‘We were living a nightmare.’
The widow of Robin Williams has spoken about her late husband’s death for the first time, more than a year after he took his own life.
Susan Schneider Williams, in interviews with People magazine and Good Morning America, says it wasn’t depression that caused Robin Williams to suicide, it was a condition called Lewy body dementia.
The debilitating brain condition began to affect Williams about a year before his death.
“It was not depression that killed Robin,” Schneider Williams told People. “Depression was one of let’s call it 50 symptoms and it was a small one.”
Watch Schneider Williams’ interview here… Post continues after video.
Lewy body dementia, also known as dementia with Lewy bodies, is a progressive brain disorder characterised by microscopic protein deposits, called Lewy bodies, that develop on the brain.
It’s the second most common form of dementia, but it’s often misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s. The symptoms include sleep disorders, hallucinations, impaired movement, difficulty judging distance, confusion, and memory loss.
It’s swift-moving, and a patient diagnosed with Lewy body dementia has approximately seven years to live after the onset of symptoms, according to Alzheimer’s Australia.
Williams had received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, but his Lewy body dementia wasn’t discovered until a post-mortem.
Schneider Williams says Robin Williams’ symptoms had worsened in the months leading up to his death. She told People magazine that he suffered crippling panic attacks and a miscalculation had caused him to injure his head badly on a bathroom door.
“If Robin was lucky, he would’ve had maybe three years left. And they would’ve been hard years. And it’s a good chance he would’ve been locked up,” Schneider Williams told ABC News’ Amy Robach on Good Morning America.