Robin Williams’ widow, Susan, has given her first interviews since her husband’s death, opening up about his mental health and saying she doesn’t blame him “one bit.”
In an interview with ABC News’ Amy Robach, which aired Tuesday on Good Morning America, Susan Williams said that in addition to his battle with depression and his recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, he had become increasingly paranoid and anxious, and in the week before his death, his doctors recommended that he check into a facility for neurocognitive testing.
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She added that he was holding it together as best as he could. “But the last month he could not. It was like the dam broke,” Williams said.
A report after his death also revealed that Robin Williams had Lewy body dementia, a brain condition that can cause mood fluctuations, hallucinations, and impaired motor function. Frequently misdiagnosed, it’s one of the most common forms of neurodegenerative dementia after Alzheimer’s. In an interview with People, Williams said her husband’s brain disease was only detected after his death, and she hopes to raise awareness of Lewy body dementia.
“People in passing … would say to me, ‘God, I wish I had done something more for him. If only I had called him,” Williams told Robach. “And I’m thinking, ‘No one could have done anything more for Robin.’ I just want everyone to know that. Everyone did the very best they could. This disease is like a sea monster with 50 tentacles of symptoms that show when they want. It’s chemical warfare in the brain. And we can’t find it until someone dies definitively. There is no cure.”
The 63-year-old actor died by suicide on Aug. 11, 2014. During the interview, Robach asked Williams whether her husband’s death may have been his way of taking back control.
“In my opinion, oh yeah,” she said. “I mean, there are many reasons. Believe me, I’ve thought about this. Of what was going on in his mind, what made him ultimately commit… you know, to do that act. And I think he was just saying no. And I don’t blame him one bit. I don’t blame him one bit.”