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Added by Pumpkinate

on 10 Jan 2010 08:29

 
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21026 Views   32 Comments

Authors with Mental Illnesses

Sort by: Showing 23 items
Average listal rating (6 ratings) 9  IMDB Rating
1. Richard Brautigan
Brautigan ”broke a window at the Eugene Police Station. He was arrested and placed in the Lane County Jail. The next day he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. He was fined $25.00 and given a ten-day jail sentence. After serving seven of the ten days he was given a court hearing and ordered committed to the state hospital for observation and treatment.
Brautigan was committed to the Oregon State Hospital in Salem, the same hospital used for filming Ken Kesey's One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. While in the hospital Brautigan received electric shock therapy treatments and was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.”
Source: www.brautigan.net

Average listal rating (65 ratings) 7.5  IMDB Rating
2. Truman Capote
“Truman took the fall from society's grace rather hard and soon acquired his mother's disease, alcoholism. His heavy drinking and drug use turned the genius into a moody recluse. His eccentric behavior increased and he would often come out of hiding for an interview or appearance, only to disappear again.”
Source: www.capotebio.com

Average listal rating (21 ratings) 7.6  IMDB Rating
3. Patricia Cornwell
"Ms. Cornwell is a best-selling crime novelist whose ability to write is dependent upon the ability to avoid distractions. A quiet, uninterrupted environment, free of the distractions of managing her business and her assets, was essential to her ability to write and to meet her deadlines. Further, Ms. Cornwell openly acknowledges her diagnosis with a mood disorder known as bi-polar disorder, which, although controlled without medication, has contributed to her belief that it is prudent for her to employ others to manage her business affairs."
Source: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stuck/200910/bipolar-disorder-plays-role-in-patricia-cornwells-financial-mel-e

Average listal rating (83 ratings) 8.6  IMDB Rating
4. Philip K. Dick
Starting in seventh grade Dick began suffering from bouts of extreme vertigo; the vertigo recurred with special intensity during his brief undergraduate stint. In his late teens, Dick later recalled, he was diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia - a label that terrified him. Other psychotherapists and psychiatrists in later years would offer other diagnoses, including the one that Dick was quite sane.

Leaving aside medical terminology, there is no question that Dick felt himself, throughout his life, to suffer from bouts of psychological anguish that he frequently referred to as "nervous breakdowns." His experience of these was transmuted into fictional portraits, most notably of "ex-schizophrenic" Jack Bohlen in Martian Time-Slip (1964)."

"In February and March 1974, Dick experienced a series of visions and auditions including an information-rich "pink light" beam that transmitted directly into his consciousness."
Source: http://www.philipkdick.com

Average listal rating (161 ratings) 8.3  IMDB Rating
5. Charles Dickens
Clinical Depression?

Average listal rating (289 ratings) 7.4  IMDB Rating
6. Stephen Fry
Bipolar Disorder?

Average listal rating (33 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating
7. Allen Ginsberg
Clinical Depression?

Average listal rating (7 ratings) 8  IMDB Rating
8. Graham Greene
“Greene suffered from bipolar disorder which had a profound effect on his writing and personal life. In a letter to his wife Vivien he told her that he had "a character profoundly antagonistic to ordinary domestic life", and that "unfortunately, the disease is also one's material”
Source: Wikipedia

Average listal rating (167 ratings) 8.8  IMDB Rating
9. Franz Kafka
"It is generally agreed that Kafka suffered from clinical depression and social anxiety throughout his entire life. He also suffered from migraines, insomnia, constipation, boils, and other ailments, all usually brought on by excessive stresses and strains."
Source: Wikipedia

Average listal rating (104 ratings) 8.2  IMDB Rating
10. Jack Kerouac
Schizophrenia?

Average listal rating (50 ratings) 9.1  IMDB Rating
11. Fernando Pessoa
"More often than bipolar (yes maybe he was moody, well heck he was a poet!)" people suggest Fernando Pessoa had multiple personality disorder (a theory dismissed by many)...
Pessoa had several heteronyms (many, with the three fully developed Alberto Caeiro, Álvaro de Campos e Ricardo Reis being the most famous ones), with different writing styles and preferences, different personalities, birth dates, professions, etc. That alone doesn't say much, as it could be only in writing, to freely express different sides of himself, something we all have.
But then on his real life, stuff like this would happen: in one afternoon when he was supposed to meet with José Régio, he showed up a few hours late - as usual -, claiming to be Álvaro de Campos and excusing Pessoa for not being able to be there.
So either he took that way too seriously or he really wasn't well in the head. Actually either way he couldn't be well, either having some kind of serious disorder or just being a bit crazy (and unstable, definitely)."
Source: Listal user Nebula

Average listal rating (57 ratings) 8.4  IMDB Rating
12. Sylvia Plath
Bipolar Disorder?

