What We Can Learn From Robin Williams About Recovery

Since the late 1970s, Robin Williams entertained us through his good natured wit and humor. His talent touched many generations, whether it was from the early days when he appeared as a guest on “Happy Days” which led to “Mork & Mindy” or in the 1980’s during one of his many movies, the most notable may be “Good Morning Viet Nam” and “Dead Poets Society.” In the 1990s, Williams gave us “The Fisher King,” “Aladdin,” “Toys,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Jumanji” and the “Bird Cage.” Since 2000, he appeared in more than 30 films, documentaries or television series, with a few more scheduled to release later this year.

While we all have great memories of his roles, most of us know little about his private challenges. He abused cocaine and alcohol. He sought treatment and maintained his sobriety for 20 years before relapsing and returning to treatment in 2006. Some news outlets reported that he was back in rehab earlier this summer. Robin Williams’ long success shows that rehab programs work, as long as you keep working the program. It does not matter if you have been clean 20 days or 20 years, those in recovery need to manage the disease of addiction. His death also reminds us how intertwined mental health and substance abuse disorders are and the importance of treating both simultaneously.

If you know someone who is suffering from untreated depression, urge them to seek help. If you know someone suffering from depression and a substance abuse disorder, contact Pathways FL to learn more about the treatment programs we offer.