Robin Williams; A Bundle of Creative Energy

ROBIN WILLIAMS WAS A GIFTED PERSON. I want to know if Robin Williams was being ‘treated’ for depression and if he was on medications and which ones. What if his action is the result of the medications?? Regardless. The media news continues to treat this as Robin’s sickness rather than the inadequacy and failure of ‘treatments’ complicated by lack of understanding giftedness and creativity. This is especially true if he had access to ‘good’ treatments and followed common medical beliefs that fail to bring a person to thriving in their creative process – not necessarily the same as social status, success and fame.

Remember how our society’s educational leaders did this with gifted students in public school before they recognized giftedness in students who had previously failed the system and therefore developed a special program that helped gifted students succeed at their own level? 

Mary Lou Streznewski in her book, Gifted Grownups, says gifted people don’t stop being giffted after high school.

In this case, whatever treatments there were, they did not work!


As I’ve read, supposedly, Robin Williams followed what he was ‘suppose’ to do with his problems – and that, in itself, may have been problematic. This, of course, is all speculative as I don’t know details and am not even a witness just a story reader. But still, our stories we hear and tell ourselves are important and the ideas I suggest are worthy of consideration, nonetheless.

Anyone knowledgeable should have been on top of it. But Robin’s death shows they weren’t. There are studies that show the consistent failures (of common treatment beliefs), but media is SO slow to shift the ‘norm’ and advertising derails much contrasting, good information. We all miss out on endless possibilities in a media that is restrained, bought and sold.

I can not stand to see another wonderfully talented, beautiful, deep souled person gone this way. The constant decade after decade of this problem with the failure of the professionals and their treatments must be addressed. The failures are centuries old. It’s amazing such failures can exist within such an institution that depends on renewing itself with each generation to avoid collapse.  But that’s the problems of institutional psychology and psychiatry. They must ‘advance’ from the failures of the past. Unfortunately, the training is still rooted in the same framework that fails each generation.

However, more of my focus at the moment is another talented, creative genius has passed. This is a GIFTED person’s problem and something we can all learn that actually applies to all humans. It’s countless casualties are incalcuable from Elvis to MJ to Janis to Jimi Hendrix. The more outstanding the gift, the more the suffering.  Not to mention all those people whose gifts don’t ever surface or don’t ‘make’ it to fame and honor but instead where gifts are hidden or lost when people believe they have some mental problem rather than a creativity problem and don’t quite know how to move through creative processes! They get up everyday dragging themselves because their creative soul is lost in a fog of misinformation. Worse, they take on some idea they are flawed or sick people, like some people take on they are sinful people. It’s a distorted idea of who we are as human while missing information about our awesome nature just as the rest of the world and creatures as naturally awesome in nature.  Disorder is a part nature, not a disease, and the creative process, not a sickness. And our obsessiveness with ‘order’ and being ‘stagnant’ in our ‘personhood’ by definition itself can stall a creative life.

I know because I lived part of my life with my gifts hidden under social conformity and still struggle with the issues, often non-acceptance, that come along with a gift and rejuvenated your life outside of a yearly vacation. Of course, Nothing in this world is all wonderful. Giftedness has it’s own thorns. But I was fortunate. I found the correct information and moved out of that common path that so many others have no choice but to walk on.

We need to share what is known about GIFTED PEOPLE, drug use and depression, especially in the most sensitive, most talented and gifted people by helping to point to and find information about gifted people and promote those who are doing the right work. We can all benefit from understanding the creative processes of human beings. We need to further publicize what is already known in some creative circles but not mass produced enough yet (because the media doesn’t know yet.) We need to encourage creative thinkers in all of us and stop bickering that we see things differently. Why is everyone trying to see things and believe things the same way? That is like having people in California look out their window and describe the mountains there as if they are the same in Kansas or New Hampshire. Our lives lead us in paths to see different vistas.

