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Robin Williams Was Battling Parkinson’s Disease, Wife Says

Susan Schneider and Robin Williams
Gilbert Carrasquillo—FilmMagic/Getty Images

Says "sobriety was intact" when he died

The wife of Robin Williams revealed Thursday that at the time of his death, the late comedian was not only battling depression and anxiety but the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease.

“Robin’s sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly,” said Susan Schneider, in a statement.

Parkinson’s affects nearly 10 million people, according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. The National Institutes of Health cites that “for people with depression and Parkinson’s disease, each illness can make symptoms of the other worse.” Research linking the two has focused on depression following a diagnosis, but it can be assumed that the actor’s depression predated his Parkinson’s diagnosis.

Schneider was Williams’ third wife. Read her entire statement below.

“Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the frontlines, or comforting a sick child — Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid.

Since his passing, all of us who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration for him from the millions of people whose lives he touched. His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles.

Robin’s sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.

It is our hope in the wake of Robin’s tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid.”

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