation. Co-workers, friends, family, and fans have all spoken out to express their love for Robin and their grief over his passing. Despite him being so well-loved, Robin suffered from a long history of depression and addiction. For answers on how someone who brought so much joy to so many people could have been hiding such darkness, HollywoodLife.com reached out to experts in the field of depression who clarified how Robin may have been feeling when he allegedly made the tragic decision to end his life. Read on for some light shed on this terrible, heartbreaking situation.
Robin Williams’ Depression Led To Apparent Suicide: Experts Reveal Why
“There was an indication he had longstanding problems; like many comedians, he likely had a lot of emotional issues,” reveals Dr. Jeff Gardere, Assistant Professor Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. “Comedy is often about working out these issues on stage. He really wore his heart on his sleeve.”
[hl_youtube src=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDCj_zM0pOo” link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDCj_zM0pOo&amp;list=UU2rJLq19N0dGrxfib80M_fg” text=”Robin Williams Greatest Movie Moments HD “]
Indeed, Will Arnett, 44, revealed on the August 11 episode of Conan that “As funny as [Robin] was … He was even better as a person. He was even more fantastic… just one of the loveliest, sweetest, kindest guys that I’ve ever worked with. Just such a soft, warm, emotionally sweet guy.”
Everyone who has spoken out about Robin’s death has highlighted how kind and how warm he was; the fact that he had been hiding the severity of his battle with depression for so long is made even more sad by the fact that he clearly had a huge network of people surrounding him who would have been available to support him.
It Is Never Too Late To Help Someone With Depression
“It is never too late to help someone with depression, there is always hope,” says Dr. Gardere. Furthermore, there are always warning signs, says Dr. Gardere — however, Robin was clearly very talented at hiding them. As psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig points out, “He was an actor — he was good at covering [his depression].”
“It’s not uncommon for people to keep suicidal thoughts to themselves, but they may reveal thoughts of hopelessness,” Dr. Ludwig continues, and goes on to say that perhaps Robin may have indeed reached out in his own way. “Often when people express suicidal thoughts, the person hearing it goes into denial. They also think that if they encourage discussion, it will lead to the actual act of suicide.”
However, depressed people may also “feel ashamed” and they may not want to “burden” the people around them, Dr. Ludwig explains.
Dr. Gardere reveals that it can be very difficult to treat depressed people. While depression itself can be fairly easily managed, “the problem is that people who are depressed often go in and out of treatment. Of course anti-depressants and other medications have side effects and patients are not as compliant as they should be.”
Lack Of Compliance To Consistent Therapy & Medication A Huge Problem In Treatment Of Depression
Lack of compliance is a huge problem in the treatment of depression; however, given that Robin checked himself into rehab in June in order to maintain his sobriety, it certainly seemed as if he was on the road to recovery.
The protocol for treating depression “is normally a combination of talk therapy or therapy and antidepressants,” says Dr. Gardere; however, “If a patient is not compliant then they are not getting better and that puts them in deeper depression.
“The more hopeless they become then the more they start to have suicudal thoughts and consider suicidal actions.
“90% of people who do commit suicide have had depression or another mental illness. In the last study in 2009 of about 1 million people who had attempted suicide about 37k were successful.”
Zelda Williams Heartbroken & Devastated Over Death Of Father Robin Williams
Robin’s daughter, Zelda Williams, 25, seems particularly heartbroken by the news of her father’s death. Sources have revealed to HollywoodLife.com that she is totally devastated and inconsolable; she even tweeted late on August 11 a heartbreaking message of love and loss. She was quite close to her late father, but Robin “may not have told [Zelda about his depression] because he felt he would be stopped.”
So, incredibly heartbreaking. As ever, our thoughts go out to Robin’s family and friends.
Please remember that there is always help available to you. If you, or someone you know, is experiencing suicidal ideation, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255; operators are available 24/7.
— Amanda Mitchell