As is the case with many Hollywood legendary actors, Robin Williams was hooked on to alcohol and cocaine in his early career, when the whole word was ringing under the influence of Hippy culture.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Williams and his close friend John Belushi were seen at many parties until John died. The death and later the birth of his eldest son prompted him to quit drugs and alcohol, which he described: “Was it a wake-up call? Oh yeah, on a huge level. The grand jury helped too.”
But he took to alcohol again in 2003, while working in a small town in Alaska. Three years later, in August 2006, he got into a rehabilitation center in Newberg, Oregon.
His publicist said: “After 20 years of sobriety, Robin Williams found himself drinking again and has decided to take proactive measures to deal with this for his own well-being and the well-being of his family.”
Williams was hospitalized in March 2009 with heart problems and he had to postpone his one-man tour and undergo an emergency surgery to replace his aortic valve, at the Cleveland Clinic.
Psychologist Julie Cerel of the American Association of Suicidology, said Williams was known to have bipolar disorder, depression and problems with drug abuse.
People who are severely depressed can’t see their own success but feel isolated and aimleass at the empty future ahead, driving themselves to suicide, dejected and in despair.
“With depression, people just forget,” Cerel told USA Today. Cerel, who is associate professor at the University of Kentucky, elaborated: “They get so consumed by the depression and by the feelings of not being worthy that they forget all the wonderful things in their lives.”
The feeling that they are a burden though have achieved great success in life motivates them to take to suicide. said psychologists. “Having depression and being in a suicidal state twists reality. It doesn’t matter if someone has a wife or is well loved,” Cerel said.
Someone as successful as Williams could kill himself shows that suicide is not linked to helplessness or dejection but to something else, said Dost Ongur at McLean Hospital, Boston. “You’d like to think they’re immune from heartache and suffering of mental illness and that isn’t true.”
About 90% of people who commit suicide have some psychiatric illness that could have been treated, said Ongur.