The Unstable White House An Examination of America's Leader
Wikipedia List of people affected by bipolar disorder
Paula Abdul, Singer, bulimia nervosa, insomnia. In 1992 she confessed to suffering from the eating disorder bulimia and checked herself into a clinic. Abdul described the eating disorder as "a violent punishment you put on yourself." Ironically, the 5-foot-2 singer-dancer-choreographer has always weighed between 105 and 110. Battling bulimia has been like "war on my body. Me and my body have been on two separate sides. We've never, until recently, been on the same side." She said, "I learned at a very early age I didn't fit in physically. I learned through years of rejections from auditions .... I would ask myself, "Why can't I be tall and skinny like the other dancers?" This past summer she finally came to terms with her problem after undergoing extensive therapy at a psychiatric clinic in Oklahoma.
John Quincy Adams, 1767-1848 Former us president, clinical depression. John Quincy Adams was an extremely complex person. To many who knew him, including his son Charles, his feelings seemed "impenetrable," as if he were hiding behind an "iron mask." Because of his recurring depression he often appeared dour or angry. Nevertheless, he had an outgoing, social, even joyful side as well. He was a man of diverse interests—among them gardening and silviculture, religion and church attendance, walking and swimming, poetry, and astronomy. In these he found some relief from the pressures of public life. Clearly, the Adams family was afflicted with something. Adams's uncle, two of his brothers and one of his sons died of alcoholism, and alcoholism drove another son to suicide.
Stuart Adamson, 1958-2001 Scottish guitarist, Having suffered from alcohol-related depression, Adamson disappeared from his home in Nashville (USA), to be found dead some weeks later in a hotel in Hawaii.
Alvin Ailey, 1931-1989 American dancer and choreographer, breakdown, addiction, bipolar, manic depression. Ailey led a tortured life, filled with insecurity and self-loathing. Raised in poverty in rural Texas by his single mother, he managed to find success early in his career, but by the 1970s his creativity had waned. He turned to drugs, alcohol, and gay bars and suffered a nervous breakdown in 1980. He was secretive about his private life, including his homosexuality, and, unbeknownst to most at the time, died from AIDS-related complications at age 58. Alvin Ailey: A Life in Dance
Lionel Aldridge, 1941-1998 Football player 1941-1998 Aldridge played in two Super Bowls. In the 1970's, he suffered from schizophrenia and was homeless for two and a half years. Until his death in 1998, he gave inspirational talks on his battle against paranoid schizophrenia. His story is the story of numerous newspaper articles. Lionel Aldridge thought winning three Super Bowls was a challenge. But at least he could trust and feel comfortable with his teammates. A year after retiring as a defensive end for the world champion Green Bay Packers football team in 1973, Aldridge went to work as a sportscaster at WTMJ-TV, where he began to feel suspicious of his co-workers and hear incendiary voices in his head. He checked himself into the hospital, but after a period of drug treatment, felt "zombied out." Aldridge stopped taking the medicine so he could go back to work The voices continued, though, telling him he was a terrible husband, that he didn't deserve his job, that strangers were out to destroy him and that people in the TV set could see inside his soul. Soon his wife left him, and, in 1980, he quit his job. The former sports hero spent the next two years traveling around, staying in homeless shelters. He returned to Milwaukee in 1983, moved into the Rescue Mission and got a menial job at the Milwaukee post office. With a toned-down dose of medication, Aldridge was able to lower the frequency of the voices and function at work Aldridge went on to become a board member , of the Mental Health Association of Milwaukee County and a full-time speaker for the National Alliance for the Mentally III, traveling around the country to talk about mental health issues. He died of heart failure at the age of 57 in 1998
Buzz Aldrin, astronaut, Hospitalized, american astronaut and the second man to set foot on the moon, Aldrin reported in his autobiography Return to Earth that he suffered from alcoholism and depression following his NASA career.
Alexander the Great, King
Arthur Alexander, 1940-1993 singer, depression, addiction, In 1993 Arthur Alexander cut one of the most important records of his career, Lonely Just Like Me. Thirty years earlier he had written songs that inspired The Beatles ("Anna"), Rolling Stones ("You Better Move On") and others. His southern soul recording of the latter was the first song ever recorded at the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound studio. Alexander went on to record for Monument and Warner Brothers throughout the '60s and '70s, but he never achieved the success he so rightly deserved. By the end of the '70s, he had slumped into a depression and become bitter about the recording industry and retired from music. Alexander's revival was cut short by a heart attack only three months after the album's release, and he died just days after a concert in Nashville. A true classic of southern soul, Lonely stands as a fine tribute to one of the finest soul singers of all time. "Get a shot of Rhythm and Blues: The Arthur Alexander Story"
Lily Allen, 1985- Singer-songwriter, addiction, depression. ALLEN wrote her number one UK single SMILE after she was treated for depression at a top London clinic. The 21 year old admits she felt so low she couldn't get out of bed, so decided to check into The Priory clinic. And when she left The Priory, Allen quickly penned upbeat track Smile, the first song she ever wrote. She says, "I had a very miserable time in 2003. I had met the boy who I thought was the love of my life, but he dumped me. "I started to get depressed and anyone who suffers from depression knows that it can soon get so bad that you can't get out of bed.
Louis Althusser, 1918-1990 Marxist philosopher, manic depression, ECT, Althusser also alleges that his mother treated him as a substitute for his deceased uncle, to which he attributes deep psychological damage. By 1947 this psychological damage had manifested itself to the extent that Althusser received electroconvulsive therapy. Althusser was from this time to suffer from periodic mental illness for the rest of his life. In 1946, Althusser met Hélène Rytman, eight years older than he. She remained his companion until Althusser killed her in 1980. Althusser and Helene had a troubled, even tormented relationship. They were held together by bonds of mutual destructiveness. By 1980, he writes, "the two of us were shut up together in our own private hell." Helene seems to have been an unhappy woman, insecure, tormented and bitter. Desperate for the love and attention of her husband, she put up with his moods, his women-friends and his colleagues. On November 16, 1980, Althusser strangled his wife, Hélène, to death. The exact circumstances are debated, with some claiming it was deliberate, others accidental. Althusser himself claimed not to have a clear memory of the event, saying that "while massaging his wife's neck [he] discovered he had strangled her." Since he was alone with his wife when she died, it is difficult to come to firm conclusions. Althusser was diagnosed as suffering from diminished responsibility, and he was not tried, but instead locked away in the Sainte-Anne psychiatric hospital. Althusser remained in hospital until 1983, when he was released and spent his last years in a dreary flat in north Paris, emerging occasionally to startle passers-by with "Je suis le grand Althusser!"
Hans Christian Anderson, 1805-1875 Danish author, depression. Andersen received little education, and as a child he was highly emotional, suffering all kinds of fears and humiliations because of his tallness and effeminate interests. Andersen's hysterical attacks of cramps were falsely diagnosed as epileptic fits. Encouraged by his mother he composed his own fairy tales and arrange puppet theatre shows. Andersen considered himself ugly all his life. He was tall and thin with a long nose. It was this self-view that inspired “The Ugly Duckling”. Andersen proposed to several women during his life and was rejected by all of them. In spite of his lonely life he was able to create some of the most wonderful stories ever written. Andersen died on Aug.4, 1875.
Adam Ant, 1954- English singer, musician. Depression, hospitalized. 'Illness and tragedy and terror,' he says, 'is a great equaliser. And depression is terrifying. It's not a joke or a whim or a little topic, it's a big old number. And it doesn't matter whether you're in a ward of people who have wealth, or a ward of people who have nothing. Everybody's got the same deal. And it... it's a bit of a curse really. It's not easy to talk about it. 'Having just come out of that whole experience of being hospitalised, I'm trying to choose my words so that they put across some kind of... seriousness and some kind of brutal reality. Because it is fucking brutal. The way it's going to be reported, I know, is Rock Star Goes Nuts.'
Robert Antonioni, 1958- American Senator, depression. "In 1999 my brother killed himself. He suffered from depression, a lot worse than we thought. That's the kind of thing that turns the world upside down. Suicide is worse because you keep thinking, could I have helped?" said Mr. Antonioni. The senator's aunt told him he was in government and should tackle the problem there. "I found that I had issues with depression and went to counseling. I was dealing with the same problems and feelings that my brother had. I found out it runs in families," said Mr. Antonioni, adding that he has been on anti-depressant medication for five years. "This job gave me a purpose. I almost got out (of politics) when he died. Now I get to talk to all kinds of people, make them aware about the issues of mental illness and suicide," said Mr. Antonioni, who is vice chairman of the committee on Mental Illness and Substance Abuse as well as the chairman of the Education Committee.
Diane Arbus, 1923-1971 American photographer, clinical depression, suicide. Arbus' work surely mirrors her own inner struggles, for she moved in and out of depression most of her life. In 1966 Arbus contracted hepatitis, which contributed to more severe depression and her eventual suicide in 1971.
Malcolm Arnold, 1921-2006 British composer, addiction, depression, ECT, suicide attempts, Arnold was prodigiously talented but had a tumultuous private life, plagued by severe depression, chronic alcoholism and attempts at suicide. He repeatedly ended up in hospital for insulin treatments and electric shock therapy. Yet he found sufficient peace to compose 132 film scores, including those for Whistle Down the Wind, Hobson's Choice and The Belles of St Trinian's. His prolific output also included nine symphonies, seven ballets, two operas, one musical and more than 20 concertos.
Antonin Artaud, 1896-1948 French playwright, actor, addiction, depression, ECT, Artaud, best known for his surrealist writings and Theater of Cruelty, also produced startling drawings about identity during the last five years of his life. Many of the drawings explore the disintegration of spirit he felt following electroshock therapy in 1943-44 Behind Antonin Artaud's drawings lies a harrowing tale of nine years' confinement in asylums and 51 brutal electroshock treatments. The author of recent biography argues for the power of Artaud's visual testament. Artaud was plagued by bouts of extreme depression, heavy drug use, and frequent stays in asylums.
Tai Babilonia, 1959- American figure skater, addiction, attempted suicide. Her hopes for Olympics success in 1980 are scuttled when her partner Gardner suffers a groin injury and is unable to compete. Tai responds to this disappointment by descending into drug abuse, culminating in an attempted suicide.
Oksana Baiul, 1977- Ukrainian figure skater, addiction. After the 1994 Olympics, Baiul moved to the United States, where she skated in professional tours while battling a drinking problem. Her addiction culminated in a car crash in 1997, after which she entered a rehab program and returned to professional skating.
Daniel Baldwin, 1960- American actor, addiction. Baldwin, who has been battling cocaine addiction since 1989, has reportedly quit Celebrity Rehab, a reality series that features several “has been” celebrities as they undergo treatment to get over their bad habits.
Zoe Ball, 1970- English television and radio personality, post-natal depression. Zoe has also been candid about the difficulties of becoming a mother and putting her glittering career on hold. She admitted suffering from post-natal depression, saying after the birth she went "a bit loopy". The TV and radio star once said: "I'm not a natural, brilliant mother."
Honore de Balzac, 1799-1850 French writer, depression. He devoted himself to his true vocation, with a furious energy beside which even Scott's, except in his sadder and later days, becomes leisurely. Balzac generally wrote (dining early and lightly, and sleeping for some hours immediately after dinner) from midnight until any hour in the following day -- stretches of sixteen hours being not unknown, and the process being often continued for days and weeks. He had frightful attacks of depression.
Samuel Barber, 1910-1981 American classical composer, addiction, depression. In the 70's he was going through a terrible time, battling depression, loneliness, alcoholism, creative difficulties. It was almost impossible for him to concentrate or be really interested in anything, or anybody. He was a man of the country and it was heart rending to see him standing on the small terrace of his apartment wistfully looking beyond the highrise across the street. He was very noise conscious and was physically pained by the bustle of the traffic. One of his few consolations was that he liked to hear Benny Goodman, who lived above him, play the clarinet. They became friends. How he managed to do anything at all during this time is a miracle; it indicates his basic inner strength and a steely refusal to capitulate to the demons within. With the help of his patient and Figaro-like housekeeper Valentin Herranz, he finally managed to be himself again.
Roseanne Barr, actress, comedian, incest survivor, addiction, Roseanne is one of those comedians whose rakish and raunchy humor is driven by the tragedies in her life. In 1994, Roseanne announced publicly she had been diagnosed with multiple personality disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and agoraphobia. In her autobiography, My Lives, she reveals a childhood marked by sexual, physical and verbal abuse allegedly committed by her parents. Specialists say Roseanne may have developed "multiple personalities" to cope with such trauma. She was hospitalized several times, including a yearlong stay in a state hospital at age 16. Roseanne is still in "heavy duty psychotherapy," as she puts it, and has taken antidepressants, including Prozac, but she has still managed to become a successful comedian, TV star, producer and writer, currently hosting a syndicated talk show, The Roseanne Show
Drew Barrymore, 1975- American actress and director, addiction, clinical depression, hospitalized, suicide attempt. Drew Barrymore had less than the ideal childhood, alcohol, drugs, suicide attempt and then rehab - all by the time Drew was thirteen. Let's take a peek at Drew Barrymore's next seven years; wrote her autobiography, Little Girl Lost left home, posed nude for magazines - twice, was married and divorced, all by the time Drew was twenty. Drew Barrymore lived more life in her first twenty years, if a little unconventional, than most people twice her age.
Rona Barrett, 1936- American gossip columnist, depression. "The healthy and strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it. Whether he's got an abscess on his knee or in his soul". Rona Barrett
Syd Barrett, 1946-2006 English musician, member Pink Floyd, schizophrenia. Amid reports that he was suffering from schizophrenia, Barrett managed to release two solo albums in 1970, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett. The bulk of the material from these albums, which have gained a huge cult following over the years, was written during Barrett's brief productive period of 1967-68. An independent career proved impossible: His one live solo gig was aborted after five songs. In 1971, Barrett spoke to Rolling Stone about his absence from the music scene. "I'm disappearing, avoiding most things," he said. "Mostly I just waste my time . . . I've got a very irregular head." Around the time of this interview, he sold the rights to his solo music and moved into his mother's basement in Cambridge, where he lived out the rest of his life.
J M Barrie, 1860-1937 Scottish writer, depression. When Barrie was six years old, his brother David died in an accident and Barrie tried to console his mother by dressing up in his dead brother's clothes. It is generally believed that he suffered from manic depression, and this combined with his brother's death led to an obsessive relationship with his mother that would affect him throughout his life. He published a genuflecting biography of her in 1896.
Kim Basinger, 1953- American actress, panic disorder, agoraphobia. Basinger describes herself as a shy child. After her first panic attack, Basinger's fears left her homebound. "I stayed in my house and literally cried every day. I didn't know what it was. I didn't know how to define it," Basinger states in Panic, an HBO American Undercover documentary. Basinger became homebound for 4 months. She overcame this initial bout of panic on her own, by forcing herself to do things. When panic returned before her Oscar win, Basinger sought help from a specialist, she says in Panic. The treatment consisted of therapy without medication. "My therapy was about awareness and education," Basinger states.
Justine Bateman, 1966- American actress, anorexia, bulimia, compulsive overeating. She says teenage fame made her become a bulimic. The former Family Ties star made a lot of rules for herself: "I can have one more cookie if I go throw it all up later. Or I can have this now if I skip lunch later," "I'm talking mainly about doing stuff like not eating when I'm hungry. Or eating more than I really want to and then trying to get rid of it." Bateman said she was sure people knew. "In fact, when they'd say, 'You look anorexic,' I'd take it as a compliment."
Charles Baudelaire, 1821-1867 French poet, addiction, depression. Throughout his adult life Baudelaire suffered from severe bouts of depression and isolation - a condition which he referred to as 'spleen'.