Average listal rating (241 ratings) 8.9  IMDB Rating
13. Edgar Allan Poe
Bipolar Disorder?

Average listal rating (31 ratings) 7.6  IMDB Rating
14. David Sedaris
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

Average listal rating (27 ratings) 8.1  IMDB Rating
15. Sidney Sheldon
Sheldon "struggled with bipolar disorder for years; he contemplated suicide at 17 (talked out of it by his father, who discovered him), as detailed in his autobiography published in 2005, The Other Side of Me".
Source: Wikipedia

Average listal rating (16 ratings) 8.4  IMDB Rating
16. Dylan Thomas
Clinical Depression?

Average listal rating (53 ratings) 8.6  IMDB Rating
17. Leo Tolstoy
When Russian Herald was published Tolstoy "became depressed and suicidal; his usually rational outlook on life became muddled with what he thought was a morally upright life as husband and father. He harshly examined his motives and criticised himself for his egotistical family cares….concern for the increase of wealth, the attainment of literary success, and the enjoyment of every kind of pleasure."
Source: http://www.online-literature.com/tolstoy/

Average listal rating (124 ratings) 8.4  IMDB Rating
18. Kurt Vonnegut
"Despite his success, Kurt Vonnegut wrestled with his own personal demons. Having struggled with depression on and off for years, he attempted to take his own life in 1984. Whatever challenges he faced personally, Vonnegut became a literary icon with a devoted following."
Source: www.biography.com

Average listal rating (1 ratings) 8  IMDB Rating
19. Mark Vonnegut
Mark Vonnegut "described himself in the preface to his 1975 book as "a hippie, son of a counterculture hero, B.A. in religion, (with a) genetic disposition to schizophrenia."

"Vonnegut first attributed his recovery to orthomolecular megavitamin therapy and then wrote The Eden Express. He subsequently studied medicine at Harvard Medical School and later came to the conclusion that he actually had bipolar disorder."
Source: Wikipedia

Average listal rating (9 ratings) 6.6  IMDB Rating
20. David Foster Wallace
"Wallace committed suicide by hanging himself on September 12, 2008, as confirmed by the October 27, 2008 autopsy report.
In an interview with The New York Times, Wallace's father reported that Wallace had suffered from depression for more than 20 years and that antidepressant medication had allowed him to be productive. When he experienced severe side effects from the medication, Wallace attempted to wean himself from his primary antidepressant, phenelzine. On his doctor's advice, Wallace stopped taking the medication in June 2007, and the depression returned. Wallace received other treatments including electroconvulsive therapy. When he returned to phenelzine, he found it had lost its effectiveness. In the months before his death, his depression became severe."
Source: Wikipedia

Maybe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Average listal rating (34 ratings) 7.5  IMDB Rating
21. Kenneth Williams
"Upon his sudden death, the coroner recorded an open verdict, saying it was possible (but unlikely) that Williams had taken an overdose of sleeping pills in addition to his regular pain killers that caused a lethal cocktail. To this day, views are still divided as to whether it was deliberate or not. On one hand, he mentioned many times in his diaries that suicide was the only option, but he always seemed to bounce back from his bouts of depression. Many seem to think that suicide is unlikely simply because he would never have entertained such ideas while his mother was alive (she was left nothing in his will, presumably because Ken was expecting to outlive her)."
Source: www.imdb.com

Average listal rating (33 ratings) 8.4  IMDB Rating
22. Tennessee Williams
Clinical Depression?

