Zachary said that he was "traumatized" after he lost his father to suicide. So much that he found comfort in alcohol.
When legendary actor Robin Williams passed away on August 11, 2014, he not only left the whole world stunned but his family as well. Even though his family was aware of the actor's personal struggle, they never thought that they would see the day where they would be bidding him farewell so soon.
Six years after the 63-year-old Robin took his own life, his son Zachary Pym Williams opened up about life after his father's death in an episode of The Dr. Oz Show, as reported by People. Zachary admitted that he saw himself go down the dark lane where his father once was.
Talking about the late actor's difficult years, he said, "I was acutely aware of my dad's struggles with depression, it manifested in addiction at times, and he took great lengths to support his well-being and mental health, especially when he was challenged. It was something that was a daily consideration for him."
Zachary continued by saying that even during Robin's own struggle, the actor didn't forget to help others who were suffering as well. He said, "The main thing for me was noticing how he went through great lengths to support himself while he could show up for others. It was clear that he prioritized his mental health throughout most of his life, at least that I experienced with him."
However, after his death, Zachary found himself "hitting rock bottom" and struggling with depression and addiction just like his father. "I found myself hitting rock bottom when I wanted to just be numb," he said and continued, "I found myself wanting to drink alcohol and just not think. That was something that was really dysregulating for me." He added, "I found myself waking up in the morning and feeling like I was having a dissociative experience, but I just didn't want to be living the life I was living. I realized something had to give."
Previously, during an interview with People in October 2020, Zachary had admitted that Robin's death had left him "traumatized." He revealed, "I loved playing with him in our garden or going on walks and popping into the local Japanese toy shop to watch him get so excited over different things." However, his father's death affected him in the worst way possible and he found himself "deeply unhappy and feeling extremely isolated and broken. I was traumatized," he added.
He soon realized that his lifestyle wasn't right and that he needed help. The 37-year-old has found a way to maintain his mental health by finding "forms of healing, specifically relating to not only a healthy lifestyle, but also connecting with people."
Acknowledging how community support groups have helped him, Zachary said, "I'm in a 12-Step program, that's very helpful for me personally." Back in May 2020, he told People that he's keeping Robin's spirit alive by being a part of the organization Inseparable which is working towards granting mental health care access to all Americans during the pandemic.
He is also a part of organizations such as Bring Change to Mind, Glenn Close's nonprofit. He is also the founder of PYM (Prepare Your Mind) that promotes mental health support.
Talking about his wife Olivia June and one-year-old son, McLaurin "Mickey" Clement, Zachary said that his family has been one of the major reasons for his recovery. He said, "I'm thrilled to have a family and live the life that I always wanted to live. I've learned I'm not broken. Despite experiencing traumatic events, I can recover. And I am now on a path of healing and being the person I always wanted to be."
Before his death, the Mrs. Doubtfire actor was suffering from Lewy Body Dementia, which was confirmed only after his death during an autopsy. His wife Susan told People, "It was not depression that killed Robin,” referring to the public perception of what made her husband take his own life, she continued, “Depression was one of let’s call it 50 symptoms and it was a small one.”
During her first on-camera interview with Good Morning America, Susan revealed that Robin tried really hard to keep himself together even though he knew he was losing his mind, but in the last month before his death, he had enough. “It was like the dam broke,” she recalled.
She noted that the actor had been “completely clean and sober” for eight years until the time of his demise but his depression had returned along with paranoia. “I’ve spent this last year trying to find out what killed Robin, to understand... what we were in the trenches fighting and one of the doctors said: ‘Robin was very aware that he was losing his mind and there was nothing he could do about it,'” she told ABC, according to The Guardian.