Shelley Beattie, 1968- 2008 American athlete, professional body builder, bipolar disorder, suicide. Shelley Beattie was an inspiration to the deaf community, overcoming her disability to become a professional bodybuilder, a television personality and a competitive sailor. “The only thing I can’t do is hear,” she used to say. Last month she discovered one other thing she couldn’t do: live with bipolar disorder. The doctors said her bipolar disorder would get worse. And it did. By New Year's Day, she was so sick she had to be hospitalized. The cycles of the illness became more rapid. Eventually depression and mania crossed paths and became one. She had been in a care facility for six weeks when she hanged herself. She lived four days but never regained consciousness, and died Feb. 16, 2008. She was 40.
Ned Beatty, 1937- American actor, bipolar disorder. Ned Beatty spoke with reporter Luaine Lee regarding the fact that he has bipolar disorder (manic depression). “I’ve had this problem since I was in my 20s. They don’t call it manic depression anymore. They call it a bipolar disorder, and I’m a Type 2” (1998). He also discussed how it seems easier to perform when manic, but noted that even depression doesn’t really hinder his work. In referring to these episodes of mania or depression, Beatty says “Performing is such a second-nature thing that I can do it in the middle of one of these things” (Lee, 1998). With an extraordinarily successful career studded with stage performances, over a hundred movies, and innumerable television appearances, it is abundantly clear the bipolar disorder has not hindered this celebrated actor.
Samuel Becket, 1906-1989 Irish writer, depression, mental breakdowns. Samuel Beckett is known to have commented "I had little talent for happiness". This was evidenced by his frequent bouts of depression and mental breakdowns from which he suffered since his younger days. He often stayed in bed until late in the afternoon, received few visitors and hated long conversations. This sense of depression would show up in much of his writing especially in Waiting for Godot where it is a struggle to get through life.
Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827 composer, bipolar disorder, A brilliant composer experienced bipolar disorder, as documented in The Key to Genius: Manic Depression and the Creative Life by D. Jablow Hershman and Julian Lieb. His mania also had its flip side, as he destroyed relationships with raging quarrels and psychotic delusions. On one occasion, he flung a gravy-laden platter of food at a waiter's head. His friends called him "half crazy," and when enraged, "he became like a wild animal." Ultimately, Beethoven medicated himself with the only available drug besides opium - alcohol. He literally drank himself to death. And as deafness closed in around him, he withdrew from the world, into himself. He wrote his Eighth Symphony in 1812. Then his creative output dried up. In 1824, he would premier his Choral Symphony. It was as if a piece of this magnitude required a tortuous 12-year gestation. He would also compose his transcendent string quartets. But soon his liver would give out on him, and in early 1827 he died at the age of 56, leaving behind sketches of a tenth symphony the world would never hear.
Menachem Begin, 1913-1992 Prime Minister of Israel, depression. September, 1983 Begin resigned the premiership in deep depression over the death of his wife, and also, Mr. Silver leads us to suspect, over the consequences of the war he waged in Lebanon, and because of a deeply ingrained tendency to manic-depressiveness
Brendan Behan, 1923-1964 poet, addiction. Behan found fame difficult. He had long been a heavy drinker (describing himself, on one occasion, as "a drinker with a writing problem" and claiming "I only drink on two occasions-when I'm thirsty and when I'm not") and developed diabetes in the early 1960s. As his fame grew, so too did his alcohol consumption. This combination resulted in a series of notoriously drunken public appearances, on both stage and television. Brendan saw that it paid him to be drunk, as the public wanted the witty, iconoclastic, genial "broth of a boy" and he gave it to them in abundance. He staggered through the drunken hoops held out to him exclaiming: "There's no bad publicity except an obituary." His health suffered terribly, with diabetic comas and seizures occurring with frightening regularity. Towards the end he became the caricature of the drunken Irishman. He died, aged 41.
Irving Berlin, 1888-1989 Russian born musician, "White Christmas" and "God Bless America", clinical depression. Berlin had a bout of depression at 40, Barrett said, when his infant son died and he was writing songs he thought were terrible. Two of them, "How Deep Is the Ocean" and "Say It Isn't So," proved better than he first thought. Another depression hit him at 60; he came out of that by writing "Call Me Madam" for Broadway.
Hector Berlioz, 1803-1869 French composer, Symphonic Fantastique, depression. Berlioz was a very introverted, rather neurotic young man; later in life he was to become mentally unstable. His last few years became increasingly dull and miserable, he felt very lonely and fed up, amounting at times to a state of depression, increased by more frequent bouts of abdominal pain. A dark spot was the death of Louis his son in Havana from yellow fever at the age of only 33. After increasing weakness and depression, he finally died on the 8th March 1869 in Paris aged 66.
Leonard Bernstein, 1918-1989 American composer, conductor, "West Side Story" clinical depression. Bernstein's private demons--anguish over the trade off between a conductor's glory and a composer's productivity, the ridicule invited by his impassioned political activism, the conflict between his devotion to his family and his bisexuality, bouts of depression suffered in his later years
John Berryman, 1914-1972 American poet, addiction, depression, suicide. His personal life, long shaken by marital turmoil, had been calmed considerably by a successful third marriage. An alcoholic of many years' standing, Berryman claimed to have at least arrested the addiction. But naturally the happy appearance was yoked to unhappy realities. The most damaging of these was certainly Berryman's incurable grief and horror over his father's suicide, which occurred when the poet was eleven, Despite the solidity of his marriage, he continued to experience a fever of extra-marital lusts; this chronic affliction was accompanied by lacerating guilt,
Robert Blake, 1933- American actor, addiction, depression. Blake suffered bouts of depression and alcohol abuse, however, and in 1983 he divorced his first wife Sondra Blake, with whom he had two children. After walking out of TV series Hell Town in 1985, Blake put his career on hold for eight years.
William Blake, 1757-1827 English pose, depression. Alongside his ecstatic visions, Blake was prone to fits of severe depression. In 1800, he recounted a descent into “a deep pit of Melancholy” These episodes were often followed by periods of “illumination” and intense creativity.
Steve Blass, 1942- American former baseball player, Pittsburgh Pirates, social phobia.
David Bohm, 1917-1992 American physicist, depression, suicidal. Throughout his life, Bohm suffered from bouts of depression, which seemingly worsened with age. He underwent psychoanalysis with Patrick de Mare. In May 1991 he was admitted to the "old age psychiatry" - de Mare declared Bohm "suicidal". Bohm stayed in the hospital until the end of august 1991. He remained on "medication" (sertralin).
Charles "Buddy" Bolden, 1877-1931 African American cornetist "Father of American Jazz", schizophrenia, acute alcoholic
psychosis. As his fame and fortune grew, so did Buddy's obsession for wine, whiskey and women. He lived every aspect of his life to excess. He spent money as fast as he made it. His appetite for life raged out of control. And all of his passion funneled into his music. He became ever more inventive in his style of playing. One person who spoke openly of the effect that Buddy Bolden had on his playing was Louis Armstrong. When he was just a boy, Armstrong used to sneak into the clubs and sit at the back listening to Buddy play. For Satchmo, no one else would ever compare. In 1907, Buddy's world came crashing down. While marching in a New Orleans parade, Bolden fell to the ground. He writhed and foamed at the mouth. Doctors diagnosed mental collapse and sent him to the state hospital in Jackson, Louisiana. Bolden never left the hospital again. He never again played the cornet. He lived for twenty-four years just a shell of the man he had once been. Many people have speculated that Buddy had inherited his mother's unstable mental condition. Others attribute his illness to the side-effects of syphilus. But it is all just conjecture and we will probably never know. Buddy died in 1931 and his tremendous talent died with him. He left no recorded music for us to listen to. Of the many original compositions he wrote only one remains--Buddy Bolden's Blues.
Ludwig Boltzmann, 1844-1906 Austrian physicist, depression, attempted suicide, suicide. Boltzmann, whose work was based on the concept of atoms, found himself cast as their chief defender and the debates became increasingly bitter. Always prone to bouts of depression, Boltzmann came to believe that his life's work had been rejected by the scientific community, although this was far from being true. In 1906, he committed suicide. If despair over rejection, or frustration over being unable to prove his point, were contributing factors the irony would be great indeed. Soon after Boltzmann's death, clinching evidence was found for atoms, and few would ever doubt their existence again.
Napoleon Bonaparte, 1769-1821 French military and political leader, depression. Napoleon sunk into further depression. Although he had numerous ailments by 1821, it seems likely that Napoleon's actual cause of death was stomach cancer. (Indeed, Napoleon's stomach may have been bothering him for years; some speculate that persistent stomach pains may have been at the root of his habit of placing a hand between his vest or shirt buttons, a gesture made famous in many portraits.) Yet the defeated conqueror, who had once had nearly all of Europe in his hands, now suffering a tedious and pathetic exile, had also lost his will to live.
Graham Bond, 1937-1994 English musician, addiction, depression, suicide. Bond’s personal life included much substance abuse, and he was known for continually fighting depression. Near the end of his life, Bond’s friends say he was getting even deeper into the occult. He died under the wheels of a train in London in 1974, and his death was ruled a suicide.
Kjell Magne Bondevik, 1947- Prime Minister of Norway, depression. Nearly ten years ago, Kjell Magne Bondevik got sick - sick with clinical depression. He was so depressed that he couldn't get out of bed - much less go to work. The problem was he had an important job - he was the prime minister of Norway. He ended up taking a very public sick leave. Eventually he was able to return to work, and was elected to a second term, serving until 2005. In recent years he's been speaking publicly about the need to eliminate the stigma of mental illness. He addressed the British parliament in January 2008.
Robert Boorstin, American special assistant to former US president Bill Clinton, bipolar disorder, hospitalization. In July of 1987, Robert Boorstin was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (manic depression) when his first manic episode, which followed a long struggle with depression, resulted in hospitalization. In a presentation entitled Smooth Sailing at a symposium held by the Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association (DRADA) and Johns Hopkins, Mr. Boorstin openly shared his experiences with this disorder. He describes his first hospitalization as "ego shattering. One day you are a writer for the New York Times and the next you are in a mental hospital." He developed a pattern of castigating himself for being mentally ill; then he said, "I would get mad at myself for getting mad at myself!" He humorously described the antipsychotic medication given early in his hospitalization as "steel wool to the brain." He does well on lithium, which he says keeps him from going too far up or too far down. He has a few side effects from lithium, such as a slight tremor, some slowing of his thinking, and some daytime sleepiness. He handles the sleepiness with daily half-hour naps, which he is entitled to as a "reasonable accommodation" under the Americans with Disabilities Act (DRADA, 1994).
Clara Bow, 1905-1965 American actress, american silent films of 1920's, depression, schizophrenia, ECT, After being diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1949, Bow entered a treatment regimen that included shock treatments. Later, her husband sent her to one of the top mental institutions in the nation. Doctors found out that Bow had been raped by her father at a young age.
Steven Bowditch, 1983- Australian golfer, depression. Bowditch isn't sure what caused his depression, although he says his family has a history of it. All he knows is it began a couple of years ago and worsened at the start of this year. It's hard enough to compete on the world's toughest tour at the best of times, let alone when it's a struggle merely to stay focused on the job at hand.
Tommy Boyce, 1939-1994 American musician, composer, depression, suicide. Tommy Boyce had struggled with depression since suffering a brain aneurysm in 1993 from which he never fully recovered. He shot himself to death in November 1994.
Lorraine Bracco, 1954- American actress, Bracco says she now recognizes that she was fighting depression through much of her marriage to Harvey Keitel. She has made public statements for mental health counseling, seeking to dispel the stigma that sometimes surrounds mental illness. "If you break your leg, you have it fixed," she says. "If you have a toothache, you go to the dentist. When it comes to mental health, people tend to think they can just get over it." She writes about her tumultuous life in her new book, "On the Couch."
Terry Bradshaw, American quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, In May 2003 Terry Bradshaw embarked on a multi-city campaign to discuss his own lifelong depression and urge sufferers to get help. "Taking the first step toward a diagnosis and treatment was one of the bravest thing I've ever had to do," said Bradshaw.
Zach Braff, 1975- American actor, director, Braff says he empathizes with the character he played in his U.S. film "Garden State" because he suffers from mild depression in real life. "So to have millions of people go, 'I watched your movie and related' was the ultimate affirmation that I'm not a freak."
Melvyn Bragg, 1939- British author and broadcaster, Depression. Bragg has himself suffered from depression and as president of the mental health charity Mind has spoken movingly about the suicide of his first wife in 1971. Lord Bragg is far from the first person most would associate with having a history of mental health problems. The phenomenally accomplished author and TV broadcaster suffered bouts of severe depression in his teens and 20s, but stands as testament to the fact that issues with mental health don’t have to stand in the way of success in life. “I had a fairly severe bout of depression when I was in my mid-teens,” says Melvyn. “I didn’t acknowledge it. I didn’t know what it was, because you didn’t in Wigton in the early fifties, and I don’t think you do now, really.” Born into an “ordinary family” in 1939, shortly after the outbreak of World War Two, Melvyn explains: “Looking back on it, it seems clear that I had serious depression and some kind of breakdown. “In those days you just got on with it. You couldn’t talk to people; you were ashamed of it and that was one of the biggest problems. “This sounds strange, but nobody knew about my problem – least of all me. I just knew that something very strange was happening and did what I could to battle through.”
Russell Brand, 1975- English radio and television personality, comedian, actor, eating disorder, depression, addiction Russell was diagnosed with depression and developed the eating disorder bulimia, saying he suffered from the illness for three years. new magazine reports he said: "I was a fat little kid. I wanted to lose weight, and I would make myself sick on a daily basis. I remember my stepdad asking me to stop puking up in the sink because it was blocking the drain."The super-skinny and super talented Russell continued: "I stopped by the time I was 17 as by then I was a drug addict so I had other self-destructive behaviour to be getting on with."
Cheyenne Brando, 1970-1995 American actress, Cheyenne tried to take her own life by overdosing on sleeping pills, she was formally diagnosed with schizophrenia, became isolated from her former friends, and lost custody of her son to her mother (who raised him in Tahiti). In 1995, at the age of twenty-five, Cheyenne committed suicide at her mother's house by hanging herself
Marlon Brando, 1924-2004 American actor, addiction, depression. Marlon Brando was a deeply troubled man struggling with depression, anger, and loneliness. While the 'Godfather' solidified his place in Hollywood's Hall of Fame, watching this hopeless figure testify in front of a judge on behalf of his son for the murder of his daughter's boyfriend was a chilling reminder of how Brando's screen life was often inextricable from his personal life. Shortly after his son was convicted of murder, his daughter committed suicide. Brando went through many relationships and fathered many children, but on the day of his death, he died a lonely man, failing at husbandry, fatherhood, and personhood. It was suggested that Brando had suffered from senile dementia.
Richard Brautigan, 1935-1985 American writer, addiction, depression, suicide ECT, In 1955 he was arrested for throwing a rock through a police station window, supposedly in order to be sent to prison and fed. Instead he was sent to Oregon State Hospital and treated there with electroconvulsive therapy. Due to years of depression and heavy alcoholism he committed suicide in his home in Bolinas, California
Rory Bremner, 1961- British impressionist and comedian, eating disorder, depression. Rory Bremner has opened up about his depression, and the lowest days when he wanted to end it all. "I can remember about four or five years ago when I was having a particularly bad day," he said. "I was doing a charity show and it was great, the audience were falling about laughing. But I walked out and wanted to walk under a bus." Even by the tortured standards of great comic figures, his existence was not always easy. Divorce from his first wife, Susie Davies, a teacher and artist; brief love affairs; an eating disorder so severe that even opening the fridge made him feel nauseous; anxiety and therapy. All those are part of his past.
Jeremy Brett, 1933-1995 English actor, bipolar, hospitalized, Brett experienced some personal hardships during his days as Sherlock Holmes. His second wife, producer Joan Wilson, died in 1985, and Brett was deeply hurt by this loss. He became very depressed and later learned he had bipolar disorder, which is a mental illness usually marked by manic and depressive episodes.
Van Wyck Brooks, 1886-1963 American writer, Beset by bouts of clinical depression that required institutionalization, Brooks overcame his demons, finding solace and purpose in his writings. Van Wyck Brooks an autobiography reveals to us the illusive heart of the "lost generation" of early twentieth century American writers.
