Robin Williams’ Spouse On the Dementia Symptom He Hid — Finest Life


All through his legendary profession, Robin Williams was revered as each a comedic genius and a masterful dramatic actor. He’ll eternally be remembered for his electrifying performances in Useless Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Birdcage, Good Will Looking, and plenty of different movies. Tragically, in 2014, after battling deteriorating psychological well being and a confounding set of bodily signs, Williams died by suicide on the age of 63. The actor’s premature demise shook Hollywood and devastated followers, but additionally left behind a grieving spouse, Susan Schneider Williams, and Williams’ three kids from earlier marriages.

Two years after his demise, Schneider Williams penned a heartfelt letter to scientists working to advance analysis on neurological issues. In it, she revealed that Williams hid one factor from her throughout the course of his sickness. Learn on to study which heartbreaking symptom Williams endured alone.

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Robin Williams
Lester Cohen/WireImage by way of Getty Pictures

Within the fall of 2013, Williams started experiencing “a firestorm of signs,” Schneider Williams recalled. On the time, they appeared unrelated and included “constipation, urinary issue, heartburn, sleeplessness and insomnia, and a poor sense of odor—and plenty of stress. He additionally had a slight tremor in his left hand that will come and go,” she wrote.

Over time, the star additionally started to expertise marked shifts in his psychological well being, displaying periodic “spikes” in nervousness, delusions, paranoia, insomnia, and concern. In Could of that 12 months, he was identified with Parkinson’s illness, although his household would later study this was a misdiagnosis.

“Not till the coroner’s report, three months after his demise, would I study that it was diffuse LBD [Lewy body dementia] that took him,” Schneider Williams defined. “All 4 of the docs I met with afterwards and who had reviewed his information indicated his was one of many worst pathologies they’d seen.”

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Robin Williams and Susan Schneider Williams
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Pictures

Schneider Williams says that on the finish of on daily basis, the couple would share their ups and downs. “We’d focus on our joys and triumphs, our fears and insecurities, and our issues,” she defined in her letter. This meant that as time wore on and the actor’s signs worsened, they’d spend lengthy hours discussing how they affected him.

Nonetheless, Schneider Williams believes there was one factor that her husband held again from her within the months main as much as his suicide: a specific symptom that she believes he could not convey himself to share.

“All through the course of Robin’s battle, he had skilled almost all the 40-plus signs of LBD, apart from one. He by no means mentioned he had hallucinations,” she wrote. “A 12 months after he left, in talking with one of many docs who reviewed his information, it turned evident that almost certainly he did have hallucinations, however was holding that to himself.”

Robin Williams
Abby Brack/WireImage by way of Getty Pictures

Solely after his demise did Schneider Williams understand her husband doubtless had suffered from hallucinations. In her letter, she shared one heartbreaking reminiscence which prompt that the Julliard-trained actor downplayed his signs for his household’s sake.

“After we had been within the neurologist’s workplace… Robin had an opportunity to ask some burning questions. He requested, ‘Do I’ve Alzheimer’s? Dementia? Am I schizophrenic?’ The solutions had been one of the best we might have gotten: No, no, and no. There have been no indications of those different illnesses,” she recalled. “It’s obvious to me now that he was almost certainly holding the depth of his signs to himself,” Schneider Williams wrote.

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Robin Williams and wife
Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic by way of Getty Pictures

Although she says not having clearer solutions was agonizing, Williams’ widow doubts that the actor’s life might have been saved by prognosis. “Even when we skilled some degree of consolation in realizing the title, and fleeting hope from momentary consolation with medicines, the terrorist was nonetheless going to kill him,” she wrote. “There isn’t any treatment and Robin’s steep and speedy decline was assured. It felt like he was drowning in his signs, and I used to be drowning together with him.”

Schneider Williams now serves on the Board of Administrators of the American Mind Basis, and works to lift consciousness concerning the neurological dysfunction that took her husband’s life. In concluding her letter, she addressed researchers explicitly, imploring them to proceed their essential work: “That is the place you come into the story. Hopefully from this sharing of our expertise you’ll be impressed to show Robin’s struggling into one thing significant by your work and knowledge,” she wrote. “It’s my perception that when therapeutic comes out of Robin’s expertise, he is not going to have battled and died in useless.

“I’m positive at occasions the progress has felt painfully gradual. Don’t hand over. Belief {that a} cascade of cures and discovery is imminent in all areas of mind illness and you’ll be part of making that occur,” Schneider Williams wrote. “If solely Robin might have met you. He would have cherished you.”

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