Friday, July 22, 2011

Famous People with Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia describes a mental disorder that is characterized by abnormal perceptions and expressions of reality. Auditory hallucinations, unusual delusions and a lack of organization in thoughts and speech, characterize this disorder. Genetics, neurobiology, the environment and social as well as the psychological atmosphere in which a person is brought up serve as the contributing factors to schizophrenia. People with schizophrenia display co-morbid conditions like clinical depression and anxiety disorders. Due to frequent health problems and an increased suicidal rate, the life expectancy of the schizophrenics is reduced. Diagnosis of schizophrenia is based on the individual experiences and observed behavior. In the 1950s, when chlorpromazine was introduced, the treatment of schizophrenia received a new dimension. Have a look at some of the famous people who became victims of schizophrenia.

Famous People with Schizophrenia

John Nash: Born on June 13, 1928, John Nash is an American mathematician, who worked in differential geometry, game theory and partial differential equations. He started showing symptoms of schizophrenia during his college years, which was in 1958. In 1959, he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and mild clinical depression. In spite of the diagnosis, Nash did not lose hope. He continued his studies and emerged to become the winner of the John von Neumann Theory Prize, the Leroy P. Steel Prize and the very prestigious Nobel Prize in 1994. The very famous movie, 'A Beautiful Mind' was based on the life of John Nash. The film depicted the genius John Nash and his fight with schizophrenia.

John Nash blogspot.com

William Chester Minor: Born in June 1834, W.C. Minor, as he was also called, was an American surgeon making valuable contributions to the Oxford English Dictionary. After completing his education, William Chester began serving the Union Army. After the end of the American Civil War, he began to spend most of his time off-duty with prostitutes. His condition further worsened to an extent where he had to be admitted to a lunatic asylum in Washington DC. Showing no improvement he continued with his debauched life. In his paranoia, he had once, shot a man, who he believed to have broken into his room. He was judged innocent on the grounds of insanity. This brought about the fact that the disorientation in his life was the result of his mental illness. Later, Chester came to know of the requirement of volunteers to create the Oxford English Dictionary, perhaps from the booksellers of London. He proved to be one of the best volunteers contributing to the Oxford English Dictionary. Unfortunately, Chester’s condition deteriorated further. He was diagnosed schizophrenia. He died in 1920.

William Chester Minor


Tom Harrell: Born on June 16, 1946, Tom Harrell is a famous American post bop jazz trumpeter. He is also a well-known composer. He began exhibiting his talent in music at a very young age. He started playing the trumpet at the age of 8. In 1969, he passed out of the Stanford University with a degree in music composition. He soon became a part of the Stan Kenton's orchestra. He later played in many a famous music bands and orchestras. In 1989, he led his own groups. This renowned musician suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. He suffers severe side effects of the anti-psychotic drugs. He has to deal with muscle spasms, weight gain and such other side effects. Despite his disease, he continues to rock the musical shows in different parts of the world.

Tom Harrell


Eduard Einstein: Born in Zurich, on July 28, 1910, Eduard was the second son of physicist Albert Einstein and Mileva Maric. As a student, Eduard was very intelligent. He had a flair for music. He had a dream of becoming a psychoanalyst. But destiny had something else in mind. He was diagnosed of schizophrenia at an early age of 20. He had to be institutionalized many times. At the age of 55, Eduard Einstein died in an asylum. Coming from the famous family of Einsteins, Eduard's illness was later used to create a public awareness about schizophrenia, its causes and its effects on the life of an individual.

Eduard Einstein: Born in Zurich, on July 28, 1910, Eduard was the second son of physicist Albert Einstein and Mileva Maric. As a student, Eduard was very intelligent. He had a flair for music. He had a dream of becoming a psychoanalyst. But destiny had something else in mind. He was diagnosed of schizophrenia at an early age of 20. He had to be institutionalized many times. At the age of 55, Eduard Einstein died in an asylum. Coming from the famous family of Einsteins, Eduard's illness was later used to create a public awareness about schizophrenia, its causes and its effects on the life of an individual.


Roky Erickson: Born Roger Kynard Erickson on July 15, 1947, Erickson is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and a harmonica player. Since youth, Erickson took great interest in music. He used to play the piano since the age of 5 and took to laying guitar at 12. He dropped out of the Travis High School in 1965. His first group called, The Spades became a hit, featuring his song, "We Sell Soul". He was one of the founding members of the "13th Floor Elevators". They released around four albums; all of them topped the musical charts. Erickson had a huge fan following and became one of the very famous artists of his time. In 1968, he was detected of having paranoid schizophrenia. He was admitted to a psychiatric hospital of Houston to receive the electro-convulsive therapy. After long years of treatment, he returned to music in 1995.

Roky Erickson blogspot.com

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