Average listal rating (88 ratings) 8.6  IMDB Rating
23. Virginia Woolf
"After completing the manuscript of her last (posthumously published) novel, Between the Acts, Woolf fell victim to a depression similar to that which she had earlier experienced. The onset of World War II, the destruction of her London home during the Blitz, and the cool reception given to her biography of her late friend Roger Fryall worsened her condition until she was unable to work.
On 28 March 1941, Woolf committed suicide. She put on her overcoat, filled its pockets with stones, then walked into the River Ouse near her home and drowned herself. Woolf's skeletonised body was not found until 18 April. Her husband buried her cremated remains under an elm in the garden of Monk's House, their home in Rodmell, Sussex.”
Source: Wikipedia


 

Many of these illness are purported and might not have actually existed within the authors' minds. However, much evidence suggests at the possibility of mental illness and they have been included thus.

If anyone knows of some more or has any general critique of this list, do not hesitate to comment. This list is shared with Onemorerobot, so if you give credit to me, be sure to give credit to her, too. :)

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This list is shared with Listal user ama.

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Celebs Life & Death (65 lists)
list by SFG¿mystic
Published 1 year, 11 months ago



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Comments

Posted: 4 years, 1 month ago at Mar 21 17:00
It's people like you that keep the heart on the Listal logo. =)

(I didn't even think of depression...)
Posted: 4 years, 1 month ago at Mar 25 0:06
If depression is an illness, then you can say that happiness is a illness. Or just to feel okey is an illness. So you should write down all the authors in the world, they are all sick.
Posted: 4 years, 1 month ago at Mar 25 2:14
I wouldn't include depression, otherwise nice idea & start for the list.
Posted: 4 years, 1 month ago at Mar 25 3:08
I guess that the subject here is the clinical and chronic types of depression with symptomes, diagnosis, medication and even hospitalisation.
Posted: 4 years, 1 month ago at Mar 25 6:42
I agree with "nimimerkillinen". Depression is not a permanent thing unless you decide to do nothing about it. Everyone gets depressed occasionally.
Posted: 4 years, 1 month ago at Mar 25 7:13
Such a great idea for a list!
I don't know if you're taking suggestions, but Jack Kerouac had schizophrenia.
Posted: 4 years, 1 month ago at Mar 25 13:03
Happy, well-adjusted people can't create the same kind of literature.
Posted: 4 years ago at Mar 25 19:02
No, they cannot!

How would you guys feel if I changed the notes so that they instead said "Clinical Depression" or something?
Posted: 4 years ago at Mar 25 20:59
"I guess that the subject here is the clinical and chronic types of depression with symptomes, diagnosis, medication and even hospitalisation."

Most of my friends are or have been seriously depressed with list of diagnosis and medication, me included. Some of them have been hospitalized. Depression is a serious thing and it also is real, it is not just feeling bad. It's so common it perhaps needs its own list.

If that's a bad idea, then some extra information would be useful because you can overcome clinical depression and you probably aren't born with with.

:)
If
Posted: 4 years ago at Mar 25 22:19
I absolutely agree with you, nimimerkillinen. Depression -a temporary and treatable or a chronic, severe condition- is a serious, real thing and, unfortunately, for many reasons very common in people of both sexes and different ages. We use the word "depression" as a synonym of the word "sadness", but for psychology and psychiatry it isn't just this. It is generally defined as a mental illness or disorder caused by many different factors and that's the reason I wrote the previous comment.
Posted: 4 years ago at Mar 26 16:40
No problem! Onemorerobot contributed that author to this list, up above.
Posted: 4 years ago at Mar 26 18:34
Zozoulini, I figured that but also wanted to make my view a bit clearer :).

While we are on the subject, after 5 years of constant alcohol drinking I didn't even realize that it might have been a big cause of my anxiety and depression. I have recently been by accident without alcohol for more than a month (Well, money might have been a good reason) and I have to say I didn't even remember a human could feel like this.

Also with excessive alcohold drinking I tended to eat bad, really bad. When you drank, you needed those calories when you weren't getting alcohol so I stucked myself full. Surely you get very nice coach potato kicks out of it but I don't think it works with socializing with me so I'm cutting those out a bit too. I think I'm starting to experience and have pleasure from world again without feeling constantly from little to massive anxiety. I'm learning to live again.

