Robin Williams Struggled With Substance Abuse and Depression

williamsJust as the tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman had shone a spotlight on the growing heroin problem, the recent passing of the beloved comedy icon Robin Williams has led to an influx of depression-related content in the media. Robin Williams was not shy about sharing his experiences with substance abuse and depression; so it is appropriate that his passing might create an opportunity for people to better understand depression and other mental health disorders.

Robin Williams’ body was found in his home on Monday around noon, and he was declared dead soon after by apparent suicide. Assistant chief deputy coroner for Marin County, Calif., Lt. Keith Boyd, reported that Williams had recently sought treatment for depression.

It is reported that 100 people commit suicide every day in the United States. This alarming statistic further impresses depression as a serious issue, which is commonly misunderstood. The stigma surrounding depression leads many to believe that those suffering from depression should just be happier and less selfish. The truth is that depression is a mental health issue that requires treatment, support and understanding.

Despite achievements, wealth or social status, depression can exist in places one might not expect. For example, no one expects funny people to be depressed, but comedians are commonly dealing with demons and being funny is a mechanism used to cope with those issues.

Although Williams dealt with demons of his own, his extraordinary legacy is reflected online in the reverberation of condolences and memories of the comedy master, philanthropist and dear friend to many. “I hope it makes us all want to do something. While the whole country, and much of the world, feels this moment of sadness at his death, can we turn the loss of this artist we loved so much into something that pushes back against the ravages of despair?” wondered actor Alan Alda of his friend’s passing.

Mike Loverde

As a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP), member of NAATP, NAADAC, and accredited by the Pennsylvania Certification Board, Mike Loverde knows first-hand what it’s like to live life with addiction. By overcoming it, he had a calling to work with others who struggle with drug and alcohol addictions—the people who use and the families who feel helpless watching them decay.

With thousands of interventions across the United States done and many more to come, Loverde continues to own the intervention space, since 2005, by working with medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and others who need expert assistance for their patients who need intervention. To further his impact on behavioral health and maximize intervention effectiveness, Loverde is near completion of a Masters in Addiction Studies (MHS) accreditation, as well as a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC), and is committed to attaining the designation of a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

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