Williams couldn't emphasize the value of life enough. "You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it," he once said.
The world lost a gem when Robin Williams passed away unexpectedly in August 2014. His suicide left his family, loved ones, and fans everywhere devastated. Williams' downfall began in 2013 as he began "disintegrating" both physically and mentally in the months leading to his death. The Oscar-winning star was reportedly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease just three months before he died. While people believed that the 63-year-old died due to depression, his widow Susan Schneider Williams came forward and told PEOPLE, "It was not depression that killed Robin. Depression was one of let’s call it 50 symptoms, and it was a small one."
She went on to reveal that her husband had been misdiagnosed and that he was suffering from a debilitating brain disease called Diffuse Lewy Body Dementia or Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). The illness, which is frequently misdiagnosed, is the second most common neurodegenerative dementia after Alzheimer’s that causes hallucinations, fluctuations in mental status, and impairment of motor function, reports The Guardian. It eventually overtook Williams' health and probably led to his suicide. "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," shared Susan in a 2016 article for the medical journal Neurology, called The Terrorist Inside My Husband's Head.
"In Robin's case, on top of being a genius, he was a Julliard-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," she added. Even though Williams is gone, he is not forgotten and during the peak of his career, he shared some profound thoughts during interviews and in movies that people quote to this day. He believed that everyone deserved a second chance at life and encouraged people to reach out, get help if they were undergoing any mental health crisis. Here are some of his quotes:
1. You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.
2. Please, don’t worry so much...Because in the end none of us have very long on this earth.
3. Don't associate yourself with toxic people. It's better to be alone and love yourself than surrounded by people that make you hate yourself.
4. If you're that depressed, reach out to someone. And remember, suicide is a permanent solution, to a temporary problem.
5. No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change this world.
6. I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.
7. We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race.
8. You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to.
9. You don’t know about real loss because it only occurs when you’ve loved something more than you love yourself.
10. You have this idea that you’d better keep working otherwise people will forget. And that was dangerous. And then you realize, no, actually if you take a break people might be more interested in you.
11. I always thought the idea of education was to learn to think for yourself.
12. You know what music is? God’s little reminder that there’s something else besides us in this universe, harmonic connection between all living beings, everywhere, even the stars.
13. I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy.
14. You can do anything you want. You are bound by nothing.
15. There is still a lot to learn and there is always great stuff out there.
Disclaimer: If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.