There has always been a strange correlation between Mental Illness and Genius. Even more so between celebrities with schizophrenia. I suppose there is a really thin line, and up to a certain point it can be helpful in shedding inhibitions and expressing oneself with true raw emotion, but all too often that tips over to an unhealthy balance. Some of the greatest artists have dealt with Mental illnesses. Sylvia Plath and Virgina Woolfe dealt with Clinical Depression, and if you look at Contemporary celebrities, Florence Welch from “Florence and the Machine” is bipolar, and there are some celebrities with Schizophrenia .
Schizophrenia is a really difficult mental illness, it can make it hard for those afflicted by it to discern between reality and hallucinations. It can cause them to become emotionally stunted even. Because of the nature of the illness, it has become quite the staple in movies, and often gets over laid onto multiple personality disorder. Generally exaggerated to no end, and it becomes extremely difficult for famous people with schizophrenia disorder. However, the truth is that with the right medication taken at regular intervals and some therapy, Schizophrenia can actually be controlled well and one can even lead a normal life despite the illness.
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10 Famous Celebrities With Schizophrenia Disorder
Here’s a list of some famous celebrities with Schizophrenia, who have battled it bravely.
#1. Jack Kerouac
You might know him as the Famous author who initiated the Beat movement in post-war America with his peers Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. His most famous book till date is “On the Road”, a book about hitchhikers and generally about living life no f-s given, which was recently adapted into a Screenplay starring Kristen Stewart.
He also served in the US Military, wherein a navy doctor diagnosed him with “dementia praecox” which is Schizophrenia today. Hey was discharged from service after merely 10 months, following which his diagnosis was altered, to simple “schizoid tendencies.”
#2. John Nash
It’s entirely likely that when you hear this name your brain immediately pulls out an image of Russell Crowe, that’s because the famous actor played him in the Oscar-winning movie “A Beautiful Mind”, which was based on Nash’s struggle with Schizophrenia.
Dr. John Forbes Nash Jr. is a Mathematician whose theories looked into the study of forces that governed chance, a study which is still used to illuminate aspects of the arms race and currency trends. He won a Nobel prize later in life, and his schizophrenia reached such an extent that he would imagine government conspiracies all around him.
#3. Zelda Fitzgerald
You might be slightly or very familiar with the name “Fitzgerald”. Zelda was the wife of one of the most famous names in Modern Literature, F Scott Fitzgerald, who is known by his iconic “The Great Gatsby”, which was recently turned into a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Toby Maguire.
Zelda often went into fits of paranoia and outrage regarding her husband’s alleged infidelities, and she was eventually diagnosed with Schizophrenia in 1930.
#4. Peter Green
One of the best guitarists of all time, he was one of the founders of Fleetwood Mac, which is another iconic band from the 70s who shot to stardom with their hit album “Rumors.” You might have heard his tunes in songs like “Dreams” and “Landslide.”
He was one of the famous celebrities with Schizophrenia and he underwent therapy for the same. However, his therapy sessions didn’t go down very well, and after a couple of violent fits and episodes, he turned into a complete recluse as he dealt with his illness on his own terms.
#5. John Hinckley, Jr.
More infamous than famous, this is the man who attempted an assassination of Former President Ronald Reagan back in 1981.
However, he was found to not have been culpable because of insanity, as he was found to have been diagnosed with Schizoid Personality Disorder.
#6. Vincent Van Gogh
He lived during the latter half of the 19th century and is one of the greatest artists to have ever lived. I’m sure everyone has, at some point in their life, come across his “Starry Night” painting which is an abstract piece with a twirling black tree against a blue sky with concentric circles of bright golden stars.
Although Schizophrenia didn’t exist as a concept back then — considering they were only just starting to observe madness as a form of ‘mental illness’ . However, posthumously, it is believed that he suffered from the disease because of all his eccentricities and unstable mood swings. Later in his young life he suffered from deep psychosis and eventually committed suicide at the age of 37.
#7. Lionel Aldridge
Lionel Aldridge was a legendary athlete who was picked up by Coach Vince Lombardi, despite the fact that he didn’t start rookies. Aldridge went on to win two Super Bowls for the Green Bay Packers.
He retired after 10 years in NFL, and in the late 70s was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Eventually, after having dealt with his illness he became a firm advocate for the homeless and mentally ill, before eventually dying in 1998.
#8. Darrell Hammond
He was cast member for the Comedy Sketch series Saturday Night Live from 1995 to 2009, making him the longest-running actor in the show. He was most famous for his impersonations of President Bill Clinton.
In 2011 interview with CNN he revealed that he was actually abused by his mother as a child . People believe that this trauma early on in life could have triggered his eventual bouts with Schizophrenia.
#9. Veronica Lake
She is an iconic film noir actress, who’s most famous role is in “Sullivan’s Travels”. She also acted in film noirs with Alan Ladd , which gained her critics acclaim and popularity. Her peek-a-boo hairstyle was also quite famous.
She was diagnosed as Schizophrenia very early on as a child and is known for some really dramatic and violent outbursts well into adulthood.
#10. Brian Wilson
He was the front man for one of the most iconic bands of the 1900s “The beach Boys”, and he created one of the best albums of all time — “Pet Sounds.” He gained popularity due to his unorthodox methods be it in song composition or recording techniques.
He is still active in the music industry, however, he suffers from Auditory Hallucinations, which means he hears sounds and voices in his head. His biopic movie ‘Love and Mercy’ was released in the year 2015.
The above mentioned are the list of famous people (celebrities) with schizophrenia disorder, whose battles have and will always inspire all of us!