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Robin Williams: should we feel sorry?

There has been quite a furore on Talksport, with Alan Brazil calling Robin Williams “selfish” for his suicide and Stan Collymore labelling the Scottish breakfast presenter as “ignorant”. Brazil may not have realised it, but Freud termed suicide as the greatest act of selfishness.  We are moving into complex waters, but broadly is a suicide victim so wholly absorbed in him/herself that this is the final craving for attention and pity, or are they tormented souls with acute mental illness who cannot take any more? I believe you have to examine each on a case by case basis. Of the two suicides I knew well, they fell into either camp.  In which one does Robin Williams fit?

We were first told that he was severely depressed and suffering from various addictions  Then the explanation was financial: he was facing bankruptcy after two expensive divorces, he could not sell his ranch for $24m. His definition of financial problems is rather different to most. There was a further explanation that he woud have to take on film roles he did not fancy, which in everyday terms puts him in the same bracket as the vast majority  of the populus and numerous actors rebuilding their finances by having to do a job for their living they did not much like.

Perhaps  you think me harsh and callous for writing this, but I do not believe that either Alan Brazil or myself should be termed ignorant, or that Stan Collymore should be occupying the moral high ground.

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About Oliver Fortune

A doctor formerly specialising in sexual health, Oliver has written widely on matters relating to sex, relationships and counselling. He is divorced and has one daughter. He is a keen skier and mountain biker. More Posts