Authors with Mental Illnesses
91. 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.”
7.52. 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.”
7.43. 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."
8.54. 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."
8.35. Charles Dickens
7.46. Stephen Fry
7.97. Allen Ginsberg
7.68. 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”
8.89. 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."
8.310. Jack Kerouac
9.111. 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
8.412. Sylvia Plath
913. Edgar Allan Poe
7.514. David Sedaris
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
8.115. 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".
8.416. Dylan Thomas
8.517. 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."
8.318. 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."
819. 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."
6.820. 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."
Maybe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
7.421. 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)."
8.422. Tennessee Williams
8.723. 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.”
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