We now know what life was like for Robin Williams in the months before his death.
In an essay titled “The Terrorist Inside My Husband’s Brain,” the late actor and comedian’s wife Susan Schneider Williams gives full details of the final days of her husband.
Williams died at the age of 63 as a result of suicide. Schneider notes that she did not just lose a husband but a best friend.
Robin Williams suffered from Lewy Body Dementia (LBD)
In 2014, Williams was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. After his death, tests revealed he also suffered from LBD, a condition that is common, but difficult to diagnose. Medical experts say this condition is strong enough to have influenced his decision to complete suicide. His widow says there is probably nothing anyone could have done to prevent the situation.
Williams showed “unrelated” symptoms
According to Schneider’s essay, her husband had been struggling with what seemed to be unrelated symptoms. He would suddenly develop constipation. Other times, he would suffer from sleeplessness and insomnia, and coupled with all of these was stress; lots of it. He would also occasionally witness a slight tremor in his left hand. Schneider notes that along with stress and anxiety, “some symptoms were more prevalent than others, but these increased in frequency and severity over the next 10 months.”
Loss of memory
Schneider mentioned an incident that occurred while her husband was filming a movie. He suffered a panic attack and suddenly had trouble remembering even a single line of his scenes. Three years back, he had been able to remember up to five full months’ worth of lines in a series he was part of. He would do up to two episodes a day, making little or no mistakes in his hundreds of lines in that series.
Published in the medical journal Neurology, Schneider hopes her essay will “help make a difference in the lives of others.”
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