Anton Bruckner, 1824-1896 Austrian composer, depression, hospitalization, suicidal. Always liable to mood swing he had a severe attack of depression, alternating between mania and depression, sometimes with suicidal thoughts, spending three months in hospital. He also had a phobia, amounting at times to an obsession, about counting things. One of his fellow patients was unable to wear a certain dress, lest Bruckner should start counting the pearls with which the dress was decorated.
Art Buchwald, American political humorist, bipolar disorder Kicks Off The Open-Door Policy With A Tale Of His Own Travails. I had two depressions, one in 1963 and the other in 1987—the first clinical depression, the second manic depression. One of my major fears during my depression was that I would lose my sense of humor and wind up in advertising. I was hospitalized because I was suicidal, but I wouldn't have followed through anyway because I was afraid I wouldn't make the New York Times obituary page. I was fearful that Gen. De Gaulle would die on the same day, and no one would recognize my passing. But I still thought about it constantly. My wife knew I was in this state, and on a visit to my hospital bed, she surreptitiously placed a photograph of my three children on the nightstand. When I saw it, I realized I would be hurting them more than myself. In the early '90s, I went on Larry King Live with Mike Wallace and Kay Jamison to discuss depression. I wasn't sure I should do it because I didn't want to become a poster boy for mental health. But I did. As it turned out, the show had the most viewer reaction of any Larry King show. There were more depressed people in America than anyone guessed. Celebrities can play a role in helping depressed people: When Bill Styron or Mike Wallace admit they struggled with depression, sufferers say, "If they can have one, then I guess so can I." Styron, for one, is a role model for me. Mike, Bill and I suffered from depression at the same time; the only difference among the three of us being that Mike and I suffered—and Bill made a million dollars. All kidding aside, the message is simple. You do get over depressions. More important, you are a better person for having had one. I seemed to wipe out many of my skeletons in a short period of time and discard many fears that had bugged me before. You become more sensitive and kind. In my case it was so. I agreed to write this introduction because talking about depression seems to help me as much as the people I am talking to. I wouldn't want another depression in a million years but I have made peace with the two I have had.
Mutya Buena, 1985- English Singer, post natal depression. Buena recently admitted that she left English girl group Sugababes in December 2005 because she was suffering from post-natal depression. "I suffered from post-natal depression after my daughter Tahlia was born. "That was part of me wanting to leave the group. Everything became a downer and I just couldn't be bothered. "But it did get to the point where I couldn't take any more and it was horrible. All you know is that you feel down and you want to cry."
John Bunyan, 1628-1688 English writer, Pilgrim's Progress, depression. He was greatly troubled by thoughts of God’s judgment and of his danger of ending up in hell. He began having terrible dreams. ‘These things so distressed my soul that, even in the midst of my many sports and other childish activities and among my thoughtless play fellows, I was often very much depressed and afflicted in my mind with these thoughts; yet I could not let go of my sins.’ Gradually the dreams passed and he soon forgot all thoughts of God and of hell and of judgment. Instead he plunged more and more into a life of ungodliness. But as on previous occasions, it was not long before Bunyan had sunk back into depression and despair as guilt flooded his conscience once more. No amount of effort on the part of his pastor or friends was able to bring comfort to his anguished heart. For some two and a half years these terrible battles had raged in Bunyan’s soul. He fluctuated between times of great joy and comfort in the Word to times of deep, deep torment.
Delta Burke, 1956- American actress, depression, hospitalization. Delta Burke spoke candidly about her depression and her psychiatric hospitalization in January 2008. Burke said she needed "an adjustment under a physician's care" after the five medications she was taking no longer worked. She is now on two medications. At times breaking into tears, she said one of her lowest moments came while she was starring in the hit series "Designing Women". "I was parked in the car in the hills with a gun and a bottle of Xanax beside me, trying to recover from harsh words said in the tabloids," she said. "I just wanted the pain to go away." The actress also confessed that she struggles with hoarding. "At one time I had 27 storage units. I don't have a big enough house," she said. "My mom had it, it's my mother's fault. She saved the diaper I came home from the hospital in." By coming forward, Burke said she hopes to remove the stigma of mental illness so that people will get the help they need.
Brendon Burns, Australian Comedian, psychosis, ‘I was totally bonkers. I had a full-blown psychotic episode. I was stone-cold sober looking in the mirror and I could see Satan looking back at me.’ He’s able to laugh at the memory. ‘I even heard the voice of God. Madness is strange. It’s not any one thing that causes it, it’s thousands of things and it’s not any one thing that makes you better, it’s a thousand. There’s no magic button.’
Robert Burns, 1759-1796 Scottish poet, depression. Several times during his life Burns suffered from depression (‘bitter hours of blue-devilism’, as he called it.)
Robert Burton, 1577-1640 English writer, depression. Subject to depression of spirits, he wrote as an antidote the singular book which has given him fame. The Anatomy of Melancholy, in which he appears under the name of Democritus Junior, was published in 1621, and had great popularity. When not under depression he was an amusing companion, “very merry, facete, and juvenile,” and a person of “great honesty, plain dealing, and charity.”
Tim Burton, American movie director, depression. "Throughout my life, there is some form and level of depression that has always hung over me. And I don't think it's bad necessarily, but sometimes when it gets bad - and there have been a few points - it keeps you kind of stuck." taken from the Rolling Stone Interview.
Willie Burton, 1968- American basketball player, depression, Miami Heat forward WILLIE BURTON, who missed the final eight games of the 1991-92 National Basketball Association season to undergo treatment for depression, says he is smiling again and eager to fulfill his potential in the league. "My play is going to be something to watch; let me put it that way," Burton said yesterday in a news conference in Miami. Burton was making his first public comments since he left the Heat on April 8, with the team's support, for counseling sessions at a center in Houston. "I can deal with life now," the 24-year-old Burton said. "I'm a better person. I'm a more eager player. I'm now officially more or less an adult." Burton said he would continue to receive treatment "as needed," but he declined to discuss details of his therapy.
Barbara Bush, 1925- American former First Lady, depression. Barbara Bush was unable to participate in any conversations with her husband about his work, since he was dealing with top secret issues. This sense of isolation, as well as a sudden perception that her life had less value than those of younger women who were now increasingly achieving their goals rather than helping their husband's achieve theirs led to a brief period when she suffered from depression.
Lord Byron, 1788-1824 English poet, depression. For Byron, his deformed foot became the crucial catastrophe of his life. He saw it as the mark of satanic connection, referring to himself as le diable boiteux, the lame devil. At the same time, he persisted in blaming his mother for the abnormality, citing her "excess of delicacy" during the period immediately preceding the delivery. This phrase has been taken to refer either to Catherine's insistence on wearing corsets in the last stages of pregnancy or to her modesty during the final obstetrical examinations. Byron's accusation seized on the most damning charge he could find to describe the damage inflicted upon him by his mother: She had cursed, crippled, and symbolically castrated her son. Physically painful in his early years, making him an object of mockery or pity in childhood and adolescence, Byron's deformity would cause him emotional injury beyond any other psychic wound he would ever sustain. Turned inward, his rage became depression, but also something more insidious: the sense that he had a special dispensation from the moral sanctions imposed upon others and a lifelong entitlement to the forbidden.
Anthony Callea, 1982- singer, depression, It had been a difficult road for the ARIA Award winner. Growing up in Melbourne's Italian community, he suffered major depression and had to see a psychologist because his sexuality made him "hate" himself. And those same issues followed him right up until he began bidding for stardom as an Australian Idol finalist
Donald Cammell, 1934-1996 movie director, screenwriter, depression, suicide
Cammell’s on-screen interviews in The Ultimate Performance display the charm, intellect, humor, and surprising lack of pretension he’s sometimes remembered for — it makes the suicide seem a greater loss. Among those close to him, Myriam Gibril and Kenneth Anger, Cammell’s co-star and director when he played Osiris in Lucifer Rising, recall his bouts with depression and a frustrating work relationship he had over the years with Marlon Brando. Indeed, Anger thinks that Brando’s bad karma sent Cammell over the edge.
Alistair Cambell, 1957- Director of Communications and Strategy to Tony Blair PM addiction, depression, breakdown, hospitalzed. I was very depressed for a long time. You wake up and can’t open your eyes, you can’t find the energy to brush your teeth, the phone rings and you stare at it endlessly,” he told the Independent on Sunday. He said that the lowest point was during the “nightmare” of the Hutton inquiry into the reasons why Britain went to war in Iraq. The worst day, he said, was when Dr David Kelly, the government adviser, committed suicide. “The Hutton saga was one of those episodes where things were spiralling out of control. I felt completely confident in relation to the facts, but during the whole period it was a nightmare,” he said. “The day he (Dr Kelly) killed himself was without doubt the worst day. It was about the sadness that someone felt driven to do this.” Campbell had a nervous breakdown in 1986, when he was the news editor of a Sunday newspaper. He realised he was having the breakdown when he was driving repeatedly around a roundabout. He was arrested and ended up in hospital for several months. He had been drinking from “day to night”, and had a “work-induced, drink-induced, pressure-induced, depression-induced psychotic breakdown”. He said: “It was unbelievably scary. At one point, I thought I was going to die.” The now teetotal Mr Campbell said that having come through the mental breakdown made him far stronger, and memories of it helped him to cope in Downing Street. “At points of real pressure, I always say to myself this can’t be worse than 1986,” he said.
Earl Campbell, NFL running back, panic disorder
Earl Campbell had his first panic attack while driving. In spite of being a running back for the Houston Oilers, the panic attack frightened Campbell more than anything ever had, even during his football career. After learning nothing was wrong medically, Campbell hid at home for a month. He then reached out for help and found relief with prescription medication
Robert Campeau, canadian businessman, depression. In 1969, Campeau was struck with the first of several severe bouts of depression. His brother Ovila Campeau remembers that he seemed ''really mixed up.'' ''He called me and bought me an airplane ticket and asked me to come to Montreal to advise him,'' Ovila recalls. ''I suggested that he get back to what he knew, to the work of his hands, and build a garage on his property in Ottawa. I think it helped him.'' Campeau withdrew to Florida for what he has referred to as several months of ''soul searching.''
Albert Camus, 1913-1960 French-Algerian writer, depression. Camus and his wife were separated and he again suffers from illness and depression. The Fall was published soon after.
Jose Canseco, 1964- Cuban major League Baseball player, clinical depression.
Truman Capote, 1924-1984 American writer, addiction, depression. Capote gradually sank into depression, alcoholism, and drug abuse. In the last years of his life he was better known as a media celebrity than as a writer. Answered Prayers: The Unfinished Novel was published in 1986, after Capote's death.
Drew Carey, 1958- American actor and comedian, depression, attempted suicide. Carey revealed a darker side of himself. “I was depressed for a long time,” said Carey. So depressed that at the age of 18 and again in his 20's he attempted to take his own life by overdosing on pills. Speaking of the stigma of the disease, Carey said, “Living in Hollywood, you can get disconnected from everybody. You can feel like you are the only one. So you feel it, you hold it in and you don’t let it go and you don’t try to find help because you think, 'Oh man if I tell anybody, I’m going to seem like I’m weak. I won’t get a movie deal. I won’t get invited to…' whatever goes through your head.” Speaking about how he overcame his depression, Carey said, “I learned how to believe in myself. Learned how to set goals, you know, self help books, man. I just read every single one I can get a hold of and I still do. I read that stuff all the time still. I am always coming out bigger, better, stronger and happier.”
Karen Carpenter, 1950-1983 singer, anorexia nervosa
Carpenter's death brought lasting media attention to anorexia nervosa and also to bulimia. Carpenter's death encouraged other celebrities to go public about their eating disorders, among them Tracey Gold, Diana, Princess of Wales.
Mary Chapin Carpenter, 1958- American singer-songwriter, depression. Carpenter suffers from clinical depression - an illness which has plagued her since childhood. The 48-year-old country star kept her battle private until last month, when she revealed her lifelong secret at a book festival. The singer explains, "I was so...afraid people would find out." She adds her illness, "Is so mysterious to me. It's caused me a lot of pain." The PASSIONATE KISSES singer claims her angst helped fuel her musical talent at times, but that she also suffered especially traumatic bouts of depression which left her unable to compose. She describes the episodes as, "A period of time when I feel very, very down. It's not a coincidence that I'm not writing (during those times)." She sees a therapist regularly to monitor her condition.
Emily Carr, 1871-1945 canadian landscape painter, member `Group of Seven', various speculations neurasthenia, hypochondriasis, clinical depression, conversion disorder, schizophrenia
Jim Carrey, 1962- Canadian actor and comedian, clinical depression. "I was on Prozac for a long time. It may have helped me out of a jam for a little bit, but people stay on it forever. I had to get off at a certain point because I realized that, you know, everything's just OK," says Carrey. "There are peaks, there are valleys. But they're all kind of carved and smoothed out, and it feels like a low level of despair you live in. Where you're not getting any answers, but you're living OK. And you can smile at the office. You know? But it's a low level of despair. You know?" Instead, he says he doesn’t take anything. "I rarely drink coffee. I'm very serious about no alcohol, no drugs. Life is too beautiful."
Pat Cash, 1965- Former professional tennis player from Australia, Pat Cash has declared himself as coping with former suicidal tendencies. Cash, the 1987 Wimbledon champion, had previously gone public with his suicidal battle with depression and drug use, but says he is overcoming those problems. "There are times I've been very close to committing suicide," Cash said. "Only the fact that I have children has stopped me. Looking back I can see that underlying depression was there, even during my teens. "Now I'm much better at dealing with life's highs and lows. "I've always been good at bouncing back but none of us are indestructible.
Dick Cavett, Broadcaster, clinical depression, american talk show host Dick Cavett has spoken openly about his depression, which began when he was in college. He was sued in 1997 by a producer for breach of contract when failing to show up for a nationally syndicated radio program. Cavett's lawyer confirmed to the Associated Press at the time that Cavett left due to a manic-depressive episode
CE Chaffin, 1954- American writer, poet, clinical depression, ECT. "I'm a poet who became a doctor and later, a mental patient. Thanks to modern medications I hadn't been in the bughouse for ten years prior to 2008, when ECT failed to help my clinical depression. As part of my mental health regimen, I no longer practice medicine."
Ray Charles, 1930-2004 American R&B performer, clinical depression. Ray studied at St. Augustine's until his mother died. Ray was not quite fifteen at the time, and nothing that had happened before or after ever came close to invoking the devastation of this loss. It took the intervention of an old friend of the family (Mrs. Beck whom everyone called Ma Beck) to break him out of his depression and get him focused on the life before him.
Thomas Chatterton, 1750-1770 English poet, depression, suicide. Despite his achievements, Chatterton led the life of a pauper. He became severely depressed and experienced other health and financial problems which he could not overcome. In August 1770, Chatterton committed suicide by swallowing poison and was dead by the age of seventeen.
Paddy Chayefsky, 1923-1981 American writer, movie director, bipolar. Chayefsky was mad indeed and in more than one sense Shaun Considine’s accomplished biography of the late Paddy Chayefsky allows us to see that the writer was both afflicted with and inspired by volcanic anger and a certain kind of lunacy. “Paddy has something I call divine madness,” observed Peter Finch, the actor who spoke the famous lines in Network. “There’s a manic quality in his work that I adore.”
Lawton Chiles, 1930-1998 American politician, former governor of Florida, clinical depression. Shortly after quadruple-bypass heart surgery in 1985, Chiles said he became frustrated with toiling in the Senate, where he complained it was too difficult to make things happen. He also was diagnosed with depression during this period and began taking a controversial antidepressant drug, Prozac. He retired in 1989 but was convinced to make a comeback in the 1990 election, running a successful campaign against incumbent GOP Gov. Bob Martinez -- a race during which his use of Prozac became an issue. In 1994, he narrowly won re-election over Bush, the son of former President George Bush. In July 1995, Chiles was hospitalized for a neurological problem diagnosed after he awoke suffering from nausea, slurred speech and a loss of coordination.
