There have been a million stories about Robin Williams and his mental state since he took his own life in August. Make this one million and one, and by far, the most interesting.
There were reports of depression, a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and suggestions that the actor was also struggling with the effects of dementia, but only now have sources released information regarding the type of dementia with which Robin was suffering.
Lewy Bodies Dementia, or LBD is a common form of dementia in which excessive protein deposits become clumps in the brain (Lewy bodies), and have an adverse effect on overall brain function. The symptoms are often similar to Parkinson’s disease, and can cause issues such physical tremors, trouble walking and poor posture. There are some 1.3 million people suffering LBD in the United States alone, and Robin Williams was one of them.
One of the most common variables associated with LBD are hallucinations, and these hallucinations can come in many forms: People, objects, animals. According to several sources, these types of hallucinations probably led Robin to commit suicide.
In all likelihood, there was probably a combination of variables that led to the act, though it could have been from a painful hallucination. To speculate, a violent or confusing hallucination could have also given way to a moment of clarity and understanding which led to a deep depression, and a desire to avoid the experience again at any cost. Whatever the case, it’s sad to think of Robin Williams and his razor sharp wit taken siege by such a physiological anomaly.