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Stories About Suicide: Robin Williams and Others

  • Broadcast in Psychology
Stories We Live By

Stories We Live By


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We wonder why Robin Williams, beloved by everyone, wealthy, funny and talented would hang himself. We constantly hear ourselves and others say "But he had everything!" The official story demands that we believe that he suffered from a deadly medical disease known as depression. I offer an alternative story as to why Robin Williams killed himself along with so many others who were experiencing life as I think he was. I did not know Robin Williams but have worked professionallly with many individuals who were living out stories that I believe were similar to the one that from which Robin could not escape until he ended his life. My story suggests that suicide is a desparate attempt to become unstuck from a place defined by emotions of self-loathing, fear of others, helplessness and hopelesness. We will explore possible reasons why individuals experience such "stuckness" and feel so desperate to escape from their own life story. Finally, I will suggest that the psychiatric disgnosis of depression confirms some of an individual's worst fears about themselves and therefore can do more harm than good.