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Why did Robin Williams die by suicide? Son Zak Williams pays tribute on 7th death anniversary

'Dad, seven years ago today you passed on,' Zak Williams tweeted, adding, 'I will be celebrating your memory today. Love you forever'
Robin Williams and Zak Williams in New York City on November 18, 2008 (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage for Timo Wallets LLC)
Robin Williams and Zak Williams in New York City on November 18, 2008 (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage for Timo Wallets LLC)

Many people wanted to revisit the reason behind legendary comedian Robin Williams' death after his son, Zak Williams, honored his father on the seventh anniversary of the former's passing on August 11. 

The mental health advocate dedicated a touching tribute to the famous comic actor who took his own life in 2014, at the age of 63. "Dad, seven years ago today you passed on," Zak Williams tweeted on Wednesday, August 11. "The joy and inspiration you brought to the world carries on in your legacy and in your family, friends, and fans you so loved. You lived to bring laughter and to help others. I will be celebrating your memory today. Love you forever," he added.



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Williams' daughter, Zelda Williams, also marked the occasion of her father's death by offering support to others grieving the loss of loved ones. "Sending love out there today to all the folks navigating loss," she wrote on Twitter. "New, old, the connective tissue of that deeply human pain can be hard to bear, but I find it easier sometimes knowing how many others have felt the same sting. We're not alone."


Why did Robin Williams die by suicide?

The actor died on August 11 at his home in Tiburon, in Marin County, California. At the time, his death has officially ruled suicide. The cause of death was noted as asphyxia and hanging.  Toxicology reports revealed he had in his system antidepressants, caffeine and levodopa, which was a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Williams had battled severe depression for years and shortly before his death, had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, the actor's widow, Susan Schneider Williams, revealed after his death. According to medical history authorities recorded at the scene, he also had a “recent increase in paranoia," the Hollywood Reporter reported. 

Comedian/actor Robin Williams appears on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" at the NBC Studios on October 14, 2004 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

After being questioned by investigators, Williams' wife and his assistant said he never expressed suicidal thoughts or behavior. In a 2015 interview with People's Magazine, Susan said, “It was not depression that killed Robin. Depression was one of let’s call it 50 symptoms, and it was a small one.” Instead, she argued that it was a debilitating brain disease called diffuse Lewy body dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies (LBD) that took hold of Williams, and probably led him to suicide. Apparently, it had many of the same symptoms as Parkinson's.

Susan even penned an essay published in the medical journal Neurology back in 2016 titled 'The Terrorist Inside My Husband's Brain' which depicted her husband's struggles as they tried to find a diagnosis for him prior to his death. "My husband was trapped in the twisted architecture of his neurons and no matter what I did I could not pull him out," she wrote. "I have since learned that people with LBD who are highly intelligent may appear to be okay for longer initially, but then, it is as though the dam suddenly breaks and they cannot hold it back anymore. In Robin's case, on top of being a genius, he was a [Juilliard]-trained actor. I will never know the true depth of his suffering, nor just how hard he was fighting. But from where I stood, I saw the bravest man in the world playing the hardest role of his life." Williams' death has also become the subject of medical case studies including one published in 2015 in SciELO Brasil, which aimed to do a deep dive into factors like relationship problems, financial problems, drug addiction, and major depression that the actor was suffering from before his death. 

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to