We’re coming up on 7 years since the tragic passing of Robin Williams. This week, his son Zak went on “The Genius Life” podcast to share some stories about his father’s final years. In the conversation, you can tell that Zak himself has obviously had a rough go. Trying to piece together exactly what it was that led his father’s tragic death.
r2hox from Madrid, Spain, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
One of the main factors that the Williams family seems to believe contributed to the death of Robin was a misdiagnosis by his medical team. Robin Williams was told a few years before his death that he had Parkinson’s disease. The autopsy after his death revealed that he most likely did not have the disease. Instead, he may have been suffering from a rare mental disorder more similar to dementia. Some of the medications that Williams was given to treat what doctors thought was Parkinson’s could have impacted him in a negative manner.
jasonshellen, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Zak Williams recalls his father being overly frustrated about his condition. Particularly as his mental capabilities were begging to diminish. Zak reminded Max Lugavere the host of the podcast that,
“Lightning quick recall — that was his signature [on stage],”
As the illness progressed though Robin was having a more difficult time making those quick cognitive reactions. Since those were very typical of him both on and off stage it frustrated him a lot. Since Robin was misdiagnosed things were not getting with medication. This probably led him deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole!
Today would be 70. Missing you especially much today. Love you always evermore. pic.twitter.com/Evc7uW48eS
— Zak Williams (@zakwilliams) July 21, 2021
Zak Williams’ Own Personal Battle
After detailing how difficult it was for him to see his father suffering in those final years Zak also talked about his battles. Saying directly,
“I was self-medicating through the trauma using alcohol.”
In many ways walking down some of the same paths that his father went through. Zak didn’t exactly mention that he was fully recovered from the rough time that he went through after his father’s passing. Although he did hint that he wasn’t abusing alcohol on a consistent basis anymore.
Men’s Mental Health Is A Rarely Talked About Topic
Eva Rinaldi, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
After basically sharing some of his father’s and his own struggles both Williams and host Max Lugavere dove into the topic of men’s mental health. Williams detailed the struggle saying,
“I think many [men] feel isolated, many don’t have the outlets needed,”
Sadly after almost 7 years of his father’s passing Zak Williams is still wondering, “what could have been”, had his father been diagnosed correctly. That’s one of the main reasons that he’s become a very outspoken mental health advocate. Particularly focusing on the struggles that men go through.