Robin Williams tragically took his own life on August 2014. He was struggling with his mental health issues at that time. After he passed away, it was revealed that the actor was also suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Williams’ wife, Susan Schneider, wrote about her husbands’ struggles. She shared how these problems started way before his diagnosis.
“By wintertime [in 2013], problems with paranoia, delusions and looping, insomnia, memory, and high cortisol levels—just to name a few—were settling in hard. Psychotherapy and other medical help was becoming a constant in trying to manage and solve these seemingly disparate conditions.”
After the actor was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, his condition took a toll on his mental health.
His wife added, “Robin was growing weary. The parkinsonian mask was ever present and his voice was weakened. His left hand tremor was continuous now and he had a slow, shuffling gait. He hated that he could not find the words he wanted in conversations. He would thrash at night and still had terrible insomnia. At times, he would find himself stuck in a frozen stance, unable to move, and frustrated when he came out of it. He was beginning to have trouble with visual and spatial abilities in the way of judging distance and depth. His loss of basic reasoning just added to his growing confusion.”
Sadly, because of everything that he has been going through, this lead him to take his own life.
His son, Zak, also shared about the mental health issues that have been affected by his father’s suicide. During an only Q&A session with the mental health chat community, 18percent, 36-year-old Zak also spoke about becoming a mental health advocate after his father took his own life.
He said, “I decided to become an advocate because I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression personally. Found myself self-medicating and generally unhappy, so when it came to speaking about me and my family’s struggles personally it just sort of clicked.”
After his father passed away, Zak spent the time teaching and to try to find a way to heal. He said that he was very traumatized after his dad’s death. But he found that teaching financial literacy in prison has helped him heal and cope with the trauma. He added, “After that I found that being vulnerable and open about my struggles seemed to actually help others. So I just kind of kept on doing it. I love it, as I find it healing personally.”
Zak also admitted that self-medicating has become an important part of his routine. He also learned how to take care of himself. He shared that this was the thing that he neglected to do after his dad passed away.
Zak also had some words of wisdom to share about living your life to the best potential. He said, “Being unconditionally loving and kind and considerate is one of the secrets to living a full life… that and finding connection and common ground. Oh, also, finding gratitude in the day-to-day life is a simple, wonderful way to feel good.”
Robin Williams passed away five years ago. For sure, he is very proud of what his son has become in his personal and professional life.
Robin Williams will always be missed. He will always be remembered as the comedy legend that has put smiles on our faces.