Robin Williams’ New Documentary Reveals a lot
HBO’s new documentary Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind‘ reveals a lot about the late actor. The documentary clearly reflects that the entertainer was not just addicted to substance, but also comedy.
Related: Remembering Robin Williams
Come Inside My Mind- directed by Marina Zenovich is a two-hour-long glimpse into Robin William’s life. With audio clips, footage, and interviews with friends and family, one thing is pretty common. Robin Williams devoted his entire life to making people laugh.
During an interview in the documentary, Robin Williams acknowledges how comedy became more of compulsion on him:
There’s a real incredible rush, I think, when you find something new and spontaneous. I think your brain rewards that with a little bit of endorphins — going, ‘If you think again, I’ll get you high one more time.’
Williams’ Energizing Ability
Robin Williams soon became known for this energizing ability. For bringing energy to any group, for switching into an entertaining person from a quiet one in seconds. And people recognize him for this. Mark Romanek, director of one of his other documentaries shared William’s love for making people laugh in an interview for Come Inside My Mind:
The urge to be funny, and to make people laugh, was so innate for him. It was almost like breathing for him. When he used to make people laugh that hard, he used to kind of get high from it.
Another friend added that when Robin Williams was struggling with his drug-use, he turned to laughter to provide that same rush. In the documentary Bill Crystal shares that,
He needed that little extra hug you can only get from strangers. That laugh is a drug. That acceptance. That thrill is really hard to replace with anything else.
Comedy was Pleasurable For Robin Williams
Even if it sounds strange, comedy does influence your brain mechanisms. Research studies reveal that making people laugh and positive social interactions are a form of natural pain relievers. The director at the National Institute of Drug Abuse talked about this phenomenon which Robin Williams experienced. In the documentary:
That’s why social interactions are so pleasurable: They are associated with activation of the endogenous opioid system. Something like heroin is rewarding because it’s [also] activating that endogenous opioid signaling system. It’s a very pleasurable system. It is there to make us feel good about behaviors in such a way that we will repeat them.
People like Robin Williams who suffer from addiction and abuse then turn to entertaining others so that they don’t fail themselves. But when he killed himself, he probably did not realize that he was a really successful person. He made hundreds of people laugh and forget their worries!