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Robin Williams Was Battling Parkinson’s Disease

Robin Williams
Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Everyday we are learning more about the sudden loss of Robin Williams. His battles with addiction and depression were well documented and often discussed by the comic, but there was a secret battle unknown until now.

Williams’ wife Susan Schneider has released a new statement revealing that the actor had been battling the early stages of Parkinson’s disease at the time of his death.

He had been in treatment as recently as this past July for his issues with anxiety and depression, but according to Schneider he was also struggling with the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease and was not ready to share his diagnosis with the public.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It develops gradually, often with a small tremor or general stiffness and slowing of movement. In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, your face may show little or no expression or your arms may not swing when you walk. Your speech may become soft or slurred. Parkinson’s disease symptoms worsen as your condition progresses over time and there is no cure for the disease. Actor Michael J. Fox has famously fought the disease since 1991.

The rest of Schneider’s statement went on to read,

“Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the front lines, 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.

“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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