It's been over a year since Robin Williams took his own life in the Tiburon home they shared, and now his wife of three years, Susan Williams (née Schneider), has spoken out to ABC News and Good Morning America about more of the details surrounding her husband's health before he died. Also, she says, she forgives him for simply saying "No" to what would have been some very "hard years" ahead.
We learned about a year ago, following an autopsy, that Williams was suffering from a condition known as Lewy body dementia or LBD, which can be accompanied by graphic hallucinations and severe cognitive impairment. Says Susan Williams, via KRON 4, as of May 2014, "he was suffering from stiffness, slumping, a shuffling gait and 'losing his ability in his voice.'" Cognitively he was also not all there, she adds. "[It was like] one minute, totally lucid. And then, five minutes later, he would say something that wasn’t it didn’t match."
Those with LBD, which is not a rare condition, are often initially diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, which Williams was. Additionally he was suffering from other ailments including stomach pain, constipation, and sleeplessness, all of which contributed to the depression and anxiety he was experiencing near the end of his life. “I think he was just saying, ‘No,’" Susan Williams says, "And I don’t blame him one bit."
Susan Williams has been in conflict with Williams' children for most of the past year over a number of Williams' personal items in the estate, as well as the amount of a trust that had not been specified in order to maintain the house she is keeping in which she and Williams lived in Marin County.
One poignant detail about some times that the kids were fighting over, his watches: As ABC News reported last year, as part of Williams' growing dementia, "He is said to have kept several watches in a sock and was very concerned about keeping the watches safe."
Susan Williams is scheduled to make several TV appearances this week on ABC, including on World News Tonight, Nightline and Friday on The View.
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone; remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt; and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.