PACIFIC PALISADES (CBSLA.com) — The death of beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams has put the spotlight on the issue of depression.
CBS2’s Rachel Kim spoke with Damon Raskin, medical director at Cliffside Malibu Drug & Alcohol Rehab Center, on Monday about the warning symptoms of addiction, depression and suicide to look out for.
“This is a tragedy that could’ve been prevented with the right type of treatment,” said Raskin. “I believe a lot of their comedy has roots in tragedy, in trying to overcome those negative feelings and sort of putting on a facade.”
Raskin told Kim that most comedians often face the pressure of succeeding while trying to please others, and often give up on themselves.
“They’ve either been emotionally abused or neglected, or they haven’t dealt with some of their anger issues,” said Raskin.
Raskin never treated Williams but believes most comedians are susceptible to depression and suicide.
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“Not dressing the same, not taking care of themselves, sleeping more, eating less, not coming out,” Raskin said. “If you see those types of behaviors, you really want to get them some help.”
News Photographer Dean Kendrick from KPIX shared his recent experience with Williams at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
“I could tell that he was trying to offer support, but he really, really needed support at that time,” Kendrick said. “He was one of the very first to raise his hand and open his self to vulnerability to anyone about his own personal situation.”
Williams was found dead in his home in Marin County on Monday afternoon.
During a preliminary investigation, officials said they found the cause of his death to be suicide due to asphyxia.
Williams leaves behind his wife and three children, Zelda, Zachary and Cody.