The Other Side of Robin Williams


Robin Williams died by asphyxiation. It’s thought he killed himself. It’s been no secret that he has suffered with mental illness for much of his adult life and, tragically, it seems that the horrible despair that is one feature of manic depression or Bipolar Disorder has finally become too much for him to bear.

A 911 telephone call was received reporting a male adult had been located unconscious and not breathing inside his residence. He was pronounced deceased at 12.02pm. An investigation into the cause, manner, and circumstances of the death is currently underway. He was last seen alive at his residence, where he lives with his wife, at about 10pm on the previous night.

His heartbroken family has stated that he has been battling severe depression of late. In recent years, celebrities have often become the public face of what is usually a private struggle. Everyone from actor Jim Carrey to singer Alicia Keys feed the public their own views on how to deal with depression.

Creativity is often part of a mental illness, with writers particularly susceptible, according to a study of more than a million people. Writers had a higher risk of anxiety and bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, unipolar depression, and substance abuse, Swedish researchers at the Karolinska Institute found in 2012. They were almost twice as likely as the general population to kill themselves. Dancers and photographers were also more likely to have bipolar disorder.

In Britain, big names such as Stephen Fry, Spike Milligan, Paul Merton and David Walliams are among those who have talked openly about their experiences with mental health problems. As someone who works in mental health, I know that people it affects people from every walk of society.
I’ve also suffered with mood problems and had one long period of sick leave a few years ago when I had a prolonged bout of depression. I now take anti-depressants every day. These are mainly to prevent migraine but I’m sure they have a stabilising effect on my mood too. And I suppose you could say I was a creative person; I write books, take photographs, draw… so maybe all that is linked with my mental health somehow.
Robin Williams had been due to reprise arguably his most famous role, Mrs. Doubtfire, in a forthcoming sequel. Williams was last seen alongside Annette Bening in indie film The Face of Love. In 2013, Williams had returned to CBS for the series The Crazy Ones but he was also reknown for his high octane stand-up routines. All of this must have demanded a high level of creativity. Maybe his mental health problems fuelled his creativity. If so, it seems like a very high price to pay. Now, tragically, he’s paid the ultimate price.







2 thoughts on “The Other Side of Robin Williams

  1. Good post Jon, and brave of you to admit it. I too suffer, barely a day goes by lately without hoping to end it in some way. Though I don’t think I have a creative bone in my body so I can’t put it down to an artistic temperament. More autistic I think…


  2. No creative bones in the Dickson body?!! This is clearly erroneous. Don’t forget the numerous items of creativity you produced in our formative years, many of them beautifully laminated. Thanks for reading and commenting. Keep taking the tablets (I certainly intend to).


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