Robin Williams Coroner’s Report released: Depression kills beloved star

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VIRGINIA, November 7, 2014 — Comparing Robin Williams to the proverbial ‘sad clown’ is a woeful understatement. Williams had everything to live for but early reports indicate the taking of his life was his own decision.

Reports suggest Williams struggled with life-long depression and like many depressed folks, self-medicated in a detrimental, unhealthy fashion. There are also some reports Williams may have suffered from a bi-polar disorder much in the same manner his oft-cited mentor comedian Jonathan Winters did.

Chronic depression or major depressive disorder stemming from genetics, chemical imbalance or environmental sources can be severely affected by comorbidity or combination of disorders such as bi-polar can and does kill.

Depression is s significant debilitating disorder that can leave a person in a state of not wishing to do anything at all, feeling completely hopeless and feeling a complete loss of self-esteem.


Many with severe depression have suicidal ideation over a period of years and at some point, feel the world is better off without them and act on their perceptions. A decision to end one’s own life is generally not spontaneous but a matter of “I’ve had enough” and thought out to some extent.

The average person who suffers with depression grow weary of hearing folks proffer such platitudes like “You’ve got to buck up”, “snap out of it”, “it’s your brain-decide differently”, Force yourself out of your funk”, “It’ll go away if you don’t pay attention to it” and a host of other suggestions that serve to further diminish a depressed mind.

Depression is a pervasive mental cloud of melancholy, sadness, feeling worthless and not wishing to engage in the activities of life.

Worse, a depressed person feels they are a burden on those they love and feel guilty for burdening their caretaker(s).

Williams had fame, fortune, admiration and substantial love in his life but the monkey on his back became a 800 lb. guerrilla he apparently could not shake off.

By all accounts, Williams could have existed in a living hell and after 63 years of torment, decided to end his suffering while thinking he is ending the suffering of those who were submersed in his disorder.

It must be considered how could a man who treasures and imparts such high levels of humor be so sad? Perhaps his humor was borne as a defensive measure. Williams may have suffered major depression for most or all if his life.

Williams love of funny and laughter while boiling in a thick vat of depression was a double blow and a cruel twist of fate.

In this light, we must forgive Robin Williams because his thinking was convoluted by mental disease, his suffering unbearable and he gave away too much of himself.

Sadly, at the end of the day, our beloved Robin Williams gave up. He was beaten by one of the least understood mental disorders which can strike anyone at any time.

Food for thought: The World Health organization (WHO) has determined by the year 2020, depression will be the world’s leading cause of disability.

 

Paul Mountjoy is a Virginia based psychotherapist.

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  • Danielle Hunter Welch

    It’s interesting the author of the article said, “food for thought”… I believe it’s the denatured foods that are wreaking havoc with our serotonin receptors which most of them are in our gut, not our brain. Like Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” and “all diseases begin in the gut”. If we ate foods from mother nature instead of man made junk we’d have smarter, happier, healthier people. I’m very, very concerned for everyone regarding this topic. We need to get serious and make changes. We are what we eat. I feel so bad for #RobinWilliams.

    • Jonathon

      Depression is not serotonin related per se. Some antidepressants reduce serotonin. This monomine theory has been out of favor for decades. If food was a simple cause of depression it would have been figured out long ago. What the Hell is denatured food. Wikipedia has a different definition than I suspect you do. “Food or drink is deliberately denatured when a substance known as a denaturant is added to render the food unpleasant or dangerous to consume.” – Wikipedia We don’t need people following pseudo-science and ignoring proven therapies. That’s minimizing and stigmatizing mentally ill people.

  • Mountjoy

    Danielle:

    i am of the opinion that Robin suffered more than depression.You are correct of food. Interesting of Hippocrates seeing that he never dissected or autopsied a human body.

    I believe Robin had a biological-mental/emotional disorder which food had no influence upon but did fuel a drug addiction.

    I am not at liberty to speculate, however but I think the facts will be revealed..

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  • Jason

    Williams had Parkinsons, Alzheimers, Major Depressive Disorder or Bipolar Disorder and was taking an anti-psychotic. He died of suicide and to say it was one thing and not something else seems like simplifying or playing in to popular opinion. If he was only depressed, an anti-psychotic is not a first line treatment. It would be for Parkinsons related psychosis or Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar Disorder has twice the suicide rate of Depression.

    • Jason

      Some studies show Parkinson’s patients to have higher suicidal ideation than even Bipolar patients, but Parkinson’s patients are often too physically disabled to act these desires out. Williams was showing signs of paranoia, his wife said. Extreme paranoia is psychosis, a separation from reality.