Indian celebrities with schizophrenia

Famous People and Celebrities with Schizophrenia

Read about famous people with schizophrenia. Learn which celebrities with schizophrenia have gone public to raise awareness and reduce stigma.

You may think that the terms, schizophrenia and famous people, do not belong together, but think again. A number of famous people with schizophrenia have gone public with their illness in an effort to reduce the stigma attached to mental illness. Their courageous choice to speak openly about the challenges they face with schizophrenia helps others feel less alone in their struggles, reducing stigma and shame.

Celebrities With Schizophrenia Coming Out to Help Others

You wont hear too much about celebrities and schizophrenia in the mainstream news simply because the disorder generally presents during a persons late teens and twenties. Most celebrities and other people of note gain their notoriety during these youthful years. Those with schizophrenia spend these years dealing with the challenges of the illness rather than pursuing stardom.

Read below for a list of famous people with documented cases of schizophrenia, and several that experts strongly suspect have dealt with the disorder in the past or currently suffer from it.

Famous People With Schizophrenia Confirmed Cases

Bettie Page Playboy magazine Miss January 1955 pin-up model.

John Nash Nobel Prize-winning mathematician, portrayed by actor Russell Crowe in the movie, A Beautiful Mind. The movie details Nashs 30-year struggle with this, often debilitating, mental illness and its eventual, victorious culmination when he won the Nobel Prize for economics in 1994.

Eduard Einstein Son of Albert Einstein. The world knows Eduards famous father best for conceptualizing the Theory of Relativity (E=MC2), developing the atomic bomb, and pioneering numerous other scientific breakthroughs. Records note Eduards high intelligence and natural musical talent as well as his youthful dream of becoming a doctor of psychiatry. Schizophrenia struck Eduard during his 20th year in 1930. He received psychiatric care at an asylum in Zurich, Switzerland.

Tom Harrell Superstar jazz trumpet musician and composer, Harrell continues to produce and compose music, releasing his 24th album earlier in 2011. He speaks openly about his struggles with the illness in hopes of helping others cope with their own challenges. He claims music and medications with helping him persevere well into his 60s while remaining at the top of his craft.

Elyn Saks A law professor, specializing in mental health law, Saks authored her memoirs, The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness, where she openly talks of her decades-long battle with schizophrenia. Honored as a legal scholar and peerless authority on mental health law, Saks accepted a $500,000 genius grant from the MacArthur Foundation in 2009.

Lionel Aldridge Aldridge played as a defensive end for the Green Bay Packers and coach Vince Lombardi in the 1960s. During this time, Aldridge played in two Super Bowls, but schizophrenia knows all men as equals -- regardless of talent, fame, and fortune. Aldridge was struck with the illness soon after his football career ended and spent two and a half years alone and homeless a celebrity athlete on the streets. Once he found help for his struggles with the disorder, he dedicated his life to delivering inspirational speeches about his battle with paranoid schizophrenia and his ultimate victory over its ravages. He died in 1998.

Many more well-known musicians, actors, authors, and artists have openly spoken out about their mental disease in efforts to reduce stigma.

Famous People With Schizophrenia Strongly Suspected

Mary Todd Lincoln wife of President Abraham Lincoln has received a historical diagnosis of schizophrenia from experts who studied her and the presidents writings about her behaviors and struggles.

Michaelangelo Anthony Storr, the author of The Dynamics of Creation, writes about reasons to suspect that this, one of historys greatest geniuses of creative talent, legendary artist suffered from schizophrenia.

Vivien Leigh actress who played the impetuous Scarlett OHara in the film, Gone With the Wind, suffered from a mental illness resembling schizophrenia, according to biographer Ann Edwards.

Despite a massive effort to diminish the stigma associated with mental illness in America, strong negative attitudes persist in U.S. culture about schizophrenia and other debilitating mental diseases. Perhaps sharing the stories of celebrities and other famous people with schizophrenia can help change these damaging attitudes, so others do not have to suffer in silence.

