Robin Williams: Depression, Addiction and Suicide Risk

Robin Williams: Depression, Addiction & Suicide Risk

The Robin Williams suicide on August 11, 2014 took most people by surprise. How could someone who made us laugh until our sides ached, be aching within so much that he ended up taking his own life? Since his death, it has been revealed that he struggled with Depression, Alcoholism and other Drug Addictions, and was also in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease. All of these issues could have been more than he believed he could handle – which could have led to hopelessness.

The #1 indicator of Suicide Risk is hopelessness – a belief that things will never change, at least not for the better, and that a worsening of one’s situation would be intolerable. If you or someone you know ever expressed feeling hopeless, it’s important to get professional help immediately! Hopelessness can lead to suicidal thoughts, but there are many interventions which can shift hopelessness back into hope.

If you struggle with Eating Disorders, sometimes you might feel depressed. Try to observe the thoughts which can be underneath your depression, such as, “This eating disorder is taking a toll on me,” or, “I don’t know if I have what it takes to recover.” Gently notice these thoughts, and then shift your focus to some things that are going well right now in your life, or things you’re looking forward to. Consider making a gratitude list of 5-10 things which can help shift your mood to feeling uplifted and hopeful.

Hold onto hope! No matter what medical or mental/emotional diagnosis you may have, and no matter what your current resources or life situation, the key is to ask for help. Talk honestly about your thoughts and feelings of hopelessness, and keep asking for help until you find hopeful solutions. Although we do not provide crisis counseling at Positive Pathways, please prevent situations like Robin Williams suicide and reach out for help. Here are some telephone numbers to get help NOW:

Denver Metro Crisis Line: 888-885-1222
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255