Post surgery from Robin Williams

Help Support ValveReplacement.org:

Paleowoman

VR.org Supporter
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
Messages
2,824
Location
Surrey, UK
I was reading today an interview with Robin Williams, sadly committed suicide yesterday, reading about his heart surgery, he had aortic valve replacement and mitral valve repair or replacement:

"Oh, God, you find yourself getting emotional. It breaks through your barrier, you've literally cracked the armour. And you've got no choice, it literally breaks you open. And you feel really mortal." Does the intimation of mortality live with him still? "Totally." Is it a blessing? "Totally."

He takes everything, he says, more slowly now. His second marriage, to a film producer, ended in 2008 – largely because of his drinking, even though by then he was sober. "You know, I was shameful, and you do stuff that causes disgust, and that's hard to recover from. You can say, 'I forgive you' and all that stuff, but it's not the same as recovering from it. It's not coming back."

The couple had been together for 19 years, and have a son and a daughter, both now grown up; he has another son from his first marriage to an actress in the late 70s. Williams is now with a graphic designer, whom he met shortly before his heart surgery, and they live together in San Francisco. "But we're taking it slow. I don't know, maybe some day we'll marry, but there's no rush. I just want to take it easy now. This is good news. It's the whole thing of taking it slow. And it's so much better."

Williams thinks he used to be a fairly classic workaholic, but at 59 is now taking it slow professionally too. "In one two-year period I made eight movies. At one point the joke was that there's a movie out without you in it. You have this idea that you'd better keep working otherwise people will forget. And that was dangerous. And then you realise, no, actually if you take a break people might be more interested in you. Now, after the heart surgery, I'll take it slow."


Interview in 2010 in the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2010/sep/20/robin-williams-worlds-greatest-dad-alcohol-drugs
I thought the bit about mortality is really true, and the need to take things slowly.
 

Duffey

Me and Granbon
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Messages
5,248
Location
Far side of the moon
His death, suicide perhaps, really has weighed on my mind. I'm torn between the thought that after he had come through valve replacement, how could he have given up on life, but I also know that many struggle for some time with major depression following any type of heart surgery. I read an interview he gave before his tv show, The Crazy Ones, premiered last fall. In it he stated that he had many financial obligations from his previous marriages and children, and that he needed the series to be successful in order to meet them. Sadly it wasn't renewed which must have been a bitter disappointment. I hope he is at peace, and that his family and friends find solace in the outpouring of love and affection from his many fans.
 

palmaceae

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
272
Location
SW Florida
Very sad about Robin Williams. He had AVR surgery a few days after I did in 2009, also Barbara Bush.
 

Paleowoman

VR.org Supporter
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
Messages
2,824
Location
Surrey, UK
What you wrote in your blog Pell, so true. I can't explain why I am thinking so much about Robin Williams - the only thing I ever watched with him in it was Disney's Alladin where he played the voice of the genie. But when I found out he'd had valve surgery it put another whole slant on his troubled life. We don't know how some people suffer from their outside persona. It's all very sad for him and his family.
 

maisiejane

VR.org Supporter
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Apr 10, 2012
Messages
165
Location
Cheshire, UK
My view on the legend that was Robin Williams is that he did not commit suicide, he died from a disease that is dismissed by many, he died from Depression!
 

ottagal

VR.org Supporter
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
2,534
Location
Can.
Chiming in a little late...
I echo the above comments and found all your perspectives very interesting. Thanks for the great insight on your blog, Pellicle.

I always thought Robin Williams was a very talented comedian and had some good laughs over the years. Such sad news and may he rest in peace.
The following NY Daily News gave good coverage of the very real and often unspoken side effect of cardiac depression post-surgery. Obviously the article was written before they knew about the Parkinson's diagnosis.
http://www.nydailynews.com/life-sty...rgery-contribute-depression-article-1.1900944
 

Paleowoman

VR.org Supporter
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
Messages
2,824
Location
Surrey, UK
Thanks for posting that link about cardiac depression post surgery Ottagal - very interesting what the medical professionals said about it. No one seems discuss it do they.
 

