Robin Williams’ son, Zak, said his father was frustrated before his death because of a misdiagnosis.
The 38-year-old told The Genius Life podcast that doctors originally thought his father had Parkinson’s disease. But the symptoms. The comic icon actually had Lewy body dementia, which his family found out after his death.
‘What I saw was frustration,’ Zak Williams told host Max Lugavere on his podcast, according to the Daily Mail. ‘What he was going through didn’t match one to one [with what] many Parkinson’s patients’ experiences. So, I think that was hard for him.’
“There was a focus issue that frustrated him, there were issues associated with how he felt, and also from a neurological perspective he didn’t feel great,’ and Robin Williams’ son added. ‘He was very uncomfortable.'”
Part of the problem was the supposed solution. The medicine doctors prescribed for Williams made him feel uneasy and out-of-sorts all the time.
“Those drugs are no joke,” Zak Williams said. “They’re also really hard on the mind and the body. I couldn’t help but feel beyond empathy. I couldn’t help but feel frustrated for him. It can be really isolating even when you’re with family and loved ones.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, Lewy body dementia is the second-most diagnosed. But it differs from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease in a lot of ways. Whereas Alzheimer’s targets the memory center of the brain, Lewy body dementia hits the visual center of the mind first.
“People with Lewy body dementia might have visual hallucinations and changes in alertness and attention,” the Mayo Clinic says. “Other effects include Parkinson’s disease signs and symptoms such as rigid muscles, slow movement, walking difficulty and tremors.”
Movie Starring Robin Williams Headed to Disney+
Despite the obvious struggles in his life, Robin Williams was a showman until the end. So rather than mourn what could have been, it would be appropriate to enjoy the vast library of work he left behind. He made films that ranged from the serious to the sappy to the sanguine to the sarcastic. And he improved them all with his performances.
One of his most iconic roles was in Mrs. Doubtfire. Williams dresses up as a British nanny so he can spend time with his children after divorcing his wife. The 1993 film will be added to Disney+ on Aug. 6.
The film was a major hit. Robin Williams won a Golden Globe for best actor in a comedy. The film also took home the best comedy from the awards show. And beyond being a critical success, it was a monster hit at the box office. The movie made $441 million, making it the second-highest-grossing film of the year behind Jurassic Park.