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indian celebrities with schizophrenia
Famous People and Celebrities with Schizophrenia | Schiz Life
Famous People and Celebrities with Schizophrenia

One of the biggest myths about schizophrenia is that a person suffering from this debilitating illness will never overcome it and function normally in society. That just is not true. As a matter of fact, there is an entire list of people who have not only functioned normally but exceedingly well to become famous celebrities who have contributed more to society than most people without any mental illness at all.

Some of these people you will likely recognize and think, Wow! I had no clue! and some you wont have previously known. Some people are simply famous due to their relation to a celebrity, but I will mention them as well just for completions sake. Im going to separate the groups of folks between famous people, which I am calling scientists and artists, versus celebrities, who were or are involved in the entertainment industries. So without further ado, lets get to know some of these amazing people! I am going to omit certain suspected cases that float about on the internet, and also avoid some of the lesser known people.

Famous People with Schizophrenia

When it comes to schizophrenia, famous people are no different than anyone else. The general public has a 1.1% risk of developing this psychological difficulty and that includes everybody. So who are some of these famous folks who have joined the ranks of courageous people who have conquered schizophrenia?

John Nash Perhaps the person who has made the most impactful contributions to society of the list is the mathematician John Nash. His case is so amazing that there was even a movie developed about his life called A Beautiful Mind. It was so well made that it was showered with awards and nominations. His contributions include work in geometry and differential equations, although his most significant work is in the development of game theory. Within game theory, he was an important mathematics award for his recognition of the non-cooperative equilibria, which is now more commonly known as the Nash equilibria! He experienced symptoms throughout most of his adult life and had periods of medication and periods where he refused, which resulted in his repeated institutionalization.

Eduard Einstein Just by noticing this gentlemans last name, you would suspect that he is the son of one of the greatest physicists of all time, Albert Einstein, and you would be correct! His case is of particular interest due to this relationship, but his struggle was not in vain, because it did much to raise the general awareness of this illness in the publics eye. Although he intended to become a skillful psychoanalyst, his college career was interrupted by repeated hospitalizations. He ultimately died in a psychiatric institution at the age of 55 years old.

Lionel Aldridge This man reached heights many dream of by playing as the defensive end for the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s! He did retire from football but continued his career as a sports analyst until he developed the specific type of schizophrenia known as paranoid schizophrenia. After almost ten years of struggling, he sought treatment and began to experience an improvement in his symptoms.

Mary Todd Lincoln One the United States most famous presidents was the 16th, Mr. Abraham Lincoln. Mary Todd was his wife and first lady! Her schizophrenia included having beliefs that some would consider bizarre. After the death of their son, she spent their fortune paying psychics and mediums to attempt to contact her dead son in the afterlife.

Andy Goram A professional soccer and cricket player who was positioned as the goalkeeper, he gained notoriety when he became under fire of political accusations regarding sectarianism and other related issues in the United Kingdom. Fans embraced his diagnosis of schizophrenia with a silly chant regarding multiple personalities, although that is not a symptom of schizophrenia.

Vaslav Nijinsky Possibly the most skilled male ballet dancer ever, he was also an accomplished choreographer. He was most known for his amazing leaps in the air and his rare ability to dance en pointe. His career ended due to the development of schizophrenia and he spent the remainder of his years in and out of asylums.

Rose Williams An interesting case due to her relationship as sister to the playwright, poet, and author Tennessee Williams. He was diagnosed as a youth and spent most of her life institutionalized. Her situation was so grim that her parents opted for a prefrontal lobotomy, which, of course, ended horribly. This resulted in her being incapacitated for the remainder of her days.

Jack Kerouac An accomplished novelist who led the Beat culture through its rise. It turns out that before his success as an author, he did a stint in the Navy. His records have been declassified and reveal his struggle with mental illness. His diagnosis of dementia praecox, which is an older term for schizophrenia, led to his de-enlistment. Some say he faked these symptoms in order to be discharged.

Vincent Van Gogh The world famous post-impressionist painter Van Gogh has been posthumously diagnosed by a number of professionals with a variety of illnesses, among those being schizophrenia. His artwork was not well known at the time, but now he is regarded as one of the greatest of all time!

Louis Wain Louis Wain is renowned worldwide for his many paintings and drawings of cats. His slow decline into his schizophrenia symptoms is said to be displayed in the increasingly bizarre progression of his paintings of schizophrenic cats. He was a very successful artist published in many types of literature.

