Robin Williams suffered from dementia, widow says
MANILA, Philippines – Fans were devastated when Robin Williams died in 2014, and shocked to hear that the comedian battled depression before taking his own life. But his wife, Susan Williams, recently spoke to People about how he was before his death, shedding light on what Robin was going through, along with the many other health issues he faced.
According to Susan, William was showing symptoms of Diffuse Lewy Body Dementia (DLB), a brain disease, before his death. These including anxiety attacks, an accident with a door that caused him injury, and muscle rigidity. But because of the nature of the disease, doctors couldn't identify it until after Robins death.
"It was not depression that killed Robin," Susan told People, as he was battling depression before his death, and many perceived this to be the reason for his suicide. "Depression was one of, let's call it 50 symptoms, and it was a small one."
According to the Alzheimer's Society, DLB shares symptoms as Alzheimer's and Parkinsons diseases, and is often diagnosed as other conditions. Some of the symptoms include problems in alertness, judging distances, and, for some, depression.
"I've spent this last year trying to find out what killed Robin. To understand what we were fighting, what we were in the trenches fighting and one of the doctors said, 'Robin was very aware that he was losing his mind and there was nothing he could do about it,'" said Susan to People.
"This was a very unique case and I pray to God that it will shed some light on Lewy bodies for the millions of people and their loved ones who are suffering with it," she added.
"We were living a nightmare," Susan told ABC News.
She said Williams understood that he was losing his mind.
"He was keeping it together as best as he could, but the last month he could not. It's like the dam broke," she said.
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US authorities said Robin, who won an Oscar in 1998 for Good Will Hunting, died of asphyxiation. His assistant found him with a belt around his neck and cuts on his left wrist.
The night before his tragic demise, Susan said he was calm. He entered her bedroom a couple of times, once with an iPad in hand.
"I thought, 'This is good,'" she said. They said good night. It was the last time she saw him alive.
Robin married Susan in 2011; she was his 3rd wife. Before her, he married Valerie Velardi in 1978, and they had one son, Zak before getting divorced in 1988. In 1989, he married Marsha Garces, and they had two children – Zelda and Cody. He and Marsha divorced in 2008.
Robin was an Oscar-winning actor and comedian, known for his many iconic roles in movies like Dead Poets' Society (1989), Mrs Doubtfire (1993), and Aladdin (1992). – With reports from AFP/Rappler.com