Schneider Williams, wife of the late Robin Williams, has written a heartbreaking essay in which she opened up about how the actor suffered from the debilitating Lewy body disease before committing suicide in August, 2014.
Writing for the journal of the American Academy of Neurology, the widow's essay, titled The Terrorist Inside My Husband's Brain, spoke about her husband's experience with the illness to raise awareness for the disease.
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The actor committed suicide in 2014
She wrote: "This is a personal story, sadly tragic and heartbreaking, but by sharing this information with you I know that you can help make a difference in the lives of others. As you may know, my husband Robin Williams had the little-known but deadly Lewy body disease (LBD).
"He died from suicide in 2014 at the end of an intense, confusing, and relatively swift persecution at the hand of this disease's symptoms and pathology. He was not alone in his traumatic experience with this neurologic disease."
She continued to reveal how the Academy-award winner had suffered from the disease, explaining how the coroner's report had shown the actor had a high concentration of Lewy bodies within the amygdala.
Robin suffered from Lewy body disease
"This likely caused the acute paranoia and out-of-character emotional responses he was having," she explained.
"How I wish he could have known why he was struggling, that it was not a weakness in his heart, spirit, or character…Robin was losing his mind and he was aware of it. Can you imagine the pain he felt as he experienced himself disintegrating? And not from something he would ever know the name of, or understand? Neither he, nor anyone could stop it – no amount of intelligence or love could hold it back."
She continued to open up to her own reaction to her late husband struggles, especially as she was unaware that he had been diagnosed with the disease. She said: "Powerless and frozen, I stood in the darkness of not knowing what was happening to my husband. Was it a single source, a single terrorist, or was this a combo pack of disease raining down on him? He kept saying, 'I just want to reboot my brain'."