Robin Williams Was Not on Drugs, Alcohol When He Died

Robin Williams Was Not on Drugs, Alcohol When He Died

A final report by the Marin County coroner’s office on Friday determined that Robin Williams did not have illicit drugs or alcohol in his system on the day he took his life. However, he did suffer from a deep depression and bipolar disorder.

Williams hung himself on August 11 with a belt on his closet door and was pronounced dead at 12:02 p.m. at his home in Tiburon, California.

The report concluded the investigation into his death, and the official report out of the sheriff’s office listed his “cause of death” as “asphyxia due to hanging” and the “manner of death” as “suicide.”

The toxicology tests found, instead, that Williams was on prescription medication “in therapeutic” concentrations, believed to be for his depression and/or bipolar disorder. 

Williams had opened up to his friend Carrie Fisher about his bipolar disorder, which the actress spoke about in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter following her longtime friend’s death. She described Williams as having a deep charisma which allowed him to capture the attention of all around him.

His death struck a chord in public about bipolar disorder and the link between genius and madness, which USA Today reporter Marie Puente wrote about. In her piece, she posited, “Why do so many creative people throughout history — so many great artists and geniuses such as Robin Williams — seem to be touched by what the ancient Greek thinkers called ‘divine madness’?”

While it is no secret that Williams had a dark battle with depression, alcoholism, and drug addiction, his widow, Susan Schneider, said his sobriety was in tact at the time of his passing, notes USA Today

She revealed that he had recently been diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease and called him “brave” for the way he conducted himself in the face of an uphill battle against depression, anxiety, and his recent discovery of the degenerative nervous system disease. Parkinson’s disease also afflicts actor Michael J. Fox, who has championed and been a spokesman for others enduring the pains of the often crippling brain disorder.

Throughout it all, and despite the countless smiles he was able to evoke on so many faces, the answer to Williams’ underlying suffering could be seen in the ever-present melancholy in his eyes.

Follow Adelle on Twitter @AdelleNaz