In this guide, we will talk about some of the most famous people with Schizophrenia and what it means. Also, we will mention some of the most characteristic symptoms very superficially and what happens when there is no treatment.
Famous people with Schizophrenia
You may think that there may hardly be famous people with schizophrenia. However, many get very good at hiding it from the public eye while others simply become advocates to bring awareness. For instance, here is a list of 13 famous people with schizophrenia you may know:
- Aaron Carter: The former teen pop star, rapper, and dancer say he has been dealing with several mental illnesses, including schizophrenia.
- Zelda Fitzgerald: This writer, artist, and 1920s fashion symbol married ‘The Great Gatsby’ author F. Scott Fitzgerald.
- Darrell Hammond: he is a Saturday Night Live actor who became an announcer best known for his impersonations of Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and other famous people.
- Lionel Aldridge: in his 30s, he became paranoid, had hallucinations, and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. For a while, he was homeless. But with medications, he regained control.
- Bettie Page: By the 1970s, Page displayed symptoms of schizophrenia. Her mental health struggles came to a head in 1982, when she attacked her landlady with a machete.
- John Nash Jr: By age 30, he was known as one of the world’s most brilliant mathematicians. Then paranoia, delusions, and other symptoms of schizophrenia took hold.
- Eduard Einstein: The youngest child of Albert Einstein was studying medicine when he was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 20. He spent many years at a psychiatric facility in Zurich.
- Jim Gordon: known as the most in-demand drummers in the rock world for many years. He played with John Lennon and Frank Zappa. In 1983, he stabbed his mom to death and he explained that he ‘snapped’ from the torment of the voices in his head.
- Vincent Van Gogh: Hallucinations, including hearing voices, are a common symptom of schizophrenia. Some scholars say van Gogh’s behaviours may have stemmed from that disorder.
- Peter Green: Green was the co-founder of Fleetwood Mac and struggled with paranoia and auditory hallucinations.
- Veronica Lake: this movie star was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a child but her parents thought acting could be a good idea. However, later on, she struggled with alcohol and divorce.
Lionel Aldrige: Professional Football Player (1941-1988)
Lionel Aldrige was diagnosed at the age of 33. He was an all-skyline tackle and co-captain on the Utah State Aggies and he had a very fruitful career in the NFL playing for the Green Bay Packers and the San Diego Chargers.
Upon his retirement, he worked as a sports analyst until he was diagnosed in the late 1970s with Paranoid Schizophrenia which was considered as a sub-type of Schizophrenia a few years back. Having Schizophrenia led him to become homeless and eventually allowed him to regain some sense of mental health. Aldrige became an advocate for the homeless and the mentally ill until he died in 1998.
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Syd Barrett: Musician
As you may know, Syd Barrett is a musician and founder of Pink Floyd. He was an English artist, songwriter and guitarist. He was the lead singer, songwriter and guitarist of the rock band Pink Floyd. However, he was excluded from the band in April 1968 and it has been said that it was due to his mental illness and serious drug abuse. However, there hasn’t been an official report confirming his diagnosis or publicly admitting having the disease.
It has been said that he may have suffered from severe burnout and remained in constant social isolation. Additionally, he lived with diabetes for years and died in Cambridge in July of 2006 at the age of 60.
List of famous people with Schizophrenia (Part 2)
Schizophrenia is a severe and chronic condition that doesn’t have a cure as of today. This disease affects the brain and the individual’s behaviour in a proportion of 1% of the population. Researchers and scientists have found a genetic predisposition and a heritable trait passed done genetically.
Moreover, people with schizophrenia often hear voices telling them to do something and having delusional thoughts. They may also believe others are reading their minds and controlling their thoughts or even plotting against them or someone they love. As we mentioned, there is no known cure but treatment can help to control the symptoms and decrease episodes. In contrast, those that do not receive treatment can become withdrawn or agitated resulting from the disease.
According to Schizophrenia.com, here is a list of famous people with schizophrenia you may have not suspected were diagnosed or were said to have Schizophrenia:
- Tom Harrell (Jazz Musician)
- Meera Popkin (Broadway Star)
- Dr James Watson’s son (Dr Watson is co-discover of DNA and Nobel Prize winner)
- Alan Alda’s Mother (Alan Alda is the famous TV actor from the series MASH)
- Andy Goram (Scottish Soccer Player/Goal Keeper)
- Syd Barrett of the band Pink Floyd
- Alexander “Skip” Spence and Bob Mosley – both members of the 1960’s rock group Moby Grape (and Jefferson Airplane for Skip Spence)
- Roger Kynard “Roky” Erickson, of the Austin-based 1960’s group TheThirteenth Floor Elevators
- Joe Meek (1960’s British record producer)
- Charles “Buddy” Bolden (Jazz Musician)
- Antoin Artaud – Dramatist, Artist
- Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln (past-President of the United States)
- Vaclav Nijinsky (Famous Russian Dancer)
- Jack Kerouac (Author)
- Tennessee Williams sister Rose Williams had schizophrenia
Why is this blog about Famous people with Schizophrenia important?
As we have discussed on Famous people with Schizophrenia, we can conclude that even if we have seen only 1% of the population may have Schizophrenia, we may have added several names of famous people that you may or may not know. However, some of the names you may see may have not publicly admitted their diagnosis but it is suspected due to their behaviour over time.
Finally, this disease is a chronic and debilitating condition that doesn’t have a cure but the current treatments can help manage the symptoms. If left unattended or untreated, people with Schizophrenia can become agitated and may have a serious crisis that may require hospitalization.
Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Famous People with Schizophrenia
Who is most commonly affected by schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is said to affect men and women proportionally, but men tend to experience symptoms earlier than women. It occurs at similar rates in all ethnic groups around the world. Symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions usually start between ages 16 and 30.
Can you date someone with schizophrenia?
You can date someone with schizophrenia but a serious mental health condition like this can become quite challenging. At times, your partner can experience psychotic behaviours like having hallucinations and delusional thought processes (not making any sense). Moreover, in severe cases, dating is probably out of the question due to the severity of the symptoms which most likely will end up with hospitalization.
Do schizophrenics know they are schizophrenic?
People with schizophrenia often don’t even realize they are ill or that they are schizophrenic, so this means it is less likely for them to ask for help or to go to the doctor. This also means it becomes harder to diagnose and even more so due to the ‘prodrome’ which mimics or mirrors other normal life changes someone gets to experience during adolescence and early adulthood.
What should schizophrenics avoid?
Many people with schizophrenia have trouble with sleep, but getting regular exercise, reducing sugar in your diet, and avoiding caffeine can help. It is recommended to avoid alcohol and drugs but it can be tempting to try to self-medicate the symptoms of schizophrenia with drugs and alcohol. If medicated, it is important to follow a physician’s instructions on how to take the medication and avoid stopping it all of a sudden.
What kind of voices do schizophrenics hear?
The kind of voices that schizophrenics hear or the characteristics of their auditory hallucinations are said to be male voices that are nasty, repetitive and ask them to do something (or hurt someone). Schizophrenics will seem distracted and not present but it may be because they are listening to those voices telling them to do something, giving them instructions, etc. they can become quite agitated and become withdrawn. They may not make any sense and can even stay still for hours without moving or talking.