We were all shocked to learn that Robin Williams had committed suicide last year. His widow, Susan Williams, has spent the past year trying to figure out exactly what was wrong with Robin and what caused his death. Now she has some answers.
Susan said Robin was suffering from a neurological disorder called Diffuse Lewy Body Dementia or Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). She explained:
It was not depression that killed Robin. Depression was one of let’s call it 50 symptoms and it was a small one.”
DLB is often misdiagnosed because the symptoms are so varied. Susan called the presentation of various symptoms like “whack-a-mole” and said they included things like heightened anxiety, delusions, and problems with movement. She said:
They present themselves like a pinball machine. You don’t know exactly what you’re looking at.”
That must have been so difficult to deal with, for Robin and Susan.
She said doctors didn’t really know what was wrong until his autopsy was conducted.
I know now the doctors, the whole team was doing exactly the right things. It’s just that this disease was faster than us and bigger than us. We would have gotten there eventually.
“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.’
“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. Because we didn’t know. He didn’t know.”
Hopefully more will be learned about DLB so doctors can diagnose it sooner and begin treatment faster. It’s terrible to even think of the suffering Robin must’ve experienced. I’m glad Susan is trying to get something positive out of this by sharing their experiences and what she learned.
Photos by FAMEFLYNET