Ted Kaczynski Unfortunately, Teds notoriety is derived from his fame as the Unabomber. After his crimes, he entered an insanity defense and the court-appointed psychiatrist diagnosed him as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. This claim is under suspicion, but it is worthwhile to note that many conspiracies have risen surrounding the events of his life.

William Chester Minor This man contributed to the world in many ways, starting as an American surgeon for the army, and later as possibly the person with the most contributions to the Oxford English Dictionary. He worked on his contributions while institutionalized in a lunatic asylum in the early 1900s. He found many of the quotes that displayed the proper use of words!

Celebrities with Schizophrenia

More people will recognize these celebrities rather than famous people. We all know the creative potential that can be unlocked by schizophrenia and this is evidenced by the long list of artists below who made great careers out of their art. Lets see who these ladies and gentlemen are and what kind of art they were involved in!

Syd Barrett Young folks and old both recognize the name Syd Barrett in association with his early membership with the highly successful band Pink Floyd. His contributions included being the principal songwriter for the early albums. There is a suspicion that his case was exacerbated by his use of psychedelic substances. He eventually quit the band and began withdrawing socially and from the media.

Jim Gordon Originally named James Beck Gordon, this musician has gained notoriety as a songwriter, recording artist, and the winner of a Grammy. He very well may have been the most popular drummer for decades but eventually was imprisoned for the death of his mother. He attacked her in response to the request of a voice he was hearing, which led to his sentence and diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Peter Green Peter plays guitar for the amazing band,Fleetwood Mac! Due to his earlier diagnosis in the 1970s of various psychological problems, he was treated with electroconvulsive therapy to help with his trance-like stupor. He has had the opportunity to fill in for many guitar greats with many bands.

Joe Meek Anyone, and I mean anyone, who has even toyed around in the music industries knows the name Meek because Joe Meek was an amazing producer and songwriter. But most notably, his line of signal processors, including preamps and compressors, continue to be hugely popular today. His bouts of schizophrenia were related to his obsession with contacting people in the afterlife and other occult practices using his digital technology.

Parveen Babi A highly regarded actress in India, she starred alongside of the best actors and actresses of the 1970s and 80s in Bollywood. She is considered the most beautiful actress of India ever! Her fight with schizophrenia led to the deterioration of her career and social life. There are many speculations as to the cause of her disorder, but nothing factual or substantial.

Meera Popkin Best known as a star of the Broadway theatrical plays Cats and Miss Saigon, her career was brought to a halt due to her development of schizophrenia. Apparently, she has fully recovered and considers this recovery the highlight of her life! This is an indication for the struggle that all schizophrenics must face. So brave and courageous!

Bob Mosley As a great bassist, singer, and songwriter, James Robert Mosley was a member of many garages and punk rock groups, most notably the Misfits and the Frantics. He eventually enlisted in the United States Marines only to be discharged upon his diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. This resulted in his homelessness and eventual rise as he rejoined his band in the late 90s.

Darrell Hammond Darrell is best known as the longest running comedian on Saturday Night Live ever and for his hilarious impressions of former president Bill Clinton. The trauma he experienced under an abusive mother is said to have instigated the rise of bipolar and schizophrenia. He was hospitalized many times throughout his lifetime, but still managed to rise to success!

Brian Wilson Mr. Wilson is known as the principal songwriter and leader of the successful pop music group The Beach Boys. After becoming one of the most successful musicians ever, his career was ended short due to his erratic behavior that were symptoms of his developing schizophrenia. Interestingly, his diagnosis was later retracted.

Final Thoughts onFamous People with Schizophrenia

Of course, this is simply a small sampling of all of the famous people and celebrities who have dealt with schizophrenia. They are in no way more special than any other person, but do show that it is possible to maintain a diagnosis of schizophrenia and still contribute to society and become wildly successful in your career and personal life!

What to Expect From Schizophrenia Medications

Antipsychotic drugs can be a big help in managing your symptoms. But they can have side effects. Your doctor should talk with you about their benefits and risks.

Antipsychotic medications change the way some of your brain chemicals act.

