Also glad to see this article again.
I might have a very unpopular opinion on this, but I honestly think suicide was the best and most rational choice.
Every year his death is plastered all over social media and attributed to depression. He’s used as an example for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. It’s not a fair representation.
My grandfather died of LBD and it was absolutely horrible. He was constantly afraid and paranoid. He hallucinated. His motor function completely shut down.
Later I worked as a research assistant for the geriatric psychiatry department at a local psychiatric hospital. There were patients with LBD who were hospitalized under restraints for either attacking others or harming themselves. There was one patient who would be with us for a week, released, and then back the next day with another failed suicide attempt. He would explain his symptoms and you could see the absolute panic he was experiencing. During one of the interviews he told me there was someone in the room standing behind me with a knife. He rationally knew that wasn’t true, but he still saw it. He still felt that fear.
The decline is rapid. Imagine living in a horror movie with glimpses of normalcy. I started to feel disappointment every time that patient was readmitted. I was secretly hoping that the next time he’d be successful.
Robin Williams knew something was terribly wrong even without a definitive diagnosis. He asked his doctor if he could be schizophrenic. He was living in that world of hallucinations and raw fear. He chose to give his spouse a wonderful weekend and then end the nightmare. It was a healthy choice IMO.
They think my FIL might have had LBD, but the family opted not to have an autopsy. They diagnosed him with a fast onset dementia, and it was very horrible to behold, and happened quickly. I didn't understand (still don't), how even taking heavy duty sedatives would not let him sleep. He needed 24 hour care, was defensive, and tried to leave the house at all hours. Just awful. He didn't really know what was happening, so he wouldn't have chosen to end his life. If I had the same thing, and an inkling of how to end things, I surely would. It's a terrible burden to put on others. There was no facility with an open space for my FIL and it was extremely traumatizing to everyone.