SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— In the wake of last week’s shocking death of actor, comedian and humanitarian, Robin Williams, the topics of depression and addiction have come to the forefront.
Dr. Alex Zaphiris, a San Francisco-based integrated family physician who specializes in the treatment for addiction hopes that the entertainer’s untimely death creates awareness about the resources that are available to those who suffer from each of these problems.
Williams’ suicide was shocking in a sense, despite the fact that he openly spoke about his own battles with addiction. Zaphiris said addiction is an often-times fatal and chronic problem.
“As the story evolves we’ll find out more if Robin relapsed as a part of this suicide. It doesn’t really matter as we already knew he was struggling with depression,” she said.
One of the risk factors for addiction is depression and people in recovery are especially at risk according to Zaphiris. Other factors include mood disorders like high anxiety. Trauma or abuse in childhood or as an adult can also be a triggering factor; whereas genetics plays about a 50-percent role in factoring into alcoholism or other types of substance abuse.