Motozona

New member
Joined
May 6, 2013
Messages
4
Location
Mayer, Az
He always had that look of a little boy who had been ridiculed harshly. Shame can wound the soul and I think he compensated equally for it his entire life.
 

Protimenow

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
3,738
Location
California
It's disappointing (or worse) that they don't tell us about this issue BEFORE we have the surgery. I was lied to before my surgery -- told things like 'it will be easier to get life insurance after your operation.' I only learned that many of us 'lose' some of ourselves after this surgery. Of course, the benefits probably STILL outweigh the risks of NOT having the surgery done, but it would have been helpful to KNOW the risk of depression and other issues BEFOREHAND.
I can't speculate on Robin Williams' situation -- but it's Ottagal's comment is certainly interesting.

This forum is great, and perhaps will add some 'depression' support components at some future time.
 

Agian

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2013
Messages
2,343
Location
Adelaide, South Australia
I think Robin Williams was sad for a long time. Even when he was making us laugh, you could sense the pain underneath. So famous and yet so lonely. What a terrible loss.
 

Rebecca

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2003
Messages
267
Location
Georgia
Robin was recently diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease and lots of the drugs to treat Parkinson’ disease can cause serious depression. His doctors should have been doing a better job monitoring him and his drugs he was taking for depression and Parkinson..
 

ottagal

VR.org Supporter
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
2,534
Location
Can.
Rebecca;n845976 said:
Robin was recently diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease and lots of the drugs to treat Parkinson’ disease can cause serious depression. His doctors should have been doing a better job monitoring him and his drugs he was taking for depression and Parkinson..
Rebecca, thanks for bringing this important point up. I guess none of us will ever know what the 'straw was that broke the camel's' back that led to his suicide, but certainly a valid point regarding Parkinsons.
Apparently, up to 60% of those with Parkinsons also suffer from depression:. http://www.pdf.org/en/depression_pd
 

Paleowoman

VR.org Supporter
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
Messages
2,824
Location
Surrey, UK
I should imagine it was a combination of things - I mean not all people in the early stages of Parkinsons commit suicide. Robin Williams had had a number of things which could have contributed to his depressed state of mind, his addictions for one are an indication that he had problems, and then, by his own admission, heart surgery had a huge effect on him, I'll quote from him again ""Oh, God, you find yourself getting emotional. It breaks through your barrier, you've literally cracked the armour. And you've got no choice, it literally breaks you open. And you feel really mortal."
 

Carol

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2012
Messages
98
Location
Marlborough ma.
I am sure that depression is a chemical imbalance.You do not have to have a reason to be there.I have been there,done that.It is a horrible disease as lethal as cancer.
 

Paleowoman

VR.org Supporter
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
Messages
2,824
Location
Surrey, UK
Carol;n845997 said:
I am sure that depression is a chemical imbalance. You do not have to have a reason to be there.I have been there,done that.
Me too. But with me there was a reason, a reason from my childhood, it wasn't a chemical inbalance which is why all the antidepressants, ECT, etc don't always work when the cause is not a chemical one. It takes a lot of work to resolve a depressive illness, years of work sometimes ! And probably some people have a mixture of chemical imbalance and stresses from life which lead to their illness.
 

Protimenow

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
3,738
Location
California
I doubt that it's possible to actually come up with statistics to support a statement that depression is 'as lethal as cancer.' Depression may be horrible, but if the worst manifestation of depression's lethality is suicide, I suspect that this measure falls far short of the death statistics resulting from cancer. Depression is awful -- it can ruin a lot of lives -- but I'm not so sure about specifically how lethal it is.
 

newarrior

Have moderate AS live in Asia
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Jun 29, 2019
Messages
356
Location
Thailand
It
I doubt that it's possible to actually come up with statistics to support a statement that depression is 'as lethal as cancer.' Depression may be horrible, but if the worst manifestation of depression's lethality is suicide, I suspect that this measure falls far short of the death statistics resulting from cancer. Depression is awful -- it can ruin a lot of lives -- but I'm not so sure about specifically how lethal it is.
It's lethal
 
Top