Dr. Jeffrey Gardere: Robin Williams Used Comedy to Hide Pain

Tuesday, 12 Aug 2014 05:11 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Robin Williams expertly hid his excruciating inner pain and suffering through his wild, unpredictable comedy, psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Gardere told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.

"He was a super-manic guy, the face of the public, a comic genius, a philanthropist, helping people out,'' Gardere said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show."

"That enabled his own illness, in that people just couldn't believe someone who's so happy, so smart, so funny could do something like this.

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"This was a guy who was in legitimate pain . . . someone who was suffering, but was able to hide it from the public with his comic antics.''

Williams, 63, died from "asphyxia due to hanging," an apparent suicide, Lt. Keith Boyd of the Marin County (California) Sheriff's Office revealed at a news conference on Tuesday.

The comedian-turned-Oscar-winning actor was found Monday in his bedroom by his personal assistant, with a belt wedged between a closet door and door frame and tied around his neck.

The star of such movie smashes as "Mrs. Doubtfire,'' "Good Will Hunting" and "Good Morning, Vietnam,'' Williams had fought substance abuse for years and suffered from severe depression.

Depression is not unfamiliar to many comedians who become big stars, Gardere said.

"Their humor, their shtick, if you will, comes out of the pain that they've experienced early in life and perhaps through different periods of their lives," said Gardere, known as "America's psychologist'' and an assistant professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine.

"[They] tend to be very intelligent individuals who like to work out their issues, their routines on stage.''

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