Without effective treatment, schizophrenia is a crippling mental illness and many of those affected find their life severely derailed as a result of the life-changing symptoms. Consequently, due to the nature of the disorder and the fact that it typically strikes young adults who are unlikely to have reached the pinnacle of their career, there are not many people in the world of celebrity who are known to have schizophrenia. But there are a few, so which schizophrenia famous people are still in the public eye?
Celebrities and schizophrenia
John Forbes Nash Junior is a fairly famous example of someone who has managed to succeed despite being diagnosed with schizophrenia. Nash’s story was featured in the film, “A brilliant Mind”. It told the tale of a gifted mathematician whose brilliance was almost extinguished forever once the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia began to take hold in his twenties. Nash was eventually awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics, which was an extraordinary achievement considering his illness.
Other schizophrenia famous people
Jack Kerouac, the American Novelist, was diagnosed as a schizoid personality when he joined the navy in his youth. As such, his naval career lasted only ten months and he was discharged. One of his most famous books was “On the Road”, written in an experimental form and featuring explicit references to homosexuality and drug use.
Syd Barrett and schizophrenia
Syd Barret, a member of Pink Floyd, was thought to have schizophrenia. He left the band in 1968 and rumours were rife that he was suffering from mental illness, although he was also a habitual hard drugs user. He eventually had a complete breakdown and turned his back on the music industry forever.
More schizophrenia famous people
- Joe Meek, English record producer and songwriter, is considered to be one of the first independent music producers. He suffered from schizophrenia and developed an obsession with the occult and all things paranormal. He liked to try and record dead people in graveyards and at one point be believed that Buddy Holly was talking to him in his dreams.
- Meera Popkin, star of many Broadway musicals, including Miss Saigon and Cats, was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the height of her career. As a result, she went from starring on the world’s most famous stage, to waiting tables at a fast food restaurant. She has since found her way back from the brink and is now happily married with a child.
- Rose Williams, the sister of Tennessee Williams, was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was very young. She was institutionalised, but despite receiving various treatments, she became increasingly paranoid. A prefrontal lobotomy was sanctioned by her parents, but it was unsuccessful and sadly Rose ended up incapacitated until her death.
- Famous Russian Ballet dancer, Vaclav Nijinsky, is widely considered to be one of the most talented dancers of his generation. Sadly, at the height of his career, he suffered a nervous breakdown and was subsequently diagnosed with schizophrenia. He spent the rest of his life in and out of psychiatric institutions.