Frederic Chopin, 1810-1849 composer, depression. Chopin retired to Scotland with friends. Although he was far beyond the reach of the revolution, his melancholy attitude did not improve and he sank deeper into a depression. Likewise, his health did not rejuvenate either. A window in the fighting made it possible for Chopin to return to Paris as his health deteriorated further. Surrounded by those that he loved, Chopin died at the age of 39. He was buried in Paris.
Winston Churchill, 1874-1965 British prime minister, bipolar disorder, "Had he been a stable and equable man, he could never have inspired the nation. In 1940, when all the odds were against Britain, a leader of sober judgment might well have concluded that we were finished," wrote Anthony Storr about Churchill's bipolar disorder in Churchill's Black Dog, Kafka's Mice, and Other Phenomena of the Human Mind.
Sandra Cisneros, 1954- American writer, depression, suicidal. The depression Cisneros sank into followed her to California, where she accepted a guest lectureship at California State University in Chico. "I thought I couldn't teach. I found myself becoming suicidal. Richard Bray had told me Susan was looking for me, but I was drowning, beyond help. I had the number for months, but I didn't call. It was frightening because it was such a calm depression." An NEA fellowship in fiction revitalized Cisneros and helped her get on her feet again, both financially and spiritually.
Eric Clapton, 1945- English blues-rock musician, addiction, clinical depression. By the early 1970s, Clapton's heroin addiction was becoming unmanageable. His drug use was fueled by the trauma of losing two of his closest friends. Slide guitar player, Duane Allman, who collaborated with Derek and the Dominos, was killed in a motorcycle accident, and Jimi Hendrix died of a drug overdose. Finally, after hitting the depths of his addiction, Clapton kicked his heroin habit using a controversial electro-acupuncture treatment.
John Cleese, 1939- British actor, depression. His world began to splinter in 1973, when depression started manifesting itself as flu symptoms. "I had full medical checkups, and they could never find anything wrong with me," says Cleese. "My doctors thought it was psychosomatic, and to a man like myself who thought he was preeminently normal, this was a very sever blow." Entering therapy, Cleese was able to realize that "I've always had a thing which I can't entirely explain about the need to be as free as possible. Why that should happen, unless it's a simple reaction to the slightly repressed atmosphere I grew up in, I don't know. But I've always felt very strongly that people should be as free as possible from other other people's ways of controlling them."
Hillary Clinton, 1947- United States Senator from New York, and a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 presidential election. Clinton, suffered from bouts of depression. Bernstein's new expose, A Woman in Charge, details how she showed "persistent signs of melancholy" when she was a student and quotes a White House adviser saying she was "deeply depressed" in 1994, a year after her husband, Bill, became president. Such bouts are understood in the parlance of depression as "Situational Depression," depression caused by a particular situation. The book goes on to state that Mrs. Clinton's "emotional state" was "as fragile as it had ever been" in late 1994 after her close friend Vince Foster had committed suicide, her father had died, and her healthcare proposals had been rejected. It quotes David Gergen, then a senior Clinton aide, said,: "I don't know whether she was seeing a doctor or not but she was depressed."
Rosemary Clooney, 1928-2002 American singer, addiction, nervous breakdown, hospitalized. In June 1968, Clooney had a brush with history when she was at the celebration at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles with two of her children the night her friend and presidential candidate Bobby Kennedy was killed. One of her children summed it up at the time by saying, "Mamma went nuts." After that event, her life and career began to fall apart. Rosemary spoke openly about her subsequent nervous breakdown, hospitalization, drug use and diagnosis of a drug-induced psychosis. "The whole country was having a nervous breakdown in the late 1960s," she later reflected. "I just had mine in public."
Kurt Cobain, 1967-1994 Rock star, addiction, clinical depression, suicide. Throughout most of his life, Cobain battled depression, chronic bronchitis, and intense physical pain due to a chronic stomach condition. The latter wreaked an especially debilitating toll on his emotional welfare, and he spent years trying to find its source. However, none of the doctors he consulted were able to pinpoint the specific cause, guessing that it was either a result of Cobain's childhood scoliosis or related to the stresses of performing. Feeling that he had been let down by medical science, Cobain opted to self-medicate with heroin. Cobain's heroin addiction increased further as the years progressed. Cobain made his first attempt at rehab in early 1992, not long after he and Love discovered they were going to become parents. Immediately after leaving rehab, Nirvana embarked on their Australian tour, with Cobain appearing pale and gaunt while suffering through withdrawals. Not long after returning home, Cobain's addiction resurfaced. On April 8, 1994, Cobain's body was discovered in the spare room above the garage (referred to as "the greenhouse") at his Lake Washington home by Veca Electric employee Gary Smith. Smith arrived at the house that morning to install security lighting and saw the body lying inside. Apart from a minor amount of blood coming out of Cobain's ear, Smith reported seeing no visible signs of trauma, and initially believed that Cobain was asleep. Smith found what he thought might be a suicide note with a pen stuck through it beneath an overturned flowerpot. A shotgun, purchased for Cobain by Dylan Carlson, was found at Cobain's side. An autopsy report later concluded Cobain's death as a result of a "self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head." The report estimates Cobain to have died on April 5, 1994.
Tyrus Cobb, 1886-1961 American baseball player, addiction, bipolar disorder, hospitalized. Cobb described his first full season in the major leagues as ''the most miserable and humiliating experience I've ever been through.'' Veteran teammates on the Detroit Tigers treated him the way veterans were then accustomed to - they gave him a hard time. Years later, one teammate, Sam Crawford, said that Cobb ''had an antagonistic attitude that turned a little razzing into a life-or-death struggle. He always figured everybody was ganging up on him.'' Cobb's depression landed him in the hospital that first season. His paranoid behavior continued throughout his career. Ty Cobb was widely known as the meanest S.O.B. you could ever meet. Well documented are the incidents ever linked to his name. Ty Cobb may have had the worst temper in the history of mankind. But what you may not know is that Cobb was a victim of mental illness in an era when treatment of such illness was hardly talked about, and was rarely successful. And his reputation for recklessness may be the main reason why he is not generally regarded as the best all-around baseball player since the creation of the game.
Dan Cody, 1981- American football linebacker, clinical depression. Cody was sleeping too much. Football stopped being fun. He did not feel like a part of the team. "He was just really sad," his father, Steve, said. "Didn't eat. Couldn't really function." After one game, he quit. "It's hard to explain," Cody says. "When I walked away, I thought it was over for good." Doctors soon discovered the sophomore was suffering from clinical depression. The diagnosis startled coaches and teammates who knew Cody as upbeat during games — he once blacked out while urging his team on from the sidelines — and relaxed off the field. Two things happened. First, he got treatment for his condition. Second, he was drawn back to football for the simple reason of wanting to belong. "It was the other players and the secretaries on the third floor and the guys in the equipment room," he says. "When I got on the outside looking in, I missed that." The coaches welcomed him back in the spring of 2002. "We just wanted him to be healthy and have a good life," Venables says. There were subsequent bouts of depression but, Cody says, "once you go through it the first time, you learn how to deal with it." Football helped, his team becoming an extended family. "We call each other brother. That's how we are," Jackson says. Cody adds: "People became so much closer … everyone took that extra step to pat me on the back."
Leonard Cohen, 1934- Canadian poet and singer, clinical depression. "Well, you know, there’s depression and depression. What I mean by depression in my own case is that depression isn’t just the blues. It’s not just like I have a hangover in the weekend… the girl didn’t show up or something like that, it isn’t that. It’s not really depression, it’s a kind of mental violence which stops you from functioning properly from one moment to the next. You lose something somewhere and suddenly you’re gripped by a kind of angst of the heart and of the spirit…" Leonard Cohen, from a French interview
Natalie Cole, 1950- American singer, addiction, clinical depression. Poised to become the greatest black female singer in the United States, Cole was often compared to legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin, a comparison that created friction between the two women. At the same time, Cole was battling her own demons; she sank into a period of depression and became increasingly dependent on drugs and alcohol. She also separated from Yancy. Shortly before entering a drug treatment center, Cole released Im Ready (1983). She emerged from rehab to suffer another setback when her estranged husband died of a heart attack in 1985.
Garnet Coleman, 1961- Texas legislator, bipolar disorder, hospitalized, Garnet Coleman has spent the past 14 years making decisions that affect 22 million Texans. However, for 14 years before being elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1991, and for three years thereafter, Coleman was living with undiagnosed bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder causes dramatic mood swings, from feeling overly “high” to feeling sad and hopeless, in alternating cycles. “When I wasn’t depressed, I was too productive,” Coleman says. “But when I was in a down cycle, I couldn’t get out of bed for a week at a time. I’d lie there with the covers over my head.” Coleman first noticed the symptoms of what he now knows is bipolar disorder when he was 17. Sometimes he was depressed; other times he was acting out. “It really interfered with my ability to finish college,” he remembers. It took 11 years for Coleman to earn a degree because he would respond to down cycles by withdrawing from his classes. “I led an intermittent life until I was 34,” said Coleman, the son of a doctor. “When you come from a family with high performance standards, the highs are OK. But high or low, the last thing you do is seek out therapy. It wasn’t until about 1990 when I asked the rector of my church to help me find help.” The journey toward recovery that began with that request was still long and arduous. Even after his election to the Texas House, Coleman continued to go through his painful cycles. “I’d leave my house and go to a hotel for a month at a time,” he recalls. The down cycle was particularly severe after his father’s death. It wasn’t until after a 30-day stay at the Menninger Clinic in Houston that Coleman was accurately diagnosed as having bipolar disorder and came away equipped with medications and a strategy for dealing with the disease and pulling his life together. “I still struggle sometimes because this is a chronic illness,” Coleman says. “I’m on my fourth combination of medications. There’s no cure, so there are times, just like with cancer, diabetes, or a heart condition, that people will miss work. There’s no shame in it for me.” Coleman understands the urge to avoid facing up to one’s own mental illness, as well as the urge to hide it once it’s diagnosed. Ultimately, there’s only one course of action. “Anyone living in a society where mental illness isn’t accepted will try to hide it,” he says. “But it doesn’t work. You get treatment, or you may end up dead.” The attributes that societies historically attribute to successful men—the determined assertion of willpower in the face of any obstacle—may make coming to terms with mental illness particularly challenging for some males. “Men are the ones who have a harder time understanding what’s happening to them, until they learn that mental illnesses, like all illnesses, don’t discriminate,” says Coleman. “You cannot will away clogged arteries. You cannot will away depression. And untreated clinical depression, like clogged arteries, can end in death. ”It is understandable why some businesses still have a harder time coming to terms with mental illnesses than physical illnesses. “I think business people like things that are tangible,” Coleman says. “Mental illness doesn’t generate a cast or a scar from the surgery, so it’s a matter of trust between employee and employer.” He points out that larger businesses have been more supportive of their employees’ mental-health needs, creating employee-assistance programs and the like. “They understand that the well-being of workers is very important in terms of productivity,” he says. “When someone’s at their best, there’s a big difference from their worst in terms of productivity. ”In spite of his own difficult journey, Coleman’s outlook is positive. “I’m optimistic. If it weren’t for the stigma we inherited, mental-health parity would already exist in terms of health benefits,” he says. “It’s a victim of past misunderstanding. ”Education is the key, says Coleman, and it must continue until it reaches a critical mass.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834 English poet, addiction, depression. He won poetry prizes, and was known as a radical and a brilliant speaker. Privately, however, there was depression and constant worries about debt. In November 1793 Coleridge was desperate enough to try his luck on the Irish lottery in London, which unsurprisingly did not help. The next move was even more desperate. Coleridge, poet and speaker on radical topics decided to join the army, enlisting in the 15th Light Dragoons in December 1793 under the imaginative alias Silas Tomkyn Combermache. Anyone calling themselves Combermache is clearly not taking things seriously, and Coleridge was a hopeless solider. His comrades found a use for him writing their love letters, and he bravely spent a month in the military hospital at Henley nursing a fellow soldier suffering from smallpox. Meanwhile his father and brother Geroge were busy trying to get this poet nurse out of the army. Initially the army authorities would not budge, but eventually, under much pressure from James Coleridge, a compromise was reached. Silan Tomkyn Combermache was discharged for "being insane." Visions of Blackadder Goes Forth come to mind: "Now listen to me carefully Blackadder. Put a pair of underpants on your head, stick two pencils up your nose, and they'll ship you back to blightly."
Judy Collins, 1939- musician, writer, bulimia, addiction, depression. Following the 1992 death of her son, Clark Taylor, at age 33, after a long bout with depression and substance abuse, she has also become a strong advocate of suicide prevention. Her 2003 book, Sanity & Grace, chronicles her recovery from her son's suicide and attempts to provide some comfort and guidance to other families dealing with the loss of a loved one to suicide. She describes the "Seven T's" as a means for going through this process of recovery: Truth, Therapy, Trust, Try, Treat, Treasure, and Thrive. The Truth is that there should be no guilt in suicide; Therapy helps people express their emotions and seek grief counseling; Trust is the effort to believe that one can make it through the loss and keep a belief in life and in the future; Try means to stay away from drugs and alcohol or any excess--including overeating--as a means to deal with the loss and pain; Treat means to take care of the mind, body, and spirit with exercise and meditation; Treasure means to keep the memory of the moments to be treasured, and for this Collins recommends writing and keeping a journal; and Thrive means to be positive, hopeful, open to love and others, and continuing to know that you can rebuild your life on a basis of hope.
Shawn Colvin, 1956- musician, addiction, anxiety disorder, depression, On stage, Shawn Colvin sings haunting songs, but what fans don't know is that she has lived much of the sadness she writes about in her lyrics. In 1999, Shawn walked away with two Grammys for her hit song "Sonny Came Home." But what none of us knew was that Shawn was hiding a very painful secret—her battle with depression. Even when she was a young child, she was plagued with dark thoughts. "I remember wishing I was dead," says Shawn. "I don't know, maybe other 4 and 5 year olds think that. It just seems pretty extreme to me." At 19, Shawn says she was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder along with depression. Shawn's depression has no manic phase, no highs to her lows. When Shawn's feelings of despair grew out of control she says she began drinking heavily. "I drank every night," says Shawn. "I was anxious and depressed and obsessed. And when I drank, I didn't feel that way. I felt carefree. It was really the hangovers that got me. Eventually, after a few years of it, when I would wake up hung over like that, I would want to be dead. I would feel suicidal."
Calvin Coolidge, 1782-1933 former U.S. president, depression, Coolidge's behavior before and after his son's death, demonstrating that the circumstances of his early life made him susceptible to depression, and showing how an active, engaged, disciplined, hard-working man became detached from the responsibilities of his office, consumed by his son's death, and distanced from associates, friends, and his wife and surviving son
Jeff Conaway, 1950- American actor, addiction, depression. Troubled Taxi star Conway owes his alcohol addiction to a boozy childhood - he first got drunk when he was three. The actor, who is currently battling drinking, cocaine and painkiller issues, admits his family had a very liberal approach to alcohol. He says, "My grandmother used to make beer in the bathtub and we'd drink together; we'd sit there and suck on the hose and drink this deep dark brown beer that she would make. The first time I got drunk, I was three; I drank a bottle of sherry. I thought it tasted like ice-cream.
Joseph Conrad, 1857-1924 Polish author, depression, suicide attempt. In 1878, Conrad suffered from depression, caused in part by gambling debts and his being forbidden to work on any French ships due to his lying about having the proper permits. He made an unsuccessful attempt at suicide, shooting himself through the shoulder and missing his vital organs.
Pat Conroy, 1945- writer, depression. Conroy commenting on his depression he suffers from said, “Depression can give you a time of great inner contemplation. I hope it makes me a better writer. More difficult to live with, but a better writer
Billy Corgan, 1967- American musician from the band The Smashing Pumpkins, reported to have suffered from deep depression while working hard on the band's albums. Corgan alleges he was subject to much physical and emotional abuse by his stepmother. His father was a professional musician who would smoke large amounts of marijuana daily. It seems as though Corgan was deeply emotionally troubled for the greater portion of his childhood, mainly due to family abuse. His online entries, or "confessions" as he chooses to call them, portray himself as a boy yearning for the recognition and approval of his father, and escape from his stepmother. Martha Lutz, Corgan's birth mother, had also been suffering from mental illness. She was eventually committed to a mental institution for a brief period of time.
Patricia Cornwell, 1956- American crime writer, bipolar disorder, anorexia nervosa, anorexia bulimia, addiction. In her interview with The Times, Cornwell used similar concepts to describe herself, saying that she was “wired differently”, in a direct reference to her struggle with bipolar disorder.
Shayne Corson, 1966- Canadian forward for the Toronto Maples Leafs, panic attacks. Corson speaks publicly for the first time about the severe panic attacks he suffered last season. "I'd feel like I was having a heart attack," Corson told the magazine. "It was like everything was coming down on me at once. I didn't want to be away from home, I didn't want to be in crowds. Corson says he's not sure what brought on the attacks in the first place. He says his recovery has been a "long and gradual process," in which he spoke to a psychiatrist regularly and took anti-anxiety medication. "Things are better this year," he said. "Panic is something I'll always have to deal with but, last year, it was as bad as it could get." He decided to go public with his story now to help others in a similar situation. "By talking about things like this, I think it's good for other people to see you can get through things like that, be successful and get where you want to get," he said. "I think it's important to talk about things like that for people that go through it, too.
Noel Coward, 1899-1973 English composer, depression. He had a strong satiric humor and a unique gift for witty dialogue. He produced several films and published two autobiographies. He suffered from depression, and used humor and creativity as survival tools.
William Cowper, 1731-1800 English poet, severe depression, attempted suicide. A tendency to melancholy, constitutional in his family, had already led him through one episode of depression while he was in his early twenties, but since the malady had improved spontaneously, he had dismissed it from his mind. In 1763 he attempted to secure a clerkship in the House of Lords, a minor appointment controlled by a member of his family. In order to win this appointment, however, he needed to undergo a public examination. The thought of this examination filled him with a dread he recognized as irrational yet was not able to overcome. He tried to prepare himself for the ordeal, but as the date of the examination drew nearer he slipped deeper and deeper into depression. Eventually he attempted suicide. Committed by his family to the care of a doctor who maintained a private asylum, Cowper endured a depression that continued for about eight months unabated in its intensity. Then his anguish began to lighten, and words of religious comfort spoken to him by his brother convinced him to turn to the Bible for help. Although he had never before been devout, he now became convinced that he owed his recovery to God's mercy. By 1773, Cowper was again psychotic: hearing voices assuring him of his damnation, refusing to eat, convinced that his body was loathsome and deformed and that his spirit was more damnable than that of Judas Iscariot. He was not hospitalized again, but his servants, friends, and family had to watch him constantly to prevent him from committing suicide. Sometime during this period Cowper managed to write a short poem in English sapphics beginning with the line "Hatred and vengeance, my eternal portion," an anti-hymn in which the sinner expresses the sense of despair without any sense of redeeming grace. The depression of 1773 brings to a close the second phase of Cowper's life. He eventually recovered his reason, but this time there was no corresponding sense of elation: from then until the end of his life Cowper alternated between chronic and severe states of depression. He managed to return to his creative life, partly as a form of distraction from his mental sufferings; the poems that brought him fame during his lifetime date mostly from this latest period.
Hart Crane, 1899-1932 American writer, poet, The Bridge, addiction, manic depression, suicide. He reportedly suffered from manic depression and dangerously abused alcohol while he lived in the country. He also participated in an affair with Peggy Crowley, a close friend’s former wife. However, their relationship did not last, despite hopes for a future together. On April 26, 1932, Crane drowned after jumping from the steamship that was taking him back to New York from Mexico
Oliver Cromwell, 1599-1698 English military and political leader, At some time during the late 1620s, following a period of illness and depression, Cromwell experienced a profound spiritual awakening that left him with deep and uncompromising Puritan beliefs.
Kathy Cronkite, 1950- American writer, depression, suicidal. Although Kathy Cronkite is no longer suicidal, she states that the weight is still on her shoulders, the stone is still in her stomach, her face wears a tight mask. But now she knows what is dogging her! The world is not crumbling. She is not crazy, or bad, or lacking in faith or discipline. She has a disease. It’s called depression!
Dennis Crosby, 1934-1991 actor, addiction, suicide. On December 26, 1989, Crosby's younger brother Lindsay committed suicide by a shotgun blast to the head. Deeply distraught by his brother's passing and his recent divorce and grappling with alcoholism, Dennis Crosby committed suicide on May 7, 1991 in Novato, California, also with a shotgun.
Lindsay Crosby, 1938-1989 actor, singer, addiction, suicide, Heavy drinking and their emotional problems took their toll. On December 11, 1989, Lindsay committed suicide by a shotgun blast to his head. He was 51. His distraught brother Dennis never recovered from this trauma. He also committed suicide with a shotgun in May 1991, aged 56
Sheryl Crow, American singer and rock musician, clinical depression, “Days of never getting dressed, never leaving the house. Depression has been part of my existence for as long as I can remember. I miss things I never even had. I think a lot of my humor is derived from that.” Antidepressants helped; so did therapy. “It was quite a shock to my family when I first went.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Depphttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Depphttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_DeppRichard Dadd, 1817-1886 artist, bipolar, Dadd was diagnosed with what is now known as bipolar manic depression, an ailment which has affected a great number of famous people over the centuries. In the asylum, the doctors encouraged him to continue painting, which he certainly did, but Richard Dadd had entered a new era in his painting career. Most of the works for which he is best known were created while he was incarcerated in The Bethlem psychiatric hospital
Jean-Claude Van Damme, 1960- Belgian actor, addiction, bipolar, Throughout his vibrant career in film, Van Damme has used drugs, been diagnosed with cyclic manic depression and accused of spousal abuse. As a teenager, he took refuge in karate, ballet and in daydreams, which he calls "rosy dreams." Today he takes medication to help mitigate the effects of his illness
John Daly, 1966- golfer, addiction, "Seems I used to do everything like I was on a mission. If it was alcohol, I wanted to drink till I couldn't see straight. If it was golf, I wanted to beat everybody's brains out. If it was driving, I can get there faster'n you can... I was stubborn as hell. I had no direction."
Rodney Dangerfield, 1921-2004 American comedian, Although diagnosed later in life with clinical depression, Dangerfield believed that it began early in his life due to a father who abandoned him and a mother whose cruel remarks made him feel worthless.
Charles Darwin, 1809-1882 English explorer and scientist, depression, panic disorder ECT. The current conclusion is that Darwin, as is common among agoraphobiacs, also developed many additional phobias—being in crowds, being alone, or leaving home unless accompanied by his wife. He suffered from several serious and incapacitating psychiatric disorders, including agoraphobia.
David, Israeli King
Ray Davies, 1944- musician, bipolar, Davies has described himself as "openly manic-depressive". He has had a tempestuous, love-hate relationship with younger brother and Kinks guitarist Dave Davies that dominated the Kinks 30 year career as a band. His compositions and talent as a performer are universally hailed within the music industry, but he has maintained a career-long reputation for being fiercely independent and iconoclastic, resulting in a decades-long pattern of conflict and alienation within the music industry.
Thomas De Quincey, 1785-1859 English poet, addiction, depression. Opium for him at this time was not a daily dietary requirement. However, in 1813, his stomach irritation returned with a renewed vengeance. Through no personal desire of his own it became necessary for his comfort to began eating opium on a daily basis. It was this ailment that led to his addiction to drug. De Quincey stated in his book, "Confessions of an Opium Eater" that he could have shaken the habit but for the simple fact that his character would not allow it. In his own words he said; I hanker too much after a state of happiness, both for myself and others; I cannot face misery, whether my own or not, with an eye of sue, that no old gentleman, "with a snow-white beard," will have any chance of persuading me to surrender "the little golden receptacle of the pernicious drug."
Lenny Dee, 1923-2006 American musician, depression. Born Leonard George DeStoppelaire, was a virtuoso organist who played many styles of music. His record albums were among the most popular of easy listening and space age pop organists of the 1950s through the early 1970s. His signature hit, Plantation Boogie, charted as a Top 20 hit in 1955. He also had a gold record with 1970's Spinning Wheel.
Sandra Dee, 1942-2005 American actress. anorexia nervosa, depression, addiction. She admitted that for most of her life she battled anorexia nervosa, depression, and alcoholism.
Ellen DeGeneres, 1958- American comedienne, actor. She went through a period of intense depression, but has risen to be one of the most popular women on television.
Patrick Dempsey, 1966- American actor, depression. Dempsey suffered crippling bouts of depression in his youth when his acting career failed to take off. The Grey's Anatomy star, was convinced he was tipped for Hollywood stardom after his initial success in hit 1987 comedy Can't Buy Me Love. But the actor found it difficult to stay positive when he failed to land any more high profile roles. Dempsey's marriage to his former manager Rocky Parker - a woman 26 years older than him - also collapsed and it led to a period of severe depression for the star. He says, "It was a very difficult time. I was insecure. I felt I was no good. "It took me two days to get psyched and it was very hard to stay positive. There were years when I wasn't working and people didn't care about me." Dempsey - who divorced Parker in 1994 after seven years of marriage - has since re-married and had three children with make-up artist Jill Fink. He is now enjoying a career revival after being cast in hit U.S. drama Grey's Anatomy.
John Denver, 1943-1997 American singer and actor, When Denver's career fell into a slump in the '80s, he found himself alone without a wife, and began developing a serious problem with depression and alcohol.
Johnny Depp, 1963- Actor, self harm, depression. Depps family often moved to different cities and his parents were always fighting. When he was a child, Depp fought depression and would cut himself.
Muffin Spencer Devlin, 1953 pro golfer. manic depression. She began working with Dr. Priscilla Slagle in April 1992 on a holistic program for treatment of manic depression utilizing vitamins, amino acids and diet... Gives informal talks on manic depression in conjunction with the Depression and Manic Depression Association of America
Diana, Princess of Wales 1961-1997 She struggled with depression and an eating disorder.
Paolo Di Canio, 1968- athlete (soccer) stress and depression
Charles Dickens, 1812-1870 writer, one of the greatest authors in the English language suffered from clinical depression, as documented in The Key to Genius: Manic Depression and the Creative Life by D. Jablow Hershman and Julian Lieb, and Charles Dickens: His Tragedy and Triumph by Edgar Johnson
Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886 poet, Did Dickinson suffer episodes of physical or mental illness? Recent observers have detected everything from anorexia to bipolarism, from agoraphobia to seasonal affective disorder. These are readily suggested by Dickinson's own intense and heartfelt creativity, an exhausting of spirit that would leave a less strong constitution without recourse. But does her portrayal of winter as deathly versus the seasons of light qualify for the judgment of seasonal affective disorder? What poet close to nature is not possessed of this essential imagery? Similarly, her reclusion has been classified as agoraphobia. But to Dickinson, reclusion was a choice against the vanity and oppression of the society she sought to eschew.
Isak Dinesen, author, anorexia nervosa, There is documentation that Karen’s severe depression was more likely due to a mental illness. It is later documented in Kay Jamison’s book, Touched with Fire, that Blixen had a history of bipolar disorder in her family. Her father, Wilhelm Dinesen, suffered from it and committed suicide when Karen was ten.
Pete Doherty, 1979- Musician, addiction, manic depression, Wayward rocker Pete Doherty has been diagnosed with manic depression and is receiving treatment for the condition. The Babyshambles frontman makes regular visits to London's Homerton Hospital, which specializes in mental health and addiction problems.
Scott Donie, 1968- Olympic athlete (diving) Donie thumbed through a book on mental illnesses and realized he was reading about himself. "I went down the list: obsessive-compulsive behavior, manic depression, you name it," he says. "I was pretty screwed up. I think I had a number of nervous breakdowns."
Gaetano Donizetti, 1797-1848 The famous Italian opera composer suffered from bipolar disorder, as documented in Donizetti and the World Opera in Italy, Paris and Vienna in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century by Herbert Weinstock. Donizetti's wife, Virginia Vasselli, gave birth to three children, none of whom survived. Within a year of his parents' deaths, his wife died from cholera. By 1843, Donizetti exhibited symptoms of syphilis and what is known today as bipolar disorder. After being institutionalized in 1845, he was sent to Paris, where he could be cared for. After visits from friends, including Giuseppe Verdi, Donizetti was sent back to Bergamo, his hometown, where he died in 1848 in the house of the noble family Scotti, after several years in the grip of insanity. After his death Donizetti was buried in the cemetery of Valtesse but in the late 19th century his body was transferred to Bergamo's Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore near the grave of his teacher Johann Simon Mayr.
Terrance Donavan, 1936-1996 photographer, depression, suicide, Donovan committed suicide in November 1996, at the age of 60. At the inquest, it emerged that he had been taking steroid drugs to treat a skin condition, which had caused depression
Michael Dorris, 1945-1997 writer, suicide
Terrance Donavan, 1936-1996 photographer, depression, suicide, Donovan committed suicide in November 1996, at the age of 60. At the inquest, it emerged that he had been taking steroid drugs to treat a skin condition, which had caused depression
Michael Dorris, 1945-1997 writer, suicide
Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1821-1881 writer, Dostoevsky was devastated by his wife's death in 1864, followed shortly thereafter by his brother's death. He was financially crippled by business debts and the need to provide for his brother's widow and children. Dostoevsky sank into a deep clinical depression, frequenting gambling parlors and accumulating massive losses at the tables.
Eric Douglas, 1958-2004 actor, Eric Douglas' death was caused by an "acute intoxication" by the effects of alcohol, tranquilizers and painkillers.
Tony Dow, 1945- actor, producer, director, Dow revealed that he has struggled, and was eventually diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. He has since starred in self help videos chronicling his battle with the disorder.
Charmaine Dragun, 1978-2007 Australian news anchor, depression, suicide. Dragun took her own life by jumping from The Gap in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. A Channel Seven news report the following day stated that Charmaine was undergoing treatment for depression and had recently changed medication. Police have described the death as not suspicious, confirming that several witnesses spotted a woman sitting on the cliff before finding her body. Charmaine was due to present the 5pm news for Perth and Ten Late News on the day she died. Staff in Perth and Sydney were only informed of her death 15 minutes before the show was due to air. The shock caused by the unforeseen suicide has now been coupled by questions from those who knew her. Associate Professor Michael Baigent identified the case as a common example of the extreme consequences of depression. Baigent explained that depression is "an illness that clouds the way you see yourself and people around you, the way you see your future."
Richard Dreyfuss, 1947 actor, Dreyfuss suffers from bipolar disorder. In 2006, he appeared in Stephen Fry's documentary, Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, in which Fry (who also has the disorder) interviewed him about his life with manic-depression.
Jack Dreyfus, 1913 manager, Dreyfus Fund, Jack Dreyfus, founder of the Dreyfus Fund, "discovered" phenytoin as a cure for his depression. After having the drug researched, he was so impressed that he wrote a book: A Remarkable Medicine is Being Overlooked. This book, part autobiography part bibliography.
Kitty Dukakis, former First Lady of Massachusetts, depression, ECT, In 2006, she revealed having undergone electroconvulsive therapy treatment beginning in 2001 in order to treat major depression, publishing her experiences in the book Shock.
Patty Duke, actress, bipolar disorder, Academy Award-winning actress told of her bipolar disorder in her autobiography and made-for-TV move Call Me Anna and A Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic-Depressive Illness, co-authored by Gloria Hochman.
Duke has since become an activist for numerous mental health causes.
Doug Duncan, 1955- Democratic politician from Maryland, clinical depression. Duncan stunned Montgomery County's political establishment by dropping out of the governor's 2006 race to battle depression, the county executive's decision has reverberated throughout the mental health community and beyond. Duncan made his announcement just days after he said he received the diagnosis of clinical depression, explaining at a news conference that "it is time for me to focus on my health." Mental health advocates said the public discussion has brought renewed attention to the state of the county's services.
Thomas Eagleton, 1929-2007 lawyer, former US Senator, ECT, Between 1960 and 1966, Eagleton checked himself into the hospital three times for physical and nervous exhaustion, receiving electric shock treatments twice
Thomas Eakins, 1844-1916 American artist, bipolar. He suffered from a sense of failure, bouts of depression and conflicted feelings about his attraction to men.
Thomas Edison, 1847-1931 American inventor, bipolar.
Edward Elgar, 1857-1934 English composer,depression. He suffered chronically from depression and self-doubt and often needed encouragement from his wife Alice, and from his musical friends such as his close confidante and supporter August Jaeger
TS Eliot, 1888-1965 American poet, breakdown, depression. In 1921, the business negotiations to finance the proposed journal had to be suspended when Eliot suffered a nervous breakdown; it was during his convalescence from this illness that he wrote The Waste Land. Though the breakdown had much to do with marital misery, it also reflects something of the postwar cultural crisis of which The Waste Land is itself symptomatic. The second depression of spirits gripped Eliot in October 1938, in the wake of the Munich pact between Hitler and Chamberlain. Three months later, the Criterion folded – partly because of the material complications of the advent of war, but no doubt because of its spiritual implications, too.
Roky Erickson, 1947- American Rocker, Addiction, ECT. Roky Erickson is an American singer, songwriter, harmonica player and guitarist from Texas. He was a founding member of the 13th Floor Elevators and pioneer of the psychedelic rock genre. Erickson is one of rock and roll's most famous cult figures, Unfortunately, Roky's struggles with drug abuse and mental illness took a serious toll. His 1969 arrest in Texas for possession of a single marijuana cigarette led to his being committed for three years to Rusk State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where he was reportedly subjected to Thorazine, electroshock therapy, and other experimental treatments. Most agree he was never the same after his release. Roky has had prolific periods of creativity in the intervening years, but unscrupulous managers and record label executives often took advantage of his condition, leaving Roky to live in poverty while others profit from his music.
Frances Farmer, 1913-1970 American actress, addiction, ECT, Farmer?s mother attributed her rebellion to mental illness and had her committed to a state hospital in Washington. When she was released a few years later, her mother was not satisfied with her rehabilitation and had her committed again in 1945. For the next five years, Farmer lived a hellish existence. Resisting her imprisonment every step of the way, she endured rape, humiliation, shock therapy and hydrotherapy. Before her release, she also presumably underwent a trans-orbital lobotomy.
Philo T Farnsworth, 1906-1971 American inventor of television, depression. Farnsworth sacrificed a lot to work on television. He even skipped his infant son?s funeral to work. Over the years, he wondered whether television was worth all the personal sacrifices and he sank into a deep depression.
William Faulkner, 1897-1962 American writer, addiction. Faulkner's physique and mental functioning was weakened by hard drinking. "When I have one martini I feel bigger, wiser, taller," he confessed. "When I have a second I feel superlative. After that there's no holding me." Besides problems with alcohol his wife's drug addiction and declining health shadowed his life. "I will always believe that my first responsibility is to the artist, the work," he wrote in a letter; "it is terrible that my wife does not realise or at least accept that." Their daughter Jill later said that "Nothing about the marriage was right."
Jules Feiffer, 1929 American cartoonist and satirist for the New Yorker and the Village Voice, depression.
Sally Field 1946-American actress, eating disorders, depression. Throughout a Hollywood career that?s spanned more than four decades, this child of an abusive stepdad has been harshly criticized for her looks; battled depression, weight gain and eating disorders; survived two failed marriages; and lost countless jobs to ?sexier? stars. ?It?s never been easy,? says Sally, widely considered one of the best actresses of her generation. ?It?s always been a struggle.? ?I had terrible self-loathing,? she has recalled. ?I mean, yikes, here it was 1967, everybody?s dropping acid, eating granola and running around naked, and I?m doing The Flying Nun.? That was when the food problems began. Sally would spend weeks eating nothing but cucumbers. Then, on weekends, she?d scarf an entire cake or pot of spaghetti in a sitting. ?There were nights I was alone in my apartment wishing someone could teach me how to throw up because I was in such pain.?
Carrie Fisher, 1956- American actress, writer, addiction, manic depression, suicide attempt. Fisher, best known as Princess Leia in Star Wars, has suffered from manic depression since age 15. After a 1985 overdose, she spent 37 days in rehab, where she was treated for an addiction to the prescription barbiturate Percodan. Talking and writing herself through her manic episodes, often staying up all night to do so, Fisher relies on comic relief to get through her depressions. Combined with medicine and therapy, Fisher's coping skills have allowed her to focus on her work
F Scott Fitzgerald, 1896-1940 writer The Great Gatsby, addiction
Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, 1900-1948 novelist and the wife of writer F Scott Fitzgerald, In June 1930 she suffered her first mental breakdown; soon afterwards, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was required to live from then on in a mental hospital.
Larry Flynt, 1945- magazine publisher, bipolar
Betty Ford, 1918 former First Lady, addiction
Harrison Ford, 1942- actor, Depression came as early as his first year in college. He would sleep during the day, stop attending classes and failed most of the classes. The future was bleak, but he found a new field in which he had grown so fond of, acting.
James Forrestal, 1892-1949 cabinet member, After an apparent suicide attempt, he was examined by William Menninger
and his illness was diagnosed as "severe depression" of the type seen in operational fatigue during the war. "He was then flown to Bethesda Naval Hospital, and confined to the sixteenth floor of the hospital. Several weeks later he fell to his death from an unguarded window.
Stephen Foster, 1826-1864 songwriter, depression. After 1855, Foster's publishing fell off, owing to the depression he suffered from the loss of his parents. As his debts increased, he took advances from his publishers. He had an increasingly difficult time supplying songs to repay his advances. In 1860, the Foster family left Pittsburgh and moved to New York. Then Jane took their daughter back to Pennsylvania, leaving Stephen for good. He would live the remainder of his days alone, living in lodging houses and hotels close to theaters. In 1862, Foster began to work with George Cooper, a young poet. They wrote music that appealed to music theater audiences. Some of those songs included "There Are Plenty of Fish in the Sea," "Kissing in the Dark," and "My Wife is a Most Knowing Woman," all in 1863. During that era, writing music did not pay well compared to that of a singer/songwriter. However, today he would be paid a considerable amount of money for his songwriting. Stephen Foster died on January 13, 1864, at the early age of 37. He was living in poverty with only 38 cents to his name. He is buried in the Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His most wellknown song was Beautiful Dreamer.
George Fox, 1624-1691 Quaker founder, depression. Fox was a puritan farmer?s son in the Mid-North from a village called Drayton-in-the-Clay. He was a hefty fellow, but not your ordinary rough-and-tumble boy. He had just enough schooling to read and write; he was very interested in the religious ideas of the time but was a lonely young man prone to bouts of depression. In particular he was distressed by the clash between what was preached by the clergy and the practice of those same preachers.
Janet Frame, 1924-2004 New Zealand writer, Frame's work used her own disturbing life to weave fictional nightmares that reflected, in her words, the ''homelessness of self.'' After a suicide attempt she spent eight years in mental hospitals in New Zealand, receiving 200 electroshock treatments. She was about to have a lobotomy when a hospital official read that she had won a literary prize. She was released. Later, a panel of psychiatrists determined that she had never had schizophrenia. In the sort of bitterly perceptive, highly personalized twist that infuses much of her writing, that news did not please her. ''Oh why had they robbed me of my schizophrenia, which had been the answer to all my misgivings about myself?'' she wrote in the third volume of her autobiography, which, with the first two, was dramatized in Jane Campion's 1990 film ''An Angel at My Table.'' ''Like King Lear I had gone in search of 'the truth' and now I had nothing,'' she continued.
Connie Francis, 1938- singer, addiction, manic depression ECT. In 1974, following a performance, Connie was the victim of a brutal terrorizing rape in her hotel room. She was unable to perform for many years afterward, and a couple years after she finally resumed touring in 1981 she was diagnosed as being manic depressive. It was revealed at this time that she had been addicted to pills for perhaps as long as 25 years, reportedly from being given uppers and downers to perform and sleep early, similar to what happened to Judy Garland. She is said to have undergone shock treatments which were helpful. In 1991 she suffered a collapse due to lithium toxicity, but at last report she is still giving the occasional concert, and retrospective albums continue to be released, delighting legions of adoring fans.
Andre Franquin, 1924-1997, cartoonist, Andre Franquin, whose books sold by the million, an entertainer beloved of both young and old, had finally succumbed to a sick heart and chronic depression. For this zany storyteller was a man haunted by sinister anguish, that he tried in vain to counter by laughing at his idees noires ("dark thoughts" or "the glums") in a stream of surrealist fantasy.
Albert French, writer, French fell apart emotionally. In despair, he began writing a memoir, which eventually became this primal scream of a book.
Sigmund Freud, 1856-1939 psychiatrist, is known ubiquitously as a scientist, genius, polemic, revolutionary, doctor and analyst-but not as a patient. According to numerous biographers, Freud often obsessed about his sex life and money; he wrote 900 love letters to the woman of his affections; he suffered bouts of depression and despair; he frequently seethed with resentment at rivals; and, according to one biographer, he was "overly credulous" when it came to crackpot medical theories. Freud's demons and quirks sparked his desire to learn more about human motivation and behavior. Indeed, his early family life, marked by his resentment at having to share his mother's love and attention, led Freud to develop his theories of human development. Freud has forever altered the world's view of the human mind with his radical concepts such as the Oedipus complex, free association, dream theory, and the division of the mind into the id, ego and superego; everyday lexicon is littered with Freudian terms such as "repressed," "narcissistic," "rationalization" and "projection." But that doesn't preclude Freud from being susceptible to the same kinds of delusions and problems with which he diagnosed his patients
Brenda Fricker, 1945- actress, depression, At 14, she was badly injured in a car crash, that she was laid up for two years. Soon after her discharge, she contracted TB and spent a further two years in a sanatorium. With marriage to Barry, she suffered several miscarriages and suffered depression, 'I've spent months in psychiatric hospitals and I've talked to psychiatrists. But eventually you have to find your own strength. My depression comes on like a cold for no apparent reason, it lasts for days and the only way I can handle it is to go underground, not answer the phone or door.'
Stephen Fry, 1957- English comedian, writer, actor, humourist, novelist, columnist, filmmaker, television personality and technophile. He was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. "I'd never heard the word before, but for the first time, at the age of 37, I had a diagnosis that explained the massive highs and miserable lows I've lived with all my life," Fry said.
Peter Gabriel, 1950- rock star, Gabriel himself struggled with depression through his 40s and had several years of therapy. "The break-up of my marriage was the most major grieving I've done in my life,"
Liam Gallagher, 1972- English singer, Agoraphobia. "I’d rather be out, except I can’t even do that at the moment. I get agoraphobia sometimes when I’m out. "Like, I went to Oxford Street the other day to buy a suit and I got the fear. I was surrounded by people asking me for things so I sacked the suit and jumped in a cab and nailed the doors down. It’s bad, man."
Judy Garland, 1922-1969 singer, actress. She fell prey to depression, suffered a nervous breakdown and slipped from the public eye, except for a few recording sessions. In 1956 she did the album "Judy", and in 1957, "Alone" and stayed away from the show business spotlight for the remainder of the decade. On June 22, 1969 she was found dead in her London apartment, apparently of an accidental overdose of barbiturates and alcohol. The roller coaster life of a legend had prematurely ended.
James Garner, 1928- actor, depression
Paul Gascoigne, 1967- athlete (soccer), addiction, sectioned under the mental health act
Paul Gauguin, 1848-1903 artist, bipolar
Harold Geneen, 1910-1997 executive, ITT Industries,
King George III of England, 1738-1820 The Madness of King George is a 1994 film directed by Nicholas Hytner and adapted by Alan Bennettplay The Madness of George III. It tells the true story of George III's deteriorating mental health, and his equally declining relationship with his son, the Prince of Wales, particularly focusing on the period around the Regency Crisis of 1788. Modern medicine has suggested that the King's symptoms were the result of porphyria
Stan Getz, 1927-1991 musician, Stan Getz had major depressive episodes and was hospitalised at times.
Kaye Gibbons, 1960- writer, Because of manic depression, Kaye Gibbons once tried to set free a handful of snakeskin belts in a department store. She sat on her front lawn in December and waved to passing traffic. She imagined she spotted Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger and Rod Stewart under a circus tent on the beach. Equilibrium buoys her for a few weeks before the roller coaster of manic peaks and depressive valleys jerks into motion again. But if scientists offered Gibbons a cure today, she might refuse. Because she could lose her art in the bargain. "Things could be much worse," Gibbons said Thursday evening at the Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series at the John H. Mulroy Civic Center in Syracuse. "I could be artistically mute, like my mother was."
In a candid but comic lecture, titled "My Life With Manic Depression So Far," award-winning novelist Gibbons described an illness that has spun her in and out of hospital beds for nearly two decades, but empowered her to write stories that enchant millions.
It was during a six-week manic binge that Gibbons wrote her acclaimed debut novel, "Ellen Foster" (1987). Two days after she finished the manuscript, she began a three-month stay in a psychiatric ward, where one patient claimed to hear Jesus in the heating vents. She has cycled through mania and depression ever since. Her mother also suffered from manic depression and committed suicide before Gibbons was 10 The disease causes Gibbons to sometimes speak loudly and inappropriately in public places and go on manic shopping sprees. It plays a maddening loop of music in her head. Sometimes Christmas carols, sometimes a cacophony of popular radio tunes, she said. "If Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey had never sung a note, I'd be a lot saner," Gibbons said. "For six weeks, all I heard was 'In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida.' It's the closest I've come to total self-destruction." But along with the torment, her mania can bring creative surges "in great rushing torrents," Gibbons said. She wrote her most recent novel, "On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon," in three months. She sometimes wrote for 40 to 60 hours at a stretch. On a "sane" day, Gibbons might have to divine a fictional image from her blank computer screen. But on a manic day, the image rises to the surface on its own. "Shimmering, waiting. All I had to do was pick it up," she said. If medical science had a magic pill for manic depression, the world would have been deprived of "Look Homeward, Angel" by Thomas Wolfe, who wrote in manic binges, and everything Herman Melville wrote, Gibbons said."I can't imagine the world without the artistry that has been touched by that fire," Gibbons said. Although Gibbons had to accept her fate - an incurable illness - she gives thanks for its residual blessings, she said. "All I can do and all I ever will do is write," Gibbons said. "I spend my days with my children, the man I adore, dogs, cats. I spend my days finding out who I am. Sometimes flinching, sometimes actually rejoicing when I hear the answers."
Kendall Gill, athlete (basketball) Kendall Gill suffered one depressive episode. It lasted eight days and would have an enduring effect on his life. In 1994-95 Gill was playing for the Seattle SuperSonics, though not nearly enough to suit him. He grew increasingly irritable and anxious. Gill, a Chicago native, obsessed over his diminished playing time, his homesickness, Seattle's rainy weather. He couldn't eat. He couldn't sleep. After one game in which he saw scant playing time, Gill lashed out at the Seattle coach, George Karl. He swept his arm across Karl's desk, knocking everything to the floor. The sensitive guard seemed to be coming apart. "I felt a sense of being trapped," says Gill, who left his apartment only to attend practices and games. Summoning the energy to get to those was a colossal chore. He told nobody that his skin suddenly felt two sizes too tight. "I always felt I was strong enough to endure anything," GillGill knew he needed help the night he went for a layup but couldn't get any lift from his legs because he was so exhausted. "I was coming to the point where . . . something bad was going to happen," says Gill. He phoned Dr. Lloyd Backus, who provides referrals through the NBA's mental health program. He described in detail what he was going through. Backus said it sounded as if he was depressed. Gill's initial reaction was disbelief, followed by denial. "I didn't want to admit I suffered from any symptoms of depression," he says. "I didn't come to grips with it for a long time." Gill saw a mental health professional referred to him by Backus. The diagnosis was clinical depression. The SuperSonics' management requested a second opinion. The second doctor concurred. Gill sat out five games. says. "That's what I'd been taught all my life."
Kit Gingrich, Newt’s mother
Johann Goethe, 1749-1832 writer, bipolar
Oliver Goldsmith, poet, bipolar
Dwight Gooden, 1964- baseball player, addiction, depression
Tipper Gore, 1948- wife of former U.S. vice-president Al Gore knows depression more intimately than most, since his wife and mother-in-law have battled with it for years. Tipper Gore's mother endured a lifelong dependency on antidepressants and was hospitalized twice. Tipper Gore herself succumbed to depression after her son nearly died in a car accident in 1989. She was diagnosed around 1991, tried various medications and sought professional guidance from a social worker friend. After her recent decision to publicize her experience with clinical depression, the Second Lady has fought to raise awareness for sufferers by coordinating the first-ever White House Conference on Mental Illness
Arshille Gorky, 1904-1948 artist, bipolar, suicide
Francisco de Goya, 1746-1828 painter, Towards the end of 1792 a traumatic change occurred in his life when he developed a mysterious illness - variously and unconvincingly interpreted as syphilis, lead poisoning from the use of white paint, and even a particularly severe nervous breakdown. At any rate, it caused him temporary paralysis and partial blindness, and left him permanently deaf. The illness had a significant effect on the development of Goya's art.
Phil Graham, 1915-1963 owner, Washington Post, Until his tragic suicide in 1963, Washington Post publisher Phil Graham struggled with manic depression. Though his depressive periods were bleak, his manic periods were remarkably productive. In one such state, Graham bought Newsweek magazine. In another, he drafted the plan for Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society" program. And in another, while visiting John F. Kennedy in the White House, he picked up the red hotline telephone to the Pentagon and exclaimed, "Scramble the planes! Scramble the planes!"
Vincent Van Gogh, artist, bipolar disorder, Starry Night, Sunflowers, the celebrated artist's bipolar disorder is discussed in The Key to Genius: Manic Depression and the Creative Life by D. Jablow Hershman and Julian Lieb and Dear Theo, The Autobiography of Van Gogh
Dorothy Hamill, 1956- American figure skating, depression, Hamill now recognizes that she, like some 20 million Americans, suffers from depression. It was a family secret that tarnished her Olympic gold. She reveals the truth behind her victory in her new book, "A Skating Life: My Story." My whole family," she said, "my father's side, there was a great deal of depression, and my mother's side as well." Hamill had a strained relationship with her mother, who she said had a lot of negative feelings. "And I think passed that on to, actually, my brother and my sister as well as me," she said. The youngest of three children, it was Hamill who had the drive and determination to become a world class figure skater. And it was her mother who woke at 4 every morning to drive her to the rink. A mother, she now realizes, whose own depression often left the little girl sad and confused. "Very complicated, yes," she said of her relationship with her mother. "I'm still searching to try and figure it out."
Alexander Hamilton, 1755-1805 Politician, manic depression
Linda Hamilton, 1956- American film actress, depression, Linda Hamilton says having children helped her take control of her bipolar depression. "I don't think that 'mentally ill' is a phrase that most people would embrace about themselves," says Linda. "I think it was when I had children that I woke up and said, 'I have to be an adult; I'm not going to scare my children.' I want to be here in every possible way for them and, for 20 years, it had all been about me. Me fighting to make myself feel better. Me fighting to manage the bad feelings. The emotions. The thoughts. The cyclical thoughts that I had. So I didn't want to be that person with my children. And I got help." After years of fighting medication, Linda says medication has helped regulate her depression for almost 10 years. "Every day's a good day," says Linda. "It's taken me a long time to get my life back. To be the person I was raised to be and the person I always was inside that couldn't find a way out." "I did not know the meaning of hope until I was 40 years old."
Richard Hammond, 1969- English television and radio presenter, depression. In September 2006 he had a serious brain injury sustained in a high-speed (288.3 mph, 464.0 km/h) crash during filming for Top Gear. At the end of January 2007, after Hammond recovered from his injuries, was back on Top Gear and showed the footage of the crash. Hammond has spoken of suffering "mortally with depression" since his near-fatal crash. "I damaged all the complicated bits of the brain to do with processing and emotional control," he was quoted as saying .He told that afterwards, he was "prey to every single emotion that swept over me and I couldn't deal with it". "I had to relearn things from scratch," he said. "I'll still have a week when I'm freaking out about something and I'll realize it's because I'm encountering a new emotional state and I have to evolve a new strategy to cope with it." He still "talks regularly with his psychiatrist".
George Frederich Handel, 1685-1759 Composer, depression. Known for his swings from depression to mania, composed his majestic Messiah oratorio in only six weeks.
Pete Harnisch, 1966- Baseball player, Despite a history of depression in his family, Harnisch said he never thought he would be found to have the problem. ''I can't say I ever really consciously thought about it,'' he said. ''Sure, I've had some rough nights sleeping in the past. I never really thought I'm a different person than normal. I never considered that.''
Scott Harrison, 1977- World champion featherweight boxer, addiction, depression. Harrison, was admitted to the Priory Hospital in Glasgow to undergo treatment for depression and alcoholism yesterday after owning up to his problems for the first time, just hours after pulling out of a scheduled defense of his World Boxing Organization featherweight title 2006. Harrison has been suffering from depression for at least 18 months and his boxing career will be over if he is unable to remain in the Priory, Scotland's only independent acute psychiatric hospital, for a complete and successful course of treatment. "Even when he comes out of the Priory, he has to continue with counseling or he will just go back to square one," said a clearly emotional Mr. Maloney at a hastily convened media conference in Glasgow yesterday. "I've told him that he can never drink again if he wants to fully recover. He has this fight on his hands for the rest of his life. If he doesn't stay in the Priory, then it may well be the end of his career."
Mariette Hartley, 1940- Actress, depression, bipolar, suicidal. Mariette was diagnosed with severe depression in 1994 while experiencing a suicidal episode. The prescribed antidepressants sent her into mania. That, she says, was when she realized that something else was going on. But even then she was first diagnosed with ADD, before finally being diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. She is quoted as saying, "Bipolar disorder is something that is mine, and it is very difficult to talk about. Breaking this silence has been really wrenching for me; I went into a kind of depression wondering if I really wanted to talk about all this. I finally decided that education is more important."
Juliana Hatfield, 1967- Musician, "It sounds kind of selfish, but I'm really writing for myself, but I hope people can relate. Not that many emotions people feel are different. I'm writing about the stuff everybody feels." "It's really hard to explain, but there's something really pure about that state of mind, when everything looks bleak. It's like a friend. Depression is like your best friend because it keeps coming back." "It's not about boys. It's not about love and relationships. It's more about the existential sadness of life and how that can be really enriching if you choose to look at it that way. It's about savoring depression because you learn so much from it."
Anne Hathaway, 1982- American actress, anxiety depression. Hathaway recently told how she suffered from anxiety and depression as a teenager. 'The Devil Wears Prada' actress was crippled by the conditions but refused to take medication and battled through her dark times with sheer will power. "I said to my mom the other day, 'Do you remember that girl? She has now gone now, gone to sleep. She has said her piece and she is gone. But then I thought, 'I so remember her but she is no longer part of me.' I just got through it.” Anne, regrets spending so much time obsessing about herself and would never allow herself to become self-obsessed again. However she does refer to herself in the third person. "I am sorry she was hurting for so long. It's all so negatively narcissistic to be so consumed with one's self."
Hampton Hawes, 1928-1977 Musician, depression
Stephen Hawking, 1942- Physicist, depression. After months of depression and listening to Wagner, Hawking noticed that his condition was deteriorating noticeably by the minute. He decided that there might be some point in finishing his PhD.
Justin Hawkins, 1975- English musician, singer-songwriter, eating disorder. Justin admitted to bingeing on food and then vomiting it up after becoming obsessed about maintaining his super-lithe figure. 'I've been silly and tried to lose weight quickly, the wrong way,' he says. 'It's hard to talk about it, but yes, I've had a kind of bulimia. Put it this way, I've tried techniques like using laxatives to shit food back out and I've been through throwing up and everything.' 'I used to do loads of exercise when we were starting out, but I stopped because of the rigours of drinking heavily and being on the road all the time. There's no room for a gym on a tour bus,' Justin explains. He believes this is what triggered his bulimia.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1804-1864 Writer, manic depression
David Helfgott, 1947- Australian concert pianist,
Lillian Hellman, 1905-1984 Writer, depression
Ernest Hemingway, 1899-1961 Writer, depression, suicidal. The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist's suicidal depression is examined in the True Gen: An Intimate Portrait of Ernest Hemingway by Those Who Knew Him by Denis Brian.
Margaux Hemingway, 1955-1996 Actress, alcoholism, bulimia, epilepsy, suicide
Audrey Hepburn, 1929-1993 Actress, anorexia, depression. Audrey Hepburn struggled with anorexia and depression - which was unknown to the public during her career. She was known to lose weight under pressure and to be "strange" about food
King Herod, Biblical figure
Kristin Hersh, 1966- Musician, bipolar. Kristin Hersh wrote The Letter about her bipolar disorder during her Throwing Muses days, then shelved it because it made her feel sick. A decade later, a friend finally persuaded her to record it. A brave decision - it's distressing to hear, let alone to sing.
Hermann Hesse, 1877-1962 Writer, nervous breakdown, The death of his father, the begining schizophrenia of his wife and illness of his youngest son lead to Hesse's nervous breakdown.
Abbie Hoffman, 1936-1989 Writer and activist, bipolar, suicide, Abbie Hoffman is the author of Steal this Book, a commercially successful guide to living outside of the established system ("It's embarrassing when you try to overthrow the government and you wind up on the Best Seller's List."). Other titles include Fuck the System, Revolution for the Hell of It, Woodstock Nation, his 1980 autobiography Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture, and his last book, published 2 years before his death, Steal This Urine Test. His life was fictionalized in the film Steal this Movie. Hoffman suffered from bipolar disorder, and was found dead on April 12th, 1989. His death was recorded as a suicide. He left a note reading "It's too late. We can't win, they've gotten too powerful."
Anthony Hopkins, 1937- Welsh actor, addiction, depression, "For a long time I suffered from depression and alcoholism, and I knew I was slowly dying," he says. "I was very difficult to work with and all my friends would ask, "Why are you doing this to yourself?' I didn't know the answer. I'd get a big moment of success and crash it. Someone would give me a part, and I'd wonder what they were after. Were they giving handouts? "I don't think I'm mad, I think that sometimes I'm manic," he says. "My wife calms me down because I want everything now. I am just amazed that I am still here and doing what I'm doing at 68. That's pretty good."
Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1844-1889 Poet, depression. Though he suffered from what today might be diagnosed as manic depression, and battled a deep sense of anguish throughout his life, upon his death bed, he evidently overcame some of his feelings of despondency, at times stygian in their intensity. His last words were "I am so happy, I am so happy."
Dennis Hopper, 1936- American actor, addiction, suicide attempt.
Edward Hopper, 1882-1967 Artist, depression
Vladimir Horowitz, 1903-1989 Ukrainian pianist,
Kate Hudson, 1979- American film actress, depression. Hudson, suffered depression after giving birth to her son RYDER in 2004, because she struggled to regain her figure. The actress' weight yo-yo'd after the birth and she has spent the last two years finding a comfortable weight. Hudson, says, "I was the happiest pregnant woman. Then I had the baby, and I was just fat."
Howard Hughes, i1905-1976 Industrialist, obsessive compulsive disorder, Howard's mental disorder had worsened into a severe form of psychosis. He was so fearful of the outside world that he committed himself to a self-imposed exile that had lasted for more than a decade. Howard was psychologically at his most vulnerable and socially dysfunctional.
Victor Hugo, 1802-1885 Author, depression
Helen Hutchison, Broadcaster, depression
Henrik Ibsen, 1828-1906 playwright, depression
Jack Irons, 1962- musician, Jack Irons was hostpitalized for clinical depression
Eugene Izzi, writer, Eugene Izzi, was a crime novelist who wrote about Chicago in all of his books. He was nominated for several awards and won acclaim before dying. On December 7th, 1996, Izzi was found hanging by a rope from an open window of a 13th-floor office on a main street of Chicago: North Michigan Avenue. Izzi was wearing a bullet-resistant vest, brass knuckles in his pocket, and a can of disabling spray.
Janet Jackson, 1966- singer, eating disorder, For years, Janet says, she fooled everybody--her fans, her friends, even herself--pretending to be this self-assured woman who'd finally taken control of her life, smiling on the outside while she was aching on the inside. "I had my ways of hiding my pain," she confides. "Laughing when there was nothing to laugh at. Smiling when there wasn't anything to smile about. That was just my way of getting through life. Pretending like every thing was okay. I guess I did it so well that I really began to believe it. I fooled myself. Using my escapisms was my thing to not feel my pain--whatever would numb the pain. Food became a favorite anesthetic. "I escaped through eating," she confesses. Until a year, maybe two, before she started recording The Velvet Rope, it hit her If she ever wanted to feel good about herself, she had to stop running away from her feelings
Henry James, 1843-1916 writer, bipolar
William James, 1842-1910 writer, depression, suicidal
Kay Redfield Jamison, 1946- psychologist, writer, Jamison, in an interview, said she was an 'exuberant' person herself, yet she longed for peace and tranquility; but in the end, she preferred "tumultuousness coupled to iron discipline" over leading a "stunningly boring life." In her autobiography, An Unquiet Mind, she concluded: "I long ago abandoned the notion of a life without storms, or a world without dry and killing seasons. Life is too complicated, too constantly changing, to be anything but what it is. And I am, by nature, too mercurial to be anything but deeply wary of the grave unnaturalness involved in any attempt to exert too much control over essentially uncontrollable forces. There will always be propelling, disturbing elements, and they will be there until, as Lowell put it, the watch is taken from the wrist. It is, at the end of the day, the individual moments of restlessness, of bleakness, of strong persuasions and maddened enthusiasms, that inform one's life, change the nature and direction of one's work, and give final meaning and color to one's loves and friendships."
Randall Jarrell, 1914-1965 poet,
Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826 former U.S. President,
Jim Jenson, 1926-1999 CBS News,
Billy Joel, 1949- American musician, composer, addiction, depression, suicide attempt, hospitalization. Joel entered a severe bout of depression, culminating with him drinking a bottle of furniture polish in an attempt to end his life. Following his failed suicide attempt, Joel checked himself into Meadowbrook Hospital, where he received psychiatric treatment for depression.
Elton John, musician, composer, addiction, depression, bulimia, The journey from star to legend wasn't an easy one. Depression, bulimia, drug and alcohol addiction, failed relationships and explosive temper tantrums have often threatened to overwhelm him but somehow he has endured
Daniel Johns, 1979- musician, anorexia nervosa, cinical depression, He's publicly spoken on numerous occasions about his health struggles, penning the track 'Ana's Song' (Open Fire) about his battle with anorexia nervosa and clinical epression.
Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784 poet, Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder
Daniel Johnston, 1961- musician, bipolar, Though his songs have been covered by the likes of Yo La Tengo, Wilco, Tom Waits, and Beck he remains a largely unknown cult figure in music. His songs can be heart-wrenchingly raw, full of yearning, pain, and confusion but whimsical and childish at the same time. His drawings are surreal and cartoonish, portraying a bizarre fantasy world.
Ashley Judd, 1968- actress, depression, isolation, After having endured a "chaotic" and "dysfunctional" childhood, Ashley Judd underwent a 47-day program at a Texas treatment center in 2006 in order to deal with the issues of her past, including depression, isolation and co-dependent relationships, she says.
Phil Judd, New Zealand singer, songwriter, bipolar, institionalized. Phil Judd is one of the few entertainers who has been open about the mental issues he has suffered from over the years. In 1976, an era when Split Enz was all about weird hairstyles & clothing, Phil shaved his head due to his suffering from trichotillomania, a condition causing many to pull out their hair as a compulsive disorder. He has been on a similar path to his hero, the late Spike Milligan, being institutionalised from time to time due to his being Bipolar. As well as suffering from hi-anxiety and shyness he has stated that this has been a major hindrance in dealing with the rigours of show business.
