Robin Williams Made a Career of Making Other People Laugh, but What Were the Conversations Which Took Place in His Head Which Made Him Feel Depressed and Suicidal?

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Tom Gagliano’s book, "The Problem Was Me," ( has helped many families and friends understand why their loved ones push away help when it comes their way. His book has also helped many people silence those intrusive voices that lead towards destructive outcomes.

Thomas Gagliano, author of the book, “The Problem Was Me,” suggests that negative self-talk can be so powerful that it can convince the person that suicide is the best option. Depression, addiction, and mental illness – all have a common thread; they contain intrusive inner voices. These destructive conversations or messages that take place in the person’s mind can drive them towards destructive outcomes such as divorce, crime, addiction, and even suicide. Often, the symptom of depression is masked. The inner conversations are unspoken which make the suicide a surprise.

How to talk to a loved one who is depressed?

Understanding what it feels like to live in the inner world of depression, like Robin Williams did, will help people understand what type of communication creates closeness with those suffering from depression and which pushes them further away.

Early in childhood, when the belief system is formed, it is essential for the child to learn to process and share negative feelings in a healthy way. If this process doesn’t take place, eventually, the negative core beliefs will produce intrusive thoughts and messages throughout a person’s life. If they aren’t exposed, this negative self-concept will become so powerful that isolation will become the only option. Alone with your own thoughts can prove destructive. The coping mechanisms that this creates will guide the person towards acting act out their feelings with addiction or acting in their feelings with depression, or both.

Depression creates a fragmented person where their outsides and insides don’t match. Internally, they mask their painful feelings from others, but on the outside, they play the role that they feel people want them to play. They have a hidden voice screaming for help but their external message is "Don’t come close." The goal is to create an environment where the person is safe enough to discuss their negative messages for the myths that they are. By bringing these messages to the light, only then will the person free themselves from the chains of this terrible affliction.

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Thomas Gagliano
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