When he committed suicide on August 11, 2014 comedy icon Robin Williams joined a long list of artists who suffered tragically at the hands of psychiatrists.
On the surface, Williams’ death seemed straightforward. According to USA Today’s website, the Marin County coroner’s report ruled his death as a “suicide by hanging, with no evidence of alcohol or illegal drugs in his system and only therapeutic concentrations of prescribed medications.”
True, all the drugs in his body were legal. But those “therapeutic” medications included mirtazapine, an antidepressant used for “major depressive disorder.”
Also known as Remeron, it carries 10 international drug regulatory warnings on causing suicidal ideation.
In total, there are 32 possible side effects, says Drugs.com, including mood or mental changes, abnormal thinking, feelings of not caring, mood or mental changes, anger, mood swings and unusual excitement.
There’s more. The antipsychotic Seroquel was also found at the scene. While there were no traces of it in his body, eight pills were missing from the bottle.
This drug, says Drugs.com has 10 possible adverse reactions: psychosis, hallucinations, paranoid reactions, delusions, manic reaction, depersonalization, catatonic reaction, emotional lability, suicide attempt, and euphoria.
Despite all this, several news websites cast a suspicious eye toward Lewy body dementia as it has symptoms similar to Parkinson’s. As the “second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, it causes a progressive decline in mental abilities”, says the Mayo Clinic.
Which may be why “unnamed family sources” in the Williams’ family claimed that Lewy body dementia was a critical “triggering” factor in his suicide.
However, the Mayo Clinic website does not list suicidal thoughts or behavior among the possible symptoms of this condition.
That agrees with Gayatri Devi, an attending neurologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York who has treated such patients. He noted that “suicide does not usually occur in Lewy body dementia patients.”
And so, the loose strings remain ignored by the media and the medical community.
Meanwhile, we lose a talent who was equally talented in all genres. His peers and the public agreed: with 106 acting credits, he garnered two Emmys, five Grammys, six Golden Globes and two Screen Actor Guild Awards.
No one should attempt to get off of psychiatric drugs without a doctor’s supervision.
Robin Williams by Eva Rinaldi, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons