Robin Williams was in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease when he took his life. He was not ready to publicly announce this information. This news was revealed today by his wife, who in a statement added that Williams died with his sobriety “intact.”
Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease that attacks the central nervous system causing tremors, stiffness, and slowing of movement over time. It is also something that wouldn’t help someone already considered depressed, for which Williams was seeking treatment. The disease can be treated to varying degrees with medication.
Other celebs, Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali also suffer from Parkinson’s.
Susan Schneider’s statement:
Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the frontlines, or comforting a sick child — Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid.
Since his passing, all of us who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration for him from the millions of people whose lives he touched. His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles.
Robin’s sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.
It is our hope in the wake of Robin’s tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid.
This news might, in part begin to explain why someone as animated as Williams would choose to take his life. However, from all accounts he had much much more to offer the world than just mobility.
Yep, the sadness of all of this still has not gone away.