Famous people with mental health problems
Famous people with mental health problems
This posts lists some famous people with mental health problems. Does society generally look at a person such as Brooke Shields or Harrison Ford as depressive people, or Charles Darwin as ‘the neurotic’? Most people would remember Princess Dianna as the person she was, not as the person with Bulimia. Why should a label come before a person?
Everybody has talents and every person should be thought of as a person before their diagnosis or label. This article is not meant to suggest that celebrities are any more important or better in any way than the millions who make up society. However, here is a list of famous people with mental health problems.
To make a thorough list of famous people with mental health problems would be quite exhaustive and extensive , so only a few famous people with mental health problems who have been significantly respected for their achievements are listed below:
* Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia in Star Wars). Carrie Fisher had problems with drugs in the 1970s. She was finally diagnosed with Bi-Polar.
* John Nash (Nobel Prize winner in mathematics). He battled life-long Schizophrenia; he was well recognized or documented in ‘A Beautiful Mind’.
* Judy Collins (singer and song-writer); suffered Depression after her son aged 33 completed suicide in 1992.
* Linda Hamilton (actress); played a role in ‘The Terminator’ and suffered Bi-Polar Disorder.
* Virginia Woolf (British novelist); she experienced Bi-Polar Disorder and suffered mood-swings all of her life.
* Abraham Lincoln (16th President of the United States); suffered severe Depression and was at times suicidal.
* Ruth Graham (Billy Graham’s and Ruth Graham’s daughter); suffered Depression and eating disorders. She battled with drugs and suicidal ideation.
* Brooke Shields (actress); suffered disabling ‘Postpartum Depression’.
* Vivien Leigh (Actress in ‘Gone With the Wind’); battled with Bi-Polar Disorder with hallucinations.
* Lionel Aldridge (football player in the 1960s); Paranoid Schizophrenia.
* Ludwig van Beethoven (composer); he battled with Bi-Polar Disorder.
* Isaac Newton (mathematician in the 17th Century); probable case of Bi-Polar Disorder (not diagnosed at his time).
* Hale Berry (actress); suffered disabling Depression and suicidal ideation.
* Marilyn Munroe; suffered Depression and abused sleeping pills.
* Billy Joel; depression.
* Princess Diana; suffered Bulimia and depression and she also made multiple suicide attempts.
* Mike Tyson; depression.
* Angelina Jolie; has been labelled ‘psychotic’ and has fought depression and self-harm.
Many, many famous people have battled with Bi-Polar Disorder including Connie Francis who was a pop/country singer. Others with bi-polar have included:
* Mel Gibson
* Florence Nightingale
* Michael Slater (former Australian international cricketer); now a commentator and doing well.
* Barret Robins (former NFL Pro Bowler).
* Emil Post (mathematician).
* Bill Oddie (naturalist, television presenter and comedian).
* Alastair Campbell (press advisor).
* Rosemary Clooney (singer and actress).
* Frank Bruno (boxer).
* Michael Jackson; Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
* Patricia Cornwell (American crime writer). The list can simply go on and on.
Obviously, mental health disorders/illnesses know no boundaries. Even Albert Einstein was thought to have a mental disorder in OCD. He was actually known to have Dyslexia.
Others with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) have been:
Martin Luther: A historical figure who was condemned by the Catholic church. He suffered obsessions ( pertaining to OCD ) to a severe degree and he battled depression.
John Bunyan: Bunyan was regarded by many as England’s most influential author behind Shakespeare. His work with “Pilgrim’s Progress” had positive bearings on his popularity. Bunyan lived from 1628- 1688 and he a clear case of moderate to severe OCD .
Charles Darwin: Darwin was noted to have had frequent heart palpitation problems, fainting spells, shortness of breath and he experienced buzzing sounds in his head. Psychosomatic complaints were a problem such as stomach pains. He may well have suffered an anxiety disorder, and this is indicative in that most of his more recent biographers agreed that he had a panic disorder .
Samuel Johnson: He was a poet, playwright and biographer. Johnson was a scholar who was an admirer of John Bunyan and he became the greatest literary figure of his age .
Therese of Lisieux: 1873- 1897, she was a Patron Saint of France who appeared to have lived with quite disabling OCD ( Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ). She was the author of “Story of a Soul” .
* Leonardo DeCaprio.
* Harrison Ford (also struggled with depression).
* Howard Hughes.
* Billy Bob Thornton.
* Cameron Diaz.
* Howie Mandel.
* Penelope Cruz.
* Charlie Sheen.
* David Beckham.
* Justin Timberlake (also battles with BDD).
* Fred Durst (American singer, actor and film director)
* Martin Scorsese (American Academy Award-winning film director, writer, producer and film historian).
Again, there are many more famous people with mental health problems who could be included. Just a very small hand-full of other who have struggled with mood disorders include:
* Boris Yeltsin (also had alcohol issues).
* John Denver (also struggled with alcoholism).
* Drew Carey (has also attempted suicide).
* Kurt Cobain.
* David Bohm.
* Adam Ant.
* Britney Spears (unconfirmed).
And here is just a snippet of more people with Schizophrenia:
* Eduard Einstein
* Peter Green (guitarist in Fleetwood Mac)
* Mary Todd Lincoln (wife of Abraham Lincoln)
* Bob Mosley
* Rose Williams
* Meera Popkin.
Henry Winkler, Tom Cruise and Agatha Christie have Dyslexia.
So, if you happen to be feeling ‘alien’ or perhaps carrying a feeling of guilt or frustration, you are one of many. I distinctly remember being firstly diagnosed with OCD (and then other disorders to follow) how the confusion, frustration, uncertainty among so many other thoughts, feelings and issues (such as stereotypical beliefs) contributed to personal distress.
Having a mental health problem is no disgrace; it is what we do about it that really matters in the end. Some people will remain unwell, that is a fact, but we can still make particular choices at least to some degree. ‘Keep going; there in NOBODY like you’.
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Thank you for visiting Beyond My Label. All the best,
Osborne, I.M.D. 1998, Tormenting Thoughts and Secret Rituals, First Edition, Pantheon Books, New York.
Ashby Allen Institute, Mental Health, 2003, Brisbane, Australia.
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