By: M. A. Shamie, MD. Psychiatrist-Addictionologist
Farnaz Zendehdel Psy.D. Clinical Psychologist
Life can be extremely stressful and painful at times.
The recent suicide of Robin Williams was a shock to many of us. We found ourselves asking how a legendary actor, who was admired by many of us, could end his life. Many idealized him. He had a family, fortune and fame. We wonder how a person with many positive aspects in life leads to the irreversible act of taking his life.
When suicide comes to mind, we have our own inner reasons and associations. We often connect suicide with financial loss, instability of family life, low social status, as well as personal loss. In fact suicide is a symptom of emotionally rooted pain, which is just one factor that leads the person to pathological thinking of putting an end to his own misery.
The pain and misery is subjective and individualistic to the extent that changes one’s perception and experience of life. Robin Williams is just one example of thousands of people who end their lives everyday, without warning.
At this time, we are not certain if Robin Williams had communicated direct or indirect messages to others about his state of distress, which we call “a cry for help”. To hear the voice or to be sensitive to the messages of suicide, direct or indirect, can becomes a clue for suicide prevention.
 However, we do have information regarding his state of emotional problems such as suffering from severe depression, in addition to history of alcohol and drug use disorder, which may have exacerbated his emotional instability. As we know, when substance abuse is combined with psychiatric illnesses can complicate life situations and lead to risky behaviors. Moreover, the news about his early stages of Parkinson’s Disease may have been an additional factor in his perceived inner pain and future failure.
Williams had perceived himself as facing a rocky obstacles in his future life associated with fear of disability leading to his ego disintegration. At the time when he was alone in isolation and he most probably had experienced a sudden or a temporary loss of contact with reality, which led to his impulsive suicide thoughts and attempt. His desperate and unusual suicide attempt was unfortunately completed before anyone could help him.
This type of impulsive suicidal attempt happens when a person is in isolated environment alone and has the thought of having lost or about to lose everything he has accomplished through his life, which is quite irrational.
From the description of his life circumstances and the pathological factors playing important roles in his life recently, we believe that fear of disability especially for a self-fulfilling and accomplished actor such as Robin Williams, most probably, was a strong force behind of his sudden pathological, self destructive, and impulsive suicide attempt.

Tara Gallery Exhibit Features Hossein Khosrojerdi


Tara Gallery in Santa Monica has announced details of its upcoming exhibition featuring acclaimed Iranian expatriate Hossein Khosrojerdi.
Born in 1957, Tehran, Hossein Khosrojerdi earned a B.A. in Painting from Tehran University, Tehran. He has had his work in over 15 solo exhibitions and over 25 group exhibitions worldwide.
The exhibition opens on Saturday, Sept. 20 with a reception from 6-9 pm. The exhibition runs through Oct. 15.

Country Nominates
Iranian Film


Afghanistan has nominated Iranian filmmaker Jamshid Mahmoudi’s debut feature creation A Few Cubic Meters of Love to compete at the 2015 Academy Awards.
Though the film is an Iran-Afghanistan co-production, it has not secured an Iranian release date until after Sept. 30, the last date for Oscar eligibility. Mahmoudi decided to release in Afghanistan before that date, thereby qualifying the film from that country.The film is set in a shantytown on the outskirts of Teheran where a factory illegally employs Afghan asylum seekers. A love story plays out between a young Iranian worker and the daughter of an Afghan worker. (source: Variety)
The 87th Annual Academy Awards is scheduled for February 22, 2015

 Iranian Film to Compete at Zurich Film Festival


Iranian drama Melbourne directed by Nima Javidi has been selected to compete at the 10th edition of Zurich international Film festival. The story is that Amir and Sara are a young couple on their way to Melbourne to continue their studies. However, just a few hours before the departure of their flight, they are unintentionally involved in a tragic event.
Melbourne is Javidi’s first feature film. It received critical acclaim at the 71st Venice International Film Festival in Italy. The film experienced its international premiere at the festival.
The 10th edition of Zurich international Film festival is scheduled for September 25 to October 5, 2014