List of Famous People With Mental Illness; How It Affected Them and Their Contribution to Society
What is a mental illness? A lack of serotonin in the brain?
It is defined as: Any of various conditions characterized by impairment of an individual's normal cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning, and caused by social, psychological, biochemical, genetic, or other factors, such as infection or head trauma. Also called emotional illness, mental disease, mental disorder.
What causes mental illness?
According to Wikipedia, there are many causes. NAMI, The National Alliance for Mental Illness states that 1 in 5 people experience some form of it in their lifetime. It can be brought on by a death in the family, drugs, genetics, diseases, injuries (for example head trauma), or could be a result of a traumatic experience including war or child abuse.
Whatever the cause of it is, mental illness can happen to anyone. What we must do is help and support one another in all stages of life. You'll also find it interesting to know that whether you're rich or poor, tall or short, black or white, you have just as equal a chance of getting it. If you become aware of it, you'll see it's as common as night and day. You probably have a friend, relative, co-worker, or acquaintance who has depression right now; who is experiencing difficulty from a loss in their life be it a job or loved one. Or it could be that they are having trouble in school, like being bullied which could in fact cause them to contemplate sucide. Or maybe they're all of a sudden experiencing too much stress and feel like they're having some sort of emotional breakdown.
All of these things and more are possible. What do we do about it? 1) We educate ourselves 2) We support each other 3) We try to avoid getting sick by avoiding stress...
Creativity interlinks with Illness
One of the really interesting and cool things about mental illness is that certain types of illnesses, mainly bipolar gives a person a creative edge, though other illnesses go hand in hand with highly intelligent people such as Professor John Nash, who won the Nobel Prize for mathematics, for one. I don't think that you have to be mentally ill to be genius but it seems mental illness and genius often do go hand in hand. And that is why I write this article on famous people who have contributed so greatly to science and art, and music while yet dealing with an illness and why if they have something valuable to offer, anyone can. It makes so much sense to me to shed light on the fact that no one needs to be ashamed. There is no one who is exempt from possibly "contracting" this invisible disease! Read on and share this page.
"It takes a little bit of crazy to make a genius." ~Anonymous
The contributions which the following people have given to the world will not forgotten, nor should future Abraham Lincolns, or Jim Carreys, or Charles Dickens be discouraged.
"A Beautiful Mind" starring Russell Crowe
The real life story of Nobel Prize winner John Nash portrayed in "A Beautiful Mind"
Some of the Greats...
You may want to check out McLean Hospital where many famous people went
- ROSEANNE BARR, actress
- John Nash - Mathematician / Nobel Prize Winner (Main character in A Beautiful Mind )
- King George III of England
- Lionel Aldridge:
Played for the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s, he suffered from schizophrenia and was homeless for two years. He now gives inspirational talks on his battle against paranoid schizophrenia.
Vivien Leigh: The actress who starred in" Gone With The Wind" suffered from mental illness, as documented in Vivien Leigh by Anne Edwards.
Charles Dickens: author of A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations, suffered from depression
Leo Tolstoy: Author of War and Peace, Tolstoy told of his own mental illness in My Confession.
Ernest Hemingway, Writer The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist's suicidal depression is examined in the True Gen: An Intimate Portrait of Ernest Hemingway by Those Who Knew Him by Denis Brian.
John Keats, Poet The renowned poet's mental illness is documented in The Dynamics of Creation by Anthony Storr
Gaetano Donizetti, Singer and famous opera singer suffered from bipolar disorder
Abraham Lincoln: The 16th president, one of the greatest Americans, suffered from severe, incapacitating and occasionally suicidal depressions
Patty Duke: The Academy Award-winning actress told of her bipolar disorder in her autobiography and made-for-TV move Call Me Anna and A Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic-Depressive Illness, co-authored by Gloria Hochman.
Enjoy the video as you scan the names
More Famous Celebrities
- ADAM ANT- MUSICIAN in the 80's
- KURT COBAIN, musician. Kurt was diagnosed at a young age with ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER[ADD], then later with bipolar disorder
- ROSEMARY CLOONEY-- singer and actress.
- Richard Dreyfuss, actor
- Mike Doughty, musician. First described himself diagnosed as bipolar in 2007 on his blog.
- Carrie Fisher, actress and writer. "'I ended up being diagnosed as a bipolar II,' says Fisher."
- Connie Francis, singer
- Stephen Fry, actor, comedian and writer.
- Alan Garner, novelist.
- Paul Gascoigne, English footballer.
- Mel Gibson, actor and director.
- Macy Gray, musician and actor.
- Jack Irons, drummer, formerly of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam
- Kay Redfield Jamison, clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who profiled her own bipolar disorder in her 1995 memoir An Unquiet Mind and argued for a connection between bipolar disorder and artistic creativity in her 1993 book, Touched with Fire .
- Daniel Johnston, musician: "Johnston's output in his late teens and early 20s proved to be a symptom of his worsening manic depression." The Guardian Unlimited, Saturday August 20, 2005: "Personal demons", review of film, The Devil and Daniel Johnston: 
- Andrew Johns, Professional Rugby League Player. — has gone public about his condition.
- Margot Kidder, actress — self-described: "I have been well and free of the symptoms that are called manic-depression for almost five years, and have been working steadily and leading a happy and productive life since then."
- Neil Lennon Footballer with Celtic FC open about his battles with depression.
- Jenifer Lewis, American actress, spoke about her diagnosis on Oprah in September 2007
- Bill Lichtenstein print and broadcast journalist and documentary filmmaker, profiled in Time magazine, October 10, 1994.
- Michelle Lombardo, model and actress.
- Florence Nightingale, nurse and health campaigner. BPW "Florence heard voices and experienced a number of severe depressive episodes in her teens and early 20s - symptoms consistent with the onset of bipolar disorder", Dr. Kathy Wisner, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
- Sinéad O'Connor, musician. She discussed her diagnosis with Oprah Winfrey in October 2007.
- Graeme Obree, Scottish racing cyclist.
- Phil Ochs, musician.
- Ozzy Osbourne, singer. Lead singer of Black Sabbath.Edgar Allan Poe, poet and writer.
- Axl Rose, lead singer and frontman best known for Guns N' Roses."I went to a clinic, thinking it would help my moods. The only thing I did was take one 500-question test - ya know, filling in the little black dots. All of sudden I'm diagnosed manic-depressive."
- Richard Rossi, filmmaker, musician, and maverick minister, revealed for the first time in a live interview on the Lynn Cullen show on June 5, 2008 the link between his artistic productivity and his depression to bipolar disorder, stating that "my father was bi-polar one, and I'm bi-polar two." He spoke of the relationship between creativity and the illness.
- Jean-Claude Van Damme, actor.
- Mark Vonnegut, author
- Brian Wilson, musician, founding member of The Beach Boys schzophrenic
- Virginia Woolf, writer.
- Jim Carrey- manic depressive
- Robin Williams-manic depressive
- Sting--has talked about being manic depressive--it is still elusive