This article is devoted to the history of bipolar disorder. Learn when it was first mentioned and how everything started.
Robin Williams and Manic Depression: Bipolar Disorder Doesn’t Choose Robin Williams and Manic Depression: Bipolar Disorder Doesn’t Choose
We bet everyone was shocked to find out that one of America’s most beloved funnymen had hung himself. And if you have suffered from depression – the news should have been even more disturbing. It is believed that one in ten Americans suffers from this affliction. If you are one of them, to hear such news probably got you worried for your own life and future.
“It doesn’t matter if Robin Williams was officially bipolar. What matters is that he represented manic depression.”
Dr. Drew commented on the death of the actor: “It’s almost unimaginable how someone who has so much joy in his life, and who brings so much joy to others, could be in a state of misery.” But not to us, it wasn’t.
Even if you’re not his biggest fan, you’ve had an experience to meet his works, whether it was Good Will Hunting or Jumanji.
Maybe you didn’t know, but in late 1999 Jay Moloney, a young Hollywood talent agent, committed suicide – and he was not only cocaine addict but also a manic-depressive. Back then it was hardly comfortable to talk about bipolar disorder. It would take a decade before bipolar celebrities – Catherine Zeta-Jones, Russell Brand, Patrick Kennedy – would start discussing their illness.
Manic depression is another name for bipolar disorder, and it is characterized by the dangerous mood swings – from severe depression to high-wire mania. If depression can be grasped by the majority, mania can be difficult to understand. And if sometimes it seems like another euphoric person, bursting with ideas, it can actually reach the point of full-on delusion and madness.
Famous people with Bipolar Disorder
If we try to look among other famous people, we will notice Bruno Zehnder, a fearless penguin photographer, who froze to death in 1997. Another is Timothy Treadwell, the hyperkinetic bear enthusiast better known as “The Grizzly Man.”
For the record, media reports say different things: some that Williams was bipolar, some that he was not. In 2006, Williams himself said that he has never been diagnosed with either manic or clinical depression. So maybe he was. Or wasn’t. Or like many people with psychiatric issues, he just didn’t want to call himself that.
Read more: 11 Famous People with Depression
Bipolar disorder can’t be diagnosed through blood tests or any other tests. It is a part of a long broad diagnostic spectrum. Manic depression can be misdiagnosed as depression and vice versa.
But for many people, it doesn’t really matter whether Williams was or wasn’t officially bipolar. His behavior DID represented manic-depression population. He was like its ideal, the happiest personification of itself.
Robin Williams and Manic Depression
If we try to follow the ups and downs of his life, we’ll notice that he has always betrayed degrees of melancholy and madness, but when he filmed in a sitcom The Crazy Ones, his eyes seemed sunken. His comic riffs were downright manic. And then the news of him being in a poor health… The jumps from comedy to tragedy and vice versa are connected in the oddest way to the bipolar disorder. And here he is – one more sparkly manic-depressive, or whatever he was, switching from unexplained euphoria to unbearable depression.
As many people, suffering from bipolar disorder and other mental diseases and treating themselves with drugs, Williams tried to find the salvation in drugs and alcohol. And as a consequence, he ended up to the chin in all that stuff. For a very long period of time, he was trying to conquer his addiction and, what is more, he was never shy to share this story with others. “It’s not caused by anything – the addiction is just there. It lies in wait for the time when you think you’re okay”, said Robin Williams at one of his interviews several years ago.
And it looks like the time for addiction had come: the drug problems caught Williams once again, he went to ask doctors for help but they didn’t have time to help him. The sadness, the depression put Robin Williams into the hopelessness situation one more time, one last time. On August 11 Robin Williams was found dead. He committed suicide. References
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By Maria Shevtsova
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist. Taking action in support groups organization and social adaptation of the people with mental disorders. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the undepress.net project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who want to get their life back or help someone dear, who got into mental trap.
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