- Disabilities & the Disabled
10 Famous People with Mental Disabilities
Dan Aykroyd - Comedian, Actor, Screenwriter
#1 - Albert Einstein was Autistic
Albert Einstein was an extraordinarily smart individual who suffered from severe mental disabilities, including dyslexia and autism.
Dyslexia is a disorder where intelligent people have difficulty with reading comprehension due to structural abnormalities in the brain. This disorder can causes letters to scramble on the page, making it hard for the reader to comprehend the material.
Autism is a neurological disorder that effects the brain. People who are autistic have difficulty socializing, talking and communicating with other people. Autism affects processes in the brain that control both verbal and non verbal communication.
Despite his autism and his dyslexia, Albert Einstein was an amazing mathematician who failed out of high school desite excelling far beyond his classmates in the fields of science and math. Einstein is credited with developing the formula E=MC squared.
In 1912, Einstein received the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Famous People with Mental Illnesses
#2 - Dan Akroyd Suffers from Tourette's Syndrome and Asperger's Syndrome
Actor, screenwriter and comedian Dan Akroyd suffers from a mental disorder called Tourette's Syndrome, as well as Asperger Syndrome.
Despite those disabilities, Akroyd has made his name in the entertainment industry working as a comedian on Saturday Night Live, as well as an actor in over a dozen movies, including Ghostbusters, The Blues Brothers, Driving Miss Daisy and more.
David Beckham - Pro Soccer Player
#3 - David Beckham Struggles from OCD
Professional soccer player David Backham has struggled with a mental illness called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for most of his life.
OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts that encourage a person to engage in repetitive behaviors, such as hand washing excessively, locking a door a certain number of times, cleaning a certain way or other rigid regimens that lack rhyme or reason.
Despite this, Beckham has managed to become famous all over the globe, playing soccer for teams like Manchester United, Milan and the England National team.
Elyn Saks Tells a Tale of Mental Illness
Janet Reno Served as Attorney General
#4 - Janet Reno Suffers from Parkinson's Disease
The first female to serve as the Attorney General in the White House was Janet Reno, who suffers from Parkinson's Disease. Reno served as Attorney General from 1993 to 2001. Former President Bill Clinton appointed Reno in February of 1993.
Parkinson's Disease is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that causes tremors, shakiness, cognitive impairment and death. Currently there is no cure to Parkinson's Disease.
Actor Michael J. Fox became one of the biggest spokesmen for Parkinson's Disease awareness after his diagnosis in 1991.
Anatomy of an Epidemic
#5 - Brooke Shields Suffered from Postpartum Depression
Brooke Shields is a famous actress and model who has struggled with depression, specifically post-partum depression.
Post-partum depression occurs after childbirth and is typically characterized by intense periods of prolonged sadness, lack of self-worth, a desire to not care for your child because you feel inadequate, and fatigue.
Brooke Shields has been open about her struggles with post-partum depression, going on the Oprah Winrey Show in 2005 to help raise awareness for this particular form of depression.
Karen Carpenter was a Famous Singer
#6 - Karen Carpenter Died of Anorexia Nervosa
Karen Carpenter was a famous singer and a member of The Carpenters.
She was an excellent drummer and an even better singer, but Carpenter had a deep secret, she suffered from anorexia nervosa.
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder, and the leading cause of death among all mental illnesses - killing 10% of those affected by the disease.
In 1983, Carpenter lost her battle to anorexia, dying from conditions related to her disease.
Statistics About Mental Illness
Comedian Ruby Wax Discusses About the Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness
Diana, Princess of Whales
#7 - Princess Diana Suffered from Depression which Turned into Bulimia
Princess Diana Frances Spencer was the wife of Charles, Prince of Whales.
Born into an aristocratic family, Diana was used to having the eyes of the world watch every aspect of her life. However, Princess Diana suffered from a secret.
She struggled badly with depression, and in her later years, she developed bulimia nervosa, a life-threatening eating disorder.
Princess Diana died in a tragic car crash in August of 1997.
Famous People with Mental Illnesses
Are You Surprised by Any of the People on this List?
#8 - Mel Gibson Struggles with Bi-Polar Disorder
Actor Mel Gibson has struggled for most of his life with a condition known as Bi-polar disorder.
Bi-polar disorder is a mental illness characterized by drastic mood swings, extreme highs (also known as mania) and extreme lows (manic depression). A life with bi-polar disorder can feel like you are living on a roller coaster of emotions.
Despite all of this, Mel Gibson has made his mark on Hollywood as an actor, a film director, a producer and a screenwriter.
Stigma: How We Treat Outsiders
#9 - Matthew Perry Struggled with an Opiate Addiction
Drug addiction is a dangerous illness that millions of Americans struggle with, actor Matthew Perry used to be one of those people.
Famous for his role as Chandler on the hit show Friends, Matthew Perry came out about his opiate problem in 1997. Perry contracted pancreatis in 2000 as a result of his addiction,
Despite his struggle, as of today, Perry is reportedly clean from drugs.
Rosanne Barr, Comic and Actress
#10 - Rosanne Barr Struggles with Multiple Personality Disorder
Comedian and actress Rosanne Barr has been dealing with multiple personality disorder for her entire life. In 2012, Barr was the presidential nominee nominated by California founded party the Peace and Freedom Party.
Multiple personality disorder is a complicated mental illness where the sufferer struggles with a minimum of two different personalities from which they bounce back and forth. A person with multiple personality disorder has little control over their illness, and struggles to maintain one personality for too long of a time.
Despite this diagnosis, Rosanne Barr has made herself famous as a comic, an actress, a writer, a television producer and a director.