The much-loved, much-mourned Robin Williams was in the “early stages” of Parkinson’s disease when he committed suicide at his California home, his wife said in a statement. Williams’ lifelong battle with depression and substance abuse have been cited as major contributing factors in speculation on why the actor took his own life. Financial problems were also mentioned, though the actor was hardly in dire straits financially. (His career may not have been on the rise, but he was getting plenty of work.)
The news of Williams’ Parkinson’s diagnosis will alter the narrative of Williams’ suicide. The actor was allegedly concerned about what declining health would mean. Business Insider reports that a friend of Williams’ said the actor had “envisioned how Parkinson’s would limit his ability to work and that was terrifying.” It’s unlikely that the Parkinson’s–at least as far as this description indicates–will be seen as a major contributing factor in Williams’ suicide, since the suicide permanently limited his ability to work. The Parkinson’s diagnosis likely only contributed to his depression.