These drugs can help with symptoms such as hearing voices or seeing things that aren't real. Each person responds to antipsychotic medications differently.

These drugs also take time to control different symptoms:

  • Within a few days, you may feel less agitated and your hallucinations may fade.
  • Within a few weeks, delusions often ease. A delusion is a false belief that you cant let go of. An example of a delusion is believing that others are always trying to hurt you.
  • Within about 6 weeks, many people feel much better.

How well your medications work can depend on your age when the illness began, how bad your symptoms are, and lifestyle habits.

How Long Youll Take Them

Each person is different. Some need to take schizophrenia medications for a short time. Others need them longer.

Sometimes, people need to try a different dose or medication. But you should never stop suddenly. If the doctor says you can stop a medication, you will taper off it, a little at a time.

Your doctor may suggest other ways to address so-called negative symptoms, which include social withdrawal, lack of motivation, or lack of emotional expression. Antipsychotics don't work as well for these kinds of symptoms.

Also, your doctor may prescribe antidepressants if you get depressed.

Older and Newer Antipsychotics

Older antipsychotic drugs -- known as typical or first-generation ones -- have been around for decades. Newer, or atypical antipsychotics may work better to improve:

  • Problems showing emotion
  • Trouble interacting with others
  • General symptoms of anxiety, guilt, tension, and poor attention or judgment

The older and newer antipsychotics share some side effects. For example, atypical antipsychotics generally seem less likely than typical ones to cause involuntary movements as a side effect.

You often take antipsychotics by pill. People who have trouble doing this may get a long-acting antipsychotic shot in the shoulder muscle or buttocks, sometimes once a month, at a doctor's office or hospital. It may help prevent relapses.


Possible Side Effects

When you start to take an antipsychotic, take some time to adjust. Don't drive until you know how the medicine affects your alertness and reaction time.

In most cases, early side effects, such as drowsiness or dizziness, go away within days. If not, you can work with your doctor to manage this. A different dose or medication may help.

These are some of the more common side effects of antipsychotic medications:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness when you change positions
  • Blurry vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sensitivity to the sun
  • Skin rash
  • Menstrual problems
  • Problems with sex
  • Enlarged breasts

Both older and newer antipsychotics may cause a rare condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Sweating
  • Big swings in blood pressure
  • Muscle stiffness

With long-term use, older and newer drugs may also cause a serious condition called tardive dyskinesia (TD). This is more likely with older antipsychotics, though.

TD causes random muscle movements such as facial grimacing, lip smacking, and eye blinking. It can:

  • Be mild or more severe
  • Develop slowly over months, years, or decades
  • Sometimes go away after stopping the medicine, but also may be permanent

The medications deutetrabenazine (Austedo) and valbenazine (Ingrezza) have proven effective in treating adults with TD.

Older antipsychotics are more likely to cause side effects such as:

  • Stiffness in arms and legs
  • Muscle spasms
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Tremors
  • Restlessness or pacing
  • Very slow movements
  • Changes in breathing and heart rate

Newer antipsychotic drugs are more likely to lead to weight gain. This can make you more likely to get diabetes and high cholesterol. For this reason, your doctor should regularly check your weight, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol levels.

Stay in close contact with your doctor about how you feel, and let her know about any side effects. There may be a way to stop or at least ease them.



Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: "Antipsychotic Medicines for Treating Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder."

UpToDate: "Pharmacotherapy for schizophrenia: Long-acting injectable antipsychotic drugs." "Schizophrenia Treatment & Recovery."

Cleveland Clinic: "Schizophrenia."

National Alliance on Mental Illness: "Introduction: Mental Health Medications and Tardive Dyskinesia."

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Mumbai - Suicide by Monica Chaudhury, daughter of noted Ghazal singer Chitra Singh, has sent shockwave throughout the Bollywood industry. Stress, anxiety and depression are often cited as the main reason behind someone taking his or her own life and this is especially true in the entertainment industry where someone does not hesitate to take the drastic step to escape from the immense pressure that comes with stardom.
In January, the legendary actress Parveen Babi, after years of suffering from schizophrenia and depression, "died of natural causes" in her Juhu residence in Mumbai.

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