"People with Mental
Enrich Our Lives"
Information about famous people throughout
history who have had a serious mental illness.
The revered sixteenth President of the United States
suffered from severe and incapacitating depressions
that occasionally led to thoughts of suicide, as documented
in numerous biographies by Carl Sandburg.
The British novelist who wrote To the Lighthouse and
Orlando experienced the mood swings of bipolar disorder
characterized by feverish periods of writing and weeks
immersed in gloom. Her story is discussed in The Dynamics
of Creation by Anthony Storr.
A defensive end for Vince Lombardi's legendary Green
Bay Packers of the 1960's, Aldridge played in two Super
Bowls. In the 1970's, he suffered from schizophrenia
and was homeless for two and a half years. Until his
death in 1998, he gave inspirational talks on his battle
against paranoid schizophrenia. His story is the story
of numerous newspaper articles.
The famous playwright, author of Long Day's Journey
Into Night and Ah, Wilderness!, suffered from clinical
depression, as documented in Eugene O'Neill by Olivia
Ludwig van Beethoven
The brilliant composer experienced bipolar disorder,
as documented in The Key to Genius: Manic Depression
and the Creative Life by D. Jablow Hershman and Julian
The famous opera singer suffered from bipolar disorder,
as documented in Donizetti and the World Opera in Italy,
Paris and Vienna in the First Half of the Nineteenth
Century by Herbert Weinstock.
The "inspired poet of human suffering" experienced
bipolar disorder, as discussed in The Dynamics of Creation
by Anthony Storr.
Author of War and Peace, Tolstoy revealed the extent
of his own mental illness in the memoir Confession.
His experiences is also discussed in The Dynamics of
Creation by Anthony Storr and The Inner World of Mental
Illness: A Series of First Person Accounts of What It
Was Like by Bert Kaplan.
The dancer's battle with schizophrenia is documented
in his autobiography, The Diary of Vaslov Nijinksy.
The renowned poet's mental illness is documented in
The Dynamics of Creation by Anthony Storr and The Broken
Brain: The biological Revolution in Psychiatry by Nancy
The playwright gave a personal account of his struggle
with clinical depression in his own Memoirs. His experience
is also documented in Five O'Clock Angel: Letters of
Tennessee Williams to Maria St. Just, 1948-1982; The
Kindness of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams
by Donald Spoto, and Tennessee: Cry of the Heart by
Vincent Van Gogh
The celebrated artist's bipolar disorder is discussed
in The Key to Genius: Manic Depression and the Creative
Life by D. Jablow Hershman and Julian Lieb and Dear
Theo, The Autobiography of Van Gogh.
The scientist's mental illness is discussed in The Dynamics
of Creation by Anthony Storr and The Key to Genius:
Manic Depression and the Creative Life by D. Jablow
Hershman and Julian Lieb.
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.
The poet and novelist ended her lifelong struggle with
clinical depresion by taking own life, as reported in
A Closer Look at Ariel: A Memory of Sylvia Plath by
The mental illness of one of the world's greatest artistic
geniuses is discussed in The Dynamics of Creation by
"Had he been a stable and equable man, he could
never have inspired the nation. In 1940, when all the
odds were against Britain, a leader of sober judgment
might well have concluded that we were finished,"
wrote Anthony Storr about Churchill's bipolar disorder
in Churchill's Black Dog, Kafka's Mice, and Other Phenomena
of the Human Mind.
The Gone with the Wind star suffered from mental illness,
as documented in Vivien Leigh: A Biography by Ann Edwards.
The baseball player for the Boston Red Sox who suffered
from bipolar disorder detailed his experience in The
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.
One of the greatest authors in the English language
suffered from clinical depression, as documented in
The Key to Genius: Manic Depression and the Creative
Life by D. Jablow Hershman and Julian Lieb, and Charles
Dickens: His Tragedy and Triumph by Edgar Johnson.