This might be random mumbling to most but what I'm trying to say is that there can be sometimes a real reason for depression, for example when you think you have found an unnecessary habit in your life, be patient and your burden might be a bit lighter some day :)
It can be very, very, very hard.
Posted: 4 years ago at Mar 28 3:51
"I didn't even think of depression" that's only normal, as there must have been so many writers suffering from it, and it's not exactly in the same "level" as something like Schizophrenia.... I also think that in fact it depends on the "degree" and type of depression and all.
"It's so common it perhaps needs its own list." I was thinking something like that too.
This list needs some notes! you should definitely add something there (: like this it feels a bit empty and doesn't say much, and I say this also because not all these people were actually diagnosed... With Fernando Pessoa, for instance, there's still discussion about what was going on there...
I didn't know Kerouac had schizophrenia! Which brings me to something else, schizophrenia is usually reduced to this general concept that people have, but there are several, different types of schizoid behaviour. Now I have to go find out what Kerouac had...
Good work, keep improving the list ;)
Posted: 4 years ago at Mar 28 18:16
Er, I'm working on other lists at the moment, so I could really use the help... Would anyone like to share this list? I'll credit you in the Description???
Posted: 4 years ago at Mar 29 16:08
More often than bipolar (yes maybe he was moody, well heck he was a poet!), people suggest Fernando Pessoa had multiple personality disorder (a theory dismissed by many)...
Pessoa had several heteronyms (many, with the three fully developed Alberto Caeiro, Álvaro de Campos e Ricardo Reis being the most famous ones), with different writing styles and preferences, different personalities, birth dates, professions, etc. That alone doesn't say much, as it could be only in writing, to freely express different sides of himself, something we all have.
But then on his real life, stuff like this would happen: in one afternoon when he was supposed to meet with José Régio, he showed up a few hours late - as usual -, claiming to be Álvaro de Campos and excusing Pessoa for not being able to be there.
So either he took that way too seriously or he really wasn't well in the head. Actually either way he couldn't be well, either having some kind of serious disorder or just being a bit crazy (and unstable, definitely).
Posted: 3 years, 11 months ago at May 3 20:33
So proud to be Finn! I simply adore Kailas' poems.
Posted: 3 years, 10 months ago at May 29 18:05
Uhhh shouldn't Hunter S. Thompson be at or near the top of this list?
Posted: 3 years, 10 months ago at May 29 18:12
What did he have?
Posted: 3 years, 9 months ago at Jul 27 5:16
@badsmile: everyone gets depressed, yes. but depression in the sense that we are talking about here is the kind of depression that is clinically diagnosed because the patient is already unable to perform activities of daily living due to the condition. his occupational and social functioning are disrupted, and therefore he cannot do the things he normally does. and this lasts for a minimum of 6 months straight. this is very very different from the mild occasional depression we experience on a day-to-day basis that usually lifts within the week.

and as a matter of fact, happiness can be an illness, too, if it disrupts daily living in the same way clinical depression does. we call it manic disorder. in this case, the person is in a constant hypereuphoric mood and is unable to make rational decisions or function normally because he constantly manifests symptoms of euphoria such as singing, dancing, yelling, laughing and such, for extended and excessive periods of time.

usually depression and mania occur together, and this is what we call bipolar disorder.

~and of course, a normal mood cannot be considered an illnes, because the meaning of illness itself would be defeated: Poor health resulting from disease of body or mind.
Posted: 3 years, 8 months ago at Aug 16 21:26
Great idea for a list, but my qualm is that I wish the diagnosis wasn't as presto! It is so easy to qualify all authors as "deranged", but it would be so cool to actually pinpoint the accusations. I think many of us would be handy "lament" doctors condemning certain authors to the fires of hell.
Posted: 3 years, 8 months ago at Aug 16 23:38
You know, that's very true J Luo. Diagnosis of neurological impairments has spiked as of recent years. Is it a consequence of our lifestyle/environmental carelessness or are we a society of hypochondriacs? It's an interesting thing to think about.

Of course, these authors definitely have something going on, neuro impairment or not.
Posted: 2 years, 11 months ago at May 25 23:09
Great work but you have the wrong Graham Greene listed!
Posted: 2 years, 11 months ago at May 28 22:53
Fixed (I think). That author's profile had pictures of two different people. I switched it... Let me know if it's the right guy now.
Posted: 2 years, 10 months ago at Jun 21 22:33
Stephen Fry is definately Bipolar ;) Neat list!
Posted: 2 years, 5 months ago at Nov 16 3:24
A good list. I always supected there was something wrong with JD Salenger and Lewis Carroll as well.
Posted: 2 years, 3 months ago at Jan 17 8:53
Stephen Fry - Fry has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He suffers from Cyclothymia. He suffered a nevous breakdown in 1995, and walked out of a play he was appearing in. He was missing for several days, while comtemplating suicide. Instead, he left the UK and re-surfaced in Belgium.

