Why did Robin williams commit suicide (Psychological Analysis)

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why do people who have it all commit suicide

Robin Williams wasn't just an actor but he was a legend. Since i was a little child i remember how i waited for days and days before i was taken to see one of his new films. jumanji, Mrs Doubtfire, flubber and so many other awesome movies will never be forgotten even though years and years have passed.

Robin Williams was famous, rich , talented and moreover people used to love him so much. So how can someone in that position commit suicide or even get depressed?

I know nothing about Robin Williams personal life but i know a lot about depression and suicide. This article won't discuss Robin Williams personal life as much as it will explain why people who seem to have it all become depressed and even commit suicide.

Why did Robin Williams commit suicide

In my book, The ultimate guide to getting over depression i said that people get shocked when a person who is famous and rich commits suicide because of assuming that happiness is all about having money and being famous. And while in some cases money and fame can certainly bring happiness in some other ones they don't.

So what actually determines a person's happiness levels and why money and fame can't make everyone happy?

Before i answer that question you need to know the following facts:

  • 1) Every person sees the world from his own angle: Most people incorrectly assume that we all see the world the same way and this is totally wrong. Each person values things in his own way and sees the world according to his beliefs (see also How your beliefs and concerns affect your perception)
  • 2) Each person has different unmet needs: Some people want money badly, others want money and love, a third group might only want fame but a fourth group might just want a loving family. In other words what makes one person happy won't necessary make another person happy. (see also Why happiness fade away quickly)

Now the number 1 reason people get shocked when someone who has money and fame gets depressed is that they assume that what can make them happy should have made that person happy. For you money and fame might be the only thing you need to become happy but for Robin Williams something else was missing or in other words, another extremely important unmet need wasn't satisfied.

Depression is an emotion that happens when you believe that one or more if your most important unmet needs can't be satisfied. And because our needs are totally different money and fame won't necessary make a person happy unless his needs were money and fame only.

This is why some celebrities get depressed

So why was Robin Williams depressed?
There are only two possibilities:

  • 1) His needs had nothing to do with money and fame: The first possibility is that money and fame weren't that important according to Robin's own perception and there were other more important needs that weren't satisfied (see Unmet needs psychology)
  • 2) Money and fame were important but there were more important needs: People who claim that money can't buy happiness reference studies that have shown that some rich people aren't really happy. Those people aren't aware of the fact that if there is an extremely important unmet need then happiness won't happen even if the other needs are met. In other words if you want money , fame and people's love then you won't experience true happiness before you satisfy all three needs and not one or two of them

In other words, happiness and depression don't just depend on what you have but they depend on your perception, your beliefs about what you have and your unmet needs.

And since those needs differ from a person to another what makes someone happy won't make another one happy. You got shocked of the news because you assumed that what will make you happy should have made Robin Williams happy.

But he was happy before he got depressed!

Exactly, because unmet needs change with time. As we grow older our needs change and so in order to stay happy we need to be able to satisfy those new needs. In each phase of our lives our unmet needs might change completely.

Here is a simple example, before marriage you won't have any needs related to having healthy and successful kids but after you get married you might become extremely concerned about the success and health of your kids (new need). In other words new needs always evolve as we grow and this is why a person who was extremely happy can get depressed.

Simply if a new important need appeared and the person believed he can't satisfy it then depression will happen. (see also How your perception affects your happiness levels)

So how can you prevent depression?

Simply by understanding your needs perfectly and working on satisfying them you can stop depression. If your needs were money and fame then believing that money can't buy happiness will only make you depressed since you won't be satisfying one of your most important needs. (see also The path to happiness)

If your needs were freedom and love then becoming a corporate slave to get money will certainly make you depressed because again you will be sacrificing your most important needs to get something that doesn't really matter to you. (see also Motivation and needs)

If you want to be happy then understand your own needs and don't let someone define happiness for you because happiness differs from a person to another.

In the end i would like to add that i feel really sorry for the loss of such a great man.

Do looks really matter? Can an unattractive person attract a very attractive one? Yes its quite possible and this is exactly what Jane's Code is all about. A revolutionary book that explains how love can be manipulated no matter who you are or how you look like.

Want to know more?

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