Robin Williams: Behind Our Masks

robinwilliamsIt might be overdone to write another post about Robin Williams, and with the abundance of articles about him now, I am almost certain you will pass this one up. Despite this hunch, I still feel like I had to write this post to express the lessons I have been thinking about.

Robin Williams was known as both a great entertainer and person. His role alone in Dead Poet Society can teach an abundance of lessons about living life and stepping out of your comfort zone. His death and the causes of it both came as a shock to many of us, but I hope that it will inspire more people to speak out about depression.

A few things about Robin Williams:

  • He was voted “lease likely to succeed” in high school.
  • He started off by acting as a mime outside of the New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • When he auditioned for the role of Mork, the producer asked him to sit down. He instantly sat on his head, and got the job for being “the only alien that auditioned.”
  • After winning the Academy Award for Good Will hunting, Robin sent a replica to the man who dubbed his voice in the German adaptation of the film.
  • Robin invented his different voices as a child to keep himself company.
  • He grew up Episcopalian with a Christian Scientist mother, and looked towards God during one of his recoveries in rehab.
  • Robin Williams used to call Steven Spielberg and his cast to tell them jokes during the filming of Schindler’s List.
  • He also visited his friend Christopher Reeve in the hospital to cheer him up after his accident.
  • Robin was big on donations and even visited Afghanistan to speak to US troops.

It is so sad to see someone, whose business was making people smile, unable to make himself smile. It was just another proof that so many people live day to day behind a mask. They have troubles and difficulties that they hide from their friends, family, and coworkers. We live in a world where everyone knows everything about each other, and we all share everything through social media. Yet, there are some dark and deadly secrets that people hold onto. Are we doing everything we can to improve the lives and emotions of everyone around us?

Peter Scazzero has said that,

“In our culture, addiction has become the most common way to deal with pain. We watch television incessantly. We keep busy running. from one activity to another. We work seventy hours a week, indulge in pornography, overeat, drink, take pills––anything to help us avoid the pain. Some of us demand that someone or something take the loneliness away. Sadly, the result of denying and minimizing our wounds over many years is that we become less and less human, empty Christian shells with painted smiley faces. For some, a dull, low-level depression descends upon us, making us nearly unresponsive to all reality.”

If you need help, talk to someone. If you do not need help, talk to someone.

Above all, talk to God.

Write out all of the good things in your life. An increase in positivity can help depression end if you view them as being continuing and stable, instead of fragile and temporary.


Words and ideas can change the world, but a few words to someone who needs it can change one person’s world. Help someone this week, and just try to let the world know that we do not need to hide anymore. God is always with us, even in the darkest parts of our life.

“It is the Lord your God who goes before you. He will be with you; He will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid.” Deuteronomy 31:8



If you’re feeling suicidal, please call the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

3 thoughts on “Robin Williams: Behind Our Masks

  1. Hi Trevor,
    My husband Michael and I enjoyed this article.

    Many Christians out there have a condescending and critical attitude toward people with depression. I remember sharing with a lady who was a Christian how I felt. This is what she said, “Well, let me ask you this: Do you trust in the LORD?” I told her yes. She then replied with, “Well, then you shouldn’t be depressed should you?” I felt like she was saying, “Where’s your faith?”, instead of having compassion toward me and talking with me about it.

    People are so careless with their words. Matthew 12:37 says we’ll be judged by our words. Our words should be as Proverbs describes them, “a fountain of life”. I hate to think of how many deaths have been the result of careless, cold words. This makes the people that spoke those words no less a murderer than one using a physical weapon.

    In CHRIST,

    • You’re very right. Although having a faith and trust in God is necessary for overcoming these things, you have a point. Depression is a disease, and just like diseases, they require multiple things to instill healing. People don’t question your faith when you break a bone or get the flu, so why should it be any different with depression? Our words are very important in everything we do, and I hope that more people could realize that. We should be promoting peace, love, and Christ, not tearing others down by our ignorance.

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