We Are Having the Wrong Conversation About Robin Williams

August 22, 2014 7:26 PM

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This week we are remembering Robin Williams. Rightly so; his unique genius had us laughing and crying, sometimes in the same performance. Through the mainstream media, across social media, and in person with friends, family and colleagues, this week we are all sharing the same conversation. How could he take his own life? Unfortunately, we're sharing the wrong conversation. We talk about Robin Williams' depression and his struggles with addiction -- which caused his suicide? Instead, for the sake of the many thousands of people like Robin Williams (and Philip Seymour Hoffman and Heath Ledger), it's time to start talking about addiction and depression as symptoms of one disorder, and one for which there is treatment and hope of recovery.

Substance abuse? Depression? No, it must have been Mr. Williams' recent diagnosis with Parkinson's that caused his suicidal actions! At least that's what the latest news reports suggest. We'd like to think that's true, because it would comfort us. It is easier for us to believe that someone with a d...

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