The death of famous actor/comedian Robin Williams on August 11, 2014 shocked the world, as authorities initially called it an “apparent suicide.” Williams was pronounced dead shortly after he was found hanging from a belt in his home.

Despite being one of the most successful Hollywood celebrities of all time, he had suffered from depression that he apparently could not control. His problems included alcohol, drug addiction, financial disillusionment, two divorces, inability to sell his multi-million dollar mansion and a failed television show (The Crazy Ones) that had recently been canceled by CBS. At the time of death Williams was 63 years old.

While the actor’s legacy will certainly be set in stone by numerous TV shows, blockbuster films, and accolades. Sadly though, he will now also be remembered for taking his own life or at least allowing it to unravel in his final years. Since no suicide note was found in his Tiburon, California home, the world may never learn exactly all the reasons why his life came to an end, other than the cause of death has been reported as asphyxia (choking). He also had minor cuts on his wrist and a pocket knife was found in the room. A representative of Williams confirmed to the press that the actor was “battling severe depression.”

A month prior to his death, Williams had visited a rehab treatment center in Minnesota. Williams reportedly had managed to avoid alcohol and cocaine for twenty years following the death of his actor/comedian friend John Belushi, who died of a drug overdose in 1982. While Williams claimed he never started using cocaine again, he did tell Good Morning America in 2006 that he had returned to drinking alcohol. As sad as his death was, an important lesson must not be ignored about how his life ended: that suicide is unnecessarily a permanent solution to a temporary problem.