Susan Schneider, the widow of the late Robin Williams, does not believe that depression killed the beloved actor and comedian.

Susan Schneider On Robin Williams

Schneider broke her silence this week on Williams’ tragic suicide, explaining that depression, while it was something he battled, was not the root cause of his death.

“It was not depression that killed Robin,” Schneider told People magazine. It was Lewy Body Dementia, the second most common neurodegenerative dementia after Alzheimers. “Depression was one of let’s call it 50 symptoms and it was a small one. They present themselves like a pinball machine. You don’t know exactly what you’re looking at.”

In addition to bouts of depression and crippling panic attacks, Williams had also been suffering from delusions and impaired movements. Williams’ symptoms had left doctors stumped leading up to his death. It wasn’t until his autopsy that it was confirmed he had been afflicted with Lewy Body.

“I know now the doctors, the whole team was doing exactly the right things,” Schneider said. “It’s just that this disease was faster than us and bigger than us. We would have gotten there eventually.”

“I’ve spent this last year trying to find out what killed Robin,” Schneider added. “To understand what we were fighting, what we were in the trenches fighting and one of the doctors said, ‘Robin was very aware that he was losing his mind and there was nothing he could do about it.'”

Schneider came forward with Williams’ Lewy Body diagnosis in order to raise awareness for the disease, and to help others suffering from it as well as their loved ones.

“This was a very unique case and I pray to God that it will shed some light on Lewy bodies for the millions of people and their loved ones who are suffering with it,” said Susan. “Because we didn’t know. He didn’t know.”

Williams took his own life on Aug. 11, 2014. He left behind an impressive body of work, including Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poet’s Society, Aladdin and Mrs. Doubtfire.

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