Robin Williams' wife says he was in the early stages of Parkinson's disease when he committed suicide Monday.
According to the Associated Press, Susan Schneider released a statement Thursday morning, saying, "Robin's sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson's disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly."
Parkinson's disease is a nervous system disorder that affect movement. It usually develops gradually, starting with small tremors in one hand and progressing to stiffness and the slowing of other movements.
Actor Michael J. Fox is one of the most visible celebrities with Parkinson's disease. He was diagnosed in 1992 and has managed to work, with varying degrees of success, over the past 22 years.
Schneider didn't directly attribute the disease as a reason for William's suicide. But she did write, "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."
Her statement also addressed Williams' life long pursuit of 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," she wrote.
"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."
Williams is survived by Schneider and three children from previous marriages, Zak Williams, 31, Zelda Williams, 25, and Cody Williams, 22.