Saturday, August 23, 2014

Robin Williams: The Man With Everything?

Robin Williams: The Man With Everything?

Photo of Robin Williams from the public domain.
Robin Williams 

I recently read that Robin Williams ashes were spread at a private funeral a few days ago. The shock of his death still lingers as he is viewed as a man with everything who took his own life.   His death has shocked many people.  He had everything in life and there was nothing he lacked.   Many of us suffer through serious life battles such as death, loss, abuse, abandonment, poverty, serious illness, etc. and we cannot imagine a man who has everything taking his life. 
 Robin Williams was diagnosed with early Parkinson’s disease and it was suggested that the diagnosis sent him into deep depression.  The Guardian published an article several years ago stating that Parkinson’s is linked to cocaine use, which findings were first discovered by St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Essentially Parkinson’s disease occurs because the brain stops producing dopamine.   Cocaine causes the brain to fire off excessive amounts of dopamine. The user will experience a crash of deep depression from lack of dopamine when the effects of cocaine wear off. This occurs because excessive amounts of dopamine are released into the brain to produce the high leaving the brain depleted.   
Cocaine can burn out the brain’s dopamine centers. Methamphetamine causes the release of even more dopamine and causes brain injury much quicker than cocaine.  Robin Williams cocaine use could have contributed to his developing Parkinson’s.  Although Robin Williams was not using drugs at the time of his death, he was in rehab only a couple of weeks or months earlier. It takes six months to a year for the brain to return to normal from the effects of alcohol and drugs. Depression and anxiety are common emotions for addictive personality types, but these emotions are more intense during recovery due to the upset in brain chemistry that takes time to heal.
While these facts can help us understand Robin William’s depression, the emotions do not warrant his taking his own life.  There were also the suggestions in the media that with great talent comes great suicidal depression. This is a myth. Many people with pronounced talents and gifts do not commit suicide, and lead lives that come to their normal end. There are other talented comedians alive today who have reached their elder years, such as Don Rickles,, Bill Cosby and Jerry Lewis. Do they have less talent than Robin Williams because they have not killed themselves?   No, we would have been equally as shocked if any of the persons I mentioned took their lives. Bill Cosby grieved the loss of a son, which is one of the most difficult life experiences to ever endure.
     Robin Williams may have very well suffered the curse of having everything.  The first commandment tells us in Exodus 20:3, “You shall have no other gods before me.” We learn in Scripture that with idolatry comes plagues. This means that the idols in your heart that you put before God will in some way bring you unhappiness because they come with a curse. Having everything can be a very empty feeling for a creative, sensitive soul like Robin Williams. Life without Jesus Christ can feel very empty and depressing because you feel like what is left to attain for fulfillment when you have acquired all you have sought after?    It goes to what I talked about in my book Free From Captivity Biblical Secrets to Overcoming Addiction: the more principle of addiction.  What does every addict want? More.  But, even without an addictive personality, how many of us are content when we have attained the things in life we sought after?    We want more or we want something else, we are never satisfied, which is why Paul the apostle stated in Philippians 4:11-13:
1Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Thus having everything is not the answer to life’s difficulties or the cure for the human spirit.  Robin William’s death is another case that shows us that having everything will not give you happiness.  You can have all this life has to offer, but if you do not have Jesus Christ you might as well have nothing. There isn’t anything in this life that satisfies the soul like Jesus or can help you through life’s most difficult challenges like a walk with Christ. Jesus is called the Great Physician, as only He can heal the sickness of our spirit, provide the balm we need and salvation, which is priceless.