Fry has spoken publicly about his disorder, appears in a documentary about it, and is involved with a mental health charity.

Allen Ginsberg - There is no evidence of Ginsberg being diagnosed with a mental problem, but his mother was affected by a rare psychological illness that was never diagnosed. It often manifested as paranoid delusions. She tried to kill herself and was taken to a mental hospital, where she would spend much of Ginsberg's youth. His experience with his mother's mental illness was a major inspiration for his most famous poem, "Howl".

Jack Kerouac - In the army, Kerouac was diagnosed Dementia Praecox. He was honorably discharged on psychiatric grounds. He was of 'indifferent character' and with a further diagnosis of 'schizoid personality'.

Sylvia Path - Following a long struggle with depression and a marital separation, Plath committed suicide in 1963. Controversy continues to surround the events of her life and death, as well as her writing and legacy.

Following electroconvulsive therapy for depression, Plath made her first medically documented suicide attempt in late August 1953 by crawling under her house and taking an overdose of her mother's sleeping pills. She spent the next six months in psychiatric care, receiving more electric and insulin shock treatment under the care of Dr. Ruth Beuscher.

Edgar Allan Poe - Poe began drinking heavily under the stress of his wife's illness from tuberculosis. After her death, he became increasingly unstable due to his drinking and erratic behavior. His cause of death remains a mystery. On October 3, 1849, Poe was found on the streets of Baltimore delirious, "in great distress, and... in need of immediate assistance", according to the man who found him. He was taken to the Washington College Hospital, where he died on Sunday, October 7, 1849, at 5:00 in the morning. Poe was never coherent long enough to explain how he came to be in his dire condition, and, oddly, was wearing clothes that were not his own. Poe is said to have repeatedly called out the name "Reynolds" on the night before his death, though it is unclear to whom he was referring. Some sources say Poe's final words were "Lord help my poor soul." All medical records, including his death certificate, have been lost.

Dylan Thomas - He actively sought to build a reputation as a raconteur and outrageous writer, heavy drinker and wit. Thomas's health began to suffer with gout and lung problems, leading to a history of blackouts and heart problems, but I could find no reports of mental illness.

Tennessee Williams - He was close to his sister Rose, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a young adult and later institutionalized following a lobotomy. The devastating effects of Rose's illness may have contributed to his alcoholism and his dependence on various combinations of amphetamines and barbiturates and frequent bouts with depression. He feared that, like his sister Rose, he would fall into insanity. As he had feared, in the years following his partner's death Williams was plunged into a period of nearly catatonic depression and increasing drug use resulting in several hospitalizations and commitments to mental health facilities. He submitted to injections by Dr. Max Jacobson – known popularly as Dr. Feelgood – who used increasing amounts of amphetamines to overcome his depression and combined these with prescriptions for the sedative Seconal to relieve his insomnia. Williams appeared several times in interviews in a nearly incoherent state, and his reputation both as a playwright and as a public personality suffered.He was never truly able to recoup his earlier success, or to entirely overcome his dependence on prescription drugs.

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Posted: 2 years ago at Apr 21 19:41
Amazing list.
Posted: 1 year, 9 months ago at Jun 29 18:38
my friend's mother made $263164 so far just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more here N u t t y R i c h dot cOm
Posted: 1 year, 6 months ago at Oct 7 19:38
well its easy to have a go at Patricia Cornwell, forgetting that she was raped at a young age and suffered from anorexia as a child. there can be a story to why these people MAYBE have a mental illness ..
Posted: 5 months ago at Nov 19 2:08
i'm sure if you were doing a list on the mental illness of some actors you would make a list of 10 000 actors or more : ) excellent work Pumpki
Posted: 2 months, 3 weeks ago at Jan 29 5:17
I've heard the notion that Kafka possibly may have had an eating disorder. He died from starvation, though I'm certain that was from a closed windpipe; I've heard, still, rumors concerning the possibility of anorexia/bolimia.
Posted: 2 months, 3 weeks ago at Jan 30 16:34
That wouldn't be surprising. The instance recalls Maud Ellmann's The Hunger Artists.

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