Yesterday, the world got a little less funny.

Robin Williams died Monday at the age of 63. Williams spent four decades making audiences laugh and cry. While he was comfortable in front of the camera, he was, at times, reluctant to talk about his past regarding his alcohol and substance abuse problems.

With this death it is bringing a new light onto depression and addiction. People are seeing that addiction does not discriminate. Williams had a talent the world always wanted more of, however he was suffering from a very serious disease. It is a progressive, lifelong and often fatal illness millions suffer with everyday.


Now that he’s gone, everyone is talking about the legacy he leaves. Will he be remembered as someone who “fell off the wagon”? Will his willpower be called into question? Or does his death reveal a more important truth about addition and depression?

People who deal with addiction and depression wear many different masks. They tend to hide the fact they have this issue and live life like everything is OK. If the media didn’t project Williams, a happy energetic soul from the outside, had depression and addiction issues, most people would not have thought twice about him being the way he was. I think this quote says it best.

I heard a joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life is harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world. Doctor says, “Treatment is simple. The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go see him. That should pick you up.” Man bursts into tears. Says, “But doctor… I am Pagliacci.”

I hope that people remember the good of Robin Williams. The happiness he brought to each and every one of us and the smile he brought to our faces. Although he died tragically, everyone needs to remember addiction and depression are real and people need help.

If you or a loved one is experiencing substance abuse, addiction or depression, visit our Get Help page to find treatment resources in the area or call (865) 588-5550 and ask for Stan Grubb.