Information from those who know about giftedness is available online. Too many professionals know absolutely zero because there is no training in the mainstream eduational systems. Even in science that we honor, there are gaps of knowledge because we miss some of the most essential wonders of our nature, like Robin Williams lived. We get misinformation that lacks understandings about creative processes and creative souls. We get treated as if we can be diagnosed negatively within a hour or through a phone call. Of course, this brings relief for many sufferers because it’s better than nothing.  Stereotypes are harmful. We know this. Academically produced stereotypes are almost more treacherous. William Blum is quoted as saying. Just put that stereotype down and no one will get hurt. Psychology and psychology focus on an 18th century belief system and model that focuses on ‘something wrong’ within the individual to be ‘fixed’ can be backwards in attempting to bring people to thriving in their lives. It can be crippling for the most gifted.

There are plenty of websites out there about giftedness. The ‘normal’ and ‘mentally ill’ stereotypes (not real people) and the believers of stereotypes are the beginning, first step in destroying the originality of any one person. Not to say that there is help in naming something when one doesn’t have a name. But We have cookie cutter molds for people that are sized up in a matter of minutes. We actually throw them at each other. Compare ourselves with others through them and critique and reject others based on those stereotypes. Artists themselves are stereotyped and misunderstood which mystifies them in unnecessary ways. After all, we are still all human. Those believers have no concept of the solution to those problems of the creative, sensitive, and gifted… and the creative process and what damage is done telling a person they have a mental problem instead of a creativity, gifted problem. Google giftedness and depression – yourself. Find the books, groups, classes, webpages…Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way or Linda Silverman’s Counseling the Gifted or Mary Lou Streznewski’s Gifted Grownups or even, the Everyday Genius with Mary Elaine Jacobsen….get the word out there so we don’t have to see

Blocks of Creative Matter

Blocks of Creative Matter

another gifted person lose the struggle with a creativity that this society can hardly fathom, understand or receive in it’s fullness of the creative person. Robin Williams survived for a long time and it may have been just too much of a struggle to continue for him. But Robin Williams

may have had a chance if he knew someone who knows about ‘giftedness’, creative processing, creative arts therapy, etc. ….Medications are deadening for a gifted person! It’s well known for many people. Let’s spread the word….


One thought on “Robin Williams; A Bundle of Creative Energy

  1. Sure, I was sad, too, when Williams died, and outraged also. However, I don’t view “giftedness” as something that is so special and don’t think I have for a long time, despite the fact that it could easily be applied to me, too. That is to say, I studied Biological Anthropology as an undergrad, and like to apply that as a kind of standard to my eclectic interests and evaluation of modern human society. One key insight of psychology I like to apply here is that of self-esteem, and thanks to Louise Hay and the Recovery movement, the fundamental distinction between self-shame and self-caring love, and then how that is reflected in social esteem. One reason I like the Recovery movement so much (say, John Bradshaw and Melody Beattie) is that the 12 steps are a wonderfully perceptive sequence for managing life as a humble and proud, courageous and sincere person. Between personal attitudes gained from childhood, like “I’ve got to be smart” and those magnified and validated by society, like “if you’re rich, you’re really, really much more special than everybody else,” there are some essential ways to go astray. The problems of socioeconomic inquality in the US and the world, and environmental catastrophe both reflect these gaping chasms. People like Oprah and Jack Johnson, on the other hand, show what can happen when these essential “power packs” in people are operating in self-care/other care mode. Robin Williams tapped into some of his wonderful qualities, but his portrayal of Patch Adams and the circumstances surrounding that film highlight profoundly the essential issues I see by applying these crucial components of self-caring love a la Louise Hay, John Bradshaw, and Melody Beattie. Williams earned some 20 million dollars for the film. Adams was given nothing, despite his great need. Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse in their different ways reflect this principle. In Anthropology we find the example of the shaman. “Giftedness” has contexts, and I think psychological healing holds the advantage of allowing the gifted to identify themselves as part of a traditional social identity. Did Williams think he didn’t want to get old and frail? Jack Johnson gave away all the profits from his Brazilian tour to environmental groups. Williams helped Christopher Reeeves when Reeves was badly hurt. But what did he ever do for Patch Adams? And, by implication, his own deepest self-esteem. Thanks for the stimulating essay.


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