Depression, Addiction, Robin Williams and You

Depression and Addiction -- Robin Williams


The untimely passing of Robin Williams has shined a very bright and necessary light upon the diseases of addiction and depression. The comedian and beloved actor was widely regarded for his one-of-a-kind style and talents on stage and screen. However, his personal life was the opposite of what many of us could ever imagine.

The signs of depression and addiction can be as clear as deep sadness and never being able to function without a drink (respectively), to as seemingly faint as just feeling “blah” on a regular basis. Neither case should be ignored. Much like cancer or diabetes, you need to have these warning signs checked out as early as possible.

Depression and addiction are two separate, but often interrelated, diseases that need to be treated and openly shared with caring professionals. Long gone are the days when you have to hide and fear for being “found out” as suffering from depression or addiction. Williams, who was 63 at the time of his death, chronicled his struggles with the debilitating effects of depression and addiction, but he is an important example of how a “cure” takes time and many starts and stops. This does not mean it’s impossible by any stretch of the imagination.

Depression and Addiction: Celebrating Recovery

The day after the news of Robin Williams’ death, one half of the Mike and Mike Radio program on ESPN, Mike Greenberg, shared (and not for the first time) his decades-long success in the treatment of his depression. As he shared his thoughts, he made it clear that he was not the severest among the potential cases of depression, but his quality of life had dramatically increased once he was in the care of a trained physician. Through the use of therapy, medication and knowing the warning the signs, Greenberg has found it less difficult to deal with the highs and lows of depression.

On the addiction side, Robert Downey, Jr., the highest-paid actor in Hollywood today, was once on his final legs as an actor. His multiple rehab stints and arrests seemed ineffective, and he was hired less and less. Fortunately for us, the great actor was able to find the right combination of addiction treatment to give him the fresh start he needed. Now, he is healthier and happier and having the best decade of his life.

You can also overcome the depression and addiction that might be a part of your life. You are not alone, and there are wonderful people willing to help you. If you are committed to a seeking treatment, you are not guaranteed an immediate recovery success story. However, if you stick to it, and allow yourself the freedom of seeking help and sharing, then you have the best chance for a brighter tomorrow. You can do it!


We have listed only a few of the options available to you for depression and addiction treatment and recovery. Please explore them if you, or someone you know, are experiencing any signs of depression or addiction. Maybe the lose of a genius like Robin Williams can open our eyes to the importance of one another and our physical and mental health.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Half of Us

American Society of Addiction Medicine



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