Franz Kafka, 1883-1924 writer, Serial heartbreak, an empty job and a dysfunctional relationship with his father are the essence of Franz Kafka's genius work and may ultimately have led to his demise. Kafka's work is inspired and defined by loneliness, frustration and oppression, anxiety, stress and depression. While his options for therapy included walks or personal retreats or possibly psychoanalysis (since he lived in the same time and place as Freud), Kafka considered writing to be his "form of prayer," doubling as therapy. In his stories, he toyed with both expressionism and surrealism, and his style was an ironic mixture of fantasy and reality. Like so many other greats, Kafka didn't live to see his celebrity. His best known works, The Trial, The Castle, and Amerika, were published posthumously, against his wishes that all manuscripts be destroyed after he perished. Kafka developed tuberculosis in 1917 and died seven years later in an Austrian sanitarium.
Karen Kain, 1951- prima ballerina, eating disorder, Karen Kain's autobiography, Movement Never Lies, describes her entire career in ballet, from her first lessons in a grotty basement to the exhausting heights of stardom to the artistry of her mature years. She was still dancing professionally when she wrote the book but her perspective in the book is distinctly mature. Her evaluation of both herself and those around her is totally honest but also fair and compassionate. She exposes the dark underbelly of ballet—issues like eating disorders, AIDS, and deplorable working conditions—with sensitivity and diplomacy.
Kerry Katona, 1980, addiction, depression. Former pop singer, presenter, Katona has bravely spoken out about coming to terms with her diagnosis of bipolar disorder – commonly known as manic depression. Katona recently revealed that she's being treated for the illness and admits that doctors say she'll suffer from it for 'the rest of my life'.
Danny Kaye, 1913-1987 entertainer, Danny Kaye suffered from manic-depressive disorder all his life. He loved to be on stage and the audience gave him the energy to perform.
John Keats, 1795-1821 poet, the renowned poet's mental illness is documented in The Dynamics of Creation by Anthony Storr and The Broken Brain: The biological Revolution in Psychiatry by Nancy Andreasen, M.D.
Margot Kidder, 1948- actress, In April of 1996, actress Margot Kidder's bipolar disorder swung entirely out of control. A manic episode during which, in her own words, she "... started speeding up, chainsmoking, drinking coffee and staying up around the clock," led to her becoming delusional. According to a Reuters story quoted in the Edmonton Journal, Kidder was missing for three days before being found by police in a state which was described as "dirty, frightened and paranoid." Since then it has become known that Margot Kidder struggled with her bipolar illness at least since a suicide attempt in her teens. Three marriages all ended in divorce. The star of the Superman is soon to publish an autobiography called Calamities. In June 2000 Kidder wrote, "My health is great, due to this natural medicine path I'm following..." She has become an advocate for natural and herbal treatments for psychiatric conditions, including orthomolecular medicine.
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1880-1938 artist, nervous breakdown, suicide
Gelsey Kirkland, 1952- dancer, Gelsey Kirkland thought that she was ugly, fat, and dumb, compared to her prettier older sister. She tried to please her alcoholic, angry father, to no avail. So she channeled her sense of inferiority and her self-loathing into ballet and trying to please ballet masters and boyfriends. Along the way she developed anorexia and cocaine addiction.
Heinrich von Kleist, 1777-1811 poet, depression
Percy Knauth, 1914-1945 journalist, Mr. Knauth -- the "k" is pronounced -- wrote "A Season in Hell" (Harper & Row, 1975), a widely praised chronicle of the seizure of panicky depression and paralyzing fear he underwent in midlife. In The New York Times Book Review, Webster Schott wrote that the author had distilled his crisis and the fight to recovery into "a beautiful book."
Joey Kramer, 1950- musician, addiction
William Kurelek, 1927-1977 artist, In 1952, suffering from depression and emotional problems he was hospitalized at Maudley Psychiatric Hopital in England. There he was treated for schizophrenia. In hospital, he practiced his art, painting the notable work, "The Maze", a dark depiction of his tortured youth. His experience in the hospital was documented in the Time-Life book The Mind, published in 1965.
Pat LaFontaine, 1965- hockey player, “As athletes, we are taught to be tough,” said former NHL all-star PatLaFontaine, who has battled depression. “You get up and shake if off. But you can’t do that with
depression. For me, the harder I tried, the worse it got”
Charles Lamb, 1775-1834 poet, Charles and his sister Mary both suffered periods of mental illness. Charles spent six weeks in a psychiatric hospital during 1795
Mary Lamb, 1764-1847 writer, Mary Lamb's lunacy allowed her to breach the social barriers experienced by 19th century women and achieve a level of individuality that would not have been available in ordinary circumstances. Mary was, in social terms, liminal. But her liminality provided her with the ability to be an individual, affording her the opportunity to develop ideas, debate philosophies, and cultivate creative talents with some of the 19th centuries most significant literary figures
Jessica Lange, 1949- actress
Peter Nolan Lawrence, English writer, bipolar, Peter author of Impressive Depressives: 75 Historical Cases of Manic Depression from Seven Countries Born of a Manic mother, and of mixed blood, Peter studied art though gained no O-Levels, A-Levels or Degree (apart from a Tiny Tots Order of Merit in 1938). Despite this, his career as a Scientific Officer at the British Museum (Natural History) gained him Worldwide recognition for his work on Collembola and his efforts to have their class changed to Crustacea. (40 research papers published). The other half of Peter's brain operated in art exhibitions, some stage appearance, and the study of Picture Postcards in which he amassed a collection of nearly a quarter of a million and became President of the Great Britain Postcard Club. Peter believes that his aborrance is lateral thinking resulting from his Manic Depression.
Edward Lear, 1812-1888 artist, illustrator, writer, depression, When Lear was about seven, possibly due to the constant instability of his childhood, he began to show signs of depression. He suffered from periods of severe depression which he referred to as "the Morbids."
Frances Lear, 1923- publisher, manic depression, addiction, suicide attempts, Francis Lear developed a reputation for being unpredictable and hot-tempered. She held a series of intimate lunches in her apartment during which she sought, and then usually ignored, advice for her fledgling publication. She also frequently brought up more of her personal history than most of her guests were prepared for, revealing that she had a Dickensian childhood, that doctors had determined that she was manic-depressive and had prescribed lithium for her condition, that she was an alcoholic and that she had made several suicide attempts over the years.
Heath Ledger, 1979-2008 actor, insomnia, depression, addiction,
Robert E Lee, 1807-1870 former U.S. general, depression, From the testimony of the able physicians who watched the great soldier, day and night, throughout his illness, and are thus best competent to speak upon the subject, there seems no doubt that General Lee's condition was the result of mental depression produced by the sufferings of the Southern people. Every mail, it is said, had brought him the most piteous appeals for assistance, from old soldiers whose families were in want of bread; and the woes of these poor people had a prostrating effect upon him. A year or two before, his health had been seriously impaired by this brooding depression, and he had visited North Carolina, the White Sulphur Springs, and other places, to divert his mind. In this he failed. The shadow went with him, and the result was, at last, the alarming attack from which he never rallied. During the two weeks of his illness he scarcely spoke, and evidently regarded his condition as hopeless.
Vivian Leigh, 1913-1967 actress, the Gone with the Wind star suffered from mental illness, as documented in Vivien Leigh: A Biography by Ann Edwards. She struggled with alcoholism and mental illness most of her life, was a heavy smoker, and died of tuberculosis at the young age of 53.
John Lennon, 1940-1980 musician, It became apparent that Lennon was miserable without Ono. He begged her -- often calling many times a day -- to take him back, but she said he wasn't ready. Lennon fell apart. He behaved horribly in public, and he smashed up a friend's house where he was staying. Nilsson later recalled Lennon crying while drunk at night, wondering what he had done wrong. Lennon's depression and bravado ran alongside each other in his 1974 Walls and Bridges. The work was essentially an open plea to Ono -- indeed, parts of it, such as "Nobody Loves You (When You're Down and Out)" and "Bless You," were heartbreaking. Interestingly, the album yielded Lennon his first Number One single as a solo artist, the spry "Whatever Gets You Through the Night," which he recorded with Elton John. On Thanksgiving night that year, Lennon appeared at Elton's Madison Square Garden concert in New York, one of his rare appearances before a large audience, and it was a triumph. Ono attended the concert, and within a few weeks she allowed him to return to the Dakota.
Rika Lesser, 1953- writer, translator, depression, hospitalization, suicide attempts, Lesser leads her readers on an exploration of mental illness that is less a descent into madness than a journey towards emotional health. Detailing her experience with depression?suicide attempts, hospitalizations and the often devastating effects of medication?LesserLesser will inevitably be compared. Instead, Lesser rejects ornament and artifice, the "merely beautiful" and "well-made" verses that now leave her cold, in favor of straightforward, often journal-like, narratives that "praise simple/ actions, human/ and possible." Lesser plumbs language (etymologies, sounds, the work of literary predecessors) for its regenerative powers as she faces her own illness and the deaths of friends from AIDS and cancer: "... if there have been no words, no tropes for/ such occasions before, I must find them now."
Primo Levi, 1919-1987 chemist, writer, Apparently Levi was prone to recurrent depression regardless of depressing events. At least two previous episodes were unaccompanied by any obvious trigger. Referring to one of these episodes he wrote in a letter that, after lasting two months, his depression suddenly disappeared in a matter of hours, suggesting that these episodes followed their own course. Shortly before his death, Levi denied any link between his mental state and the camp. He told Bianca Guidetti Serra, a close friend, that his depression was unrelated to Auschwitz. And he told Mendel that "he was no longer haunted by the camp and no longer dreamed about it."
Allie Light, director, "I was always so afraid that someone would ask me (where I was when JFK was shot), and I would have to say I was in a mental institution", says director Allie Light. This moving and informative film features seven women--including the filmmaker--describing their experiences with manic depression, multiple personalities, schizophrenia, euphoria and recovery. Candid interviews are enriched with dramatic reenactments and visualizations of each woman's history, emotions, and dreams--the private symbols of madness and sanity. The social dimensions of women and mental illness are revealed in testimony about sexual assault, incest, racism and homophobia, the abuses of the medical establishment, family, and church. Acknowledging that "madness" is often a way of explaining women's self-expression, this film charges us to listen to the creativity and courage of survivors. Produced by the Academy Award winning filmmakers of DIALOGUES WITH MADWOMEN is a ground-breaking film about women and mental illness.
Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865 former US President, the revered sixteenth President of the United States suffered from severe and incapacitating depressions that occasionally led to thoughts of suicide, as documented in numerous biographies by Carl Sandburg. Honest Abe kept some things in the closet. He not only suffered from depression his entire life, but also had frequent anxiety attacks with burning eyes, headaches, indigestion and nausea. He was plagued by nightmares, visions and premonitions of his own death. While some historians attribute Lincoln's illness to the death of his mother when he was 10, others say his "melancholy" came from a swift kick in the head by a horse when he was a boy. Lincoln fell into "the shadow of madness," as he called it, in 1835 after the death of first love Ann Rutledge. After he broke off his engagement to Mary Todd in 1841, Lincoln's friends watched him around the clock, fearing he'd commit suicide. He was unable to work, and rumors of his insanity began to spread. During the early 19th century, there was little available to assist people through their depression. The prevailing therapy of the time was the Christian oriented moral treatment, based on exhortation, kindness and support. A decade later, Lincoln was able to channel his depression by obsessing over his legal and political career. He had a few more lapses during the Civil War, especially after Bull Run and toward the end of combat, but nonetheless was able to emerge as one of the greatest American presidents
Vachel Lindsey, 1879-1931 American poet, Lindsay became severely depressed as both his creativity and his popularity waned; he committed suicide in 1931 by drinking poison.
Karl Paul Link, 1901-1978 chemist, depression
Heather Locklear, 1961- American actress, depression, anxiety, suicidal. Locklear has checked herself into a psychological facility in Arizona Locklear is receiving psychological treatment for anxiety and depression. The TV blonde checked herself into a facility in Arizona in 2008, her representatives confirmed. It comes after Locklear's doctor called emergency services in March claiming he feared she was suicidal. A spokeswoman for the 46-year- old told People magazine: "Heather has been dealing with anxiety and depression. "She requested an in-depth evaluation of her medication and entered into a medical facility for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Ross Lockridge Jr, 1914-1948 writer, suicide What Ross Lockridge most desired was to write the great American novel, and in his mammoth "Raintree County," he appeared to have succeeded, if greatness could ever be measured by sales volume, book-club adoption and a huge deal with MGM for the novel's movie rights. Of course Ross Lockridge himself didn't believe in such standards, which was part of his problem. Whatever the rest of his problem was, it caused the writer on March 6, 1948 -- a week after he learned that his book had reached No. 1 on The New York Herald Tribune's fiction best-seller list -- to retreat to the garage of his house in Bloomington, Ind., run a hose from his car's exhaust pipe through its back window, start up the engine and asphyxiate himself. He was 33.
Joshua Logan, 1908-1988 producer, manic depression, Mr. Logan was notable for his candor in discussing manic depression, the mental illness in which manic elation alternates with profound depression. He had the condition for many years before it was discovered that it could be controlled by the drug lithium carbonate. It had been rumored for years that Mr. Logan's ups and downs of mood were occasionally excessive, and that he required hospitalization for extended periods, which in fact he did on two occasions. After January 1969, when he learned of lithium and began taking it as a preventive, Mr. Logan decided, he wrote in ''Movie Stars, Real People, and Me,'' that he would talk about it. Telling What He Knew ''I had been ignorant all my life about such things,'' he said, ''at least I could tell others so they would never be as ignorant as I was. ''He took part in medical seminars, appeared on television and talked and wrote about his illness. But he also made it clear that he felt its manic phase contributed to his creativity: ''Without my illness, active or dormant, I'm sure I would have lived only half of the life I've lived and that would be as unexciting as a safe and sane Fourth of July. I would have missed the sharpest, the rarest and, yes, the sweetest moments of my existence.''
Jack London, 1876-1916 writer, addiction, depression, suicide, The over all pattern of London's life was tragic--youthful poverty, two unsuccessful marriages, disillusionment, in time, with the Socialist party, and finally despair and (almost certainly) suicide.
Rick London, Rick worked in major media for nearly two decades. Health problems forced early retirement. Too anxious to sit still, London returned full-time to college at age 48. He is not only a student but e-entrepreneur, inventor, cartoonist, writer, and animal-lover. He lives a quiet life with his stray dog "Thor" in the Ouchata Mountains of Arkansas. "It was not until late in life, when I discovered a stray dog named "Thor" that I learned about alternative therapy. I had often heard that owning an animal can relieve depression and even lower blood pressure, but the dramatic changes were yet to be seen for the first few months of owning Thor. I noticed I wanted to get out more and walk him, as he loved that activity. This in itself lifted my depression. A long walk can, in fact, increase endorphins in the system."
Greg Louganis, 1960- US diver and Olympic gold medallist, the most successful diver in history, has recently gone public with the news that his mental health took its own plunge years ago. Louganis, the winner of five Olympic medals, first experienced depression at age 12 when a doctor told him that because of knee damage, he would have to give up gymnastics and his dream of competing in the Olympics. Louganis attempted suicide by downing aspirin and Ex-Lax, trying again twice before the age of 18. While counseling sessions accomplished little, Louganis found that diving--a sport less grueling for the knees--was a satisfying way to express his physical talents. By 1971 he had qualified for the Junior Olympics. Five years later, at the age of 16, Louganis won a silver medal at the Montreal Olympics in the 10-meter platform diving competition. He went on to win gold medals in the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games. But Louganis felt acute insecurities and inner conflicts about being gay. In a crushing blow, he found out in 1987 that he was HIV-positive. For years, Louganis did not share the news of his illness for fear that it would cost him his diving career. He relied on the income from endorsements and appearances to pay his enormous medical expenses rather than submit the bills to his insurance company. Louganis has since gone public with his illness, touring the country to give speeches about his life experiences and act as a positive role model
Courtney Love, 1964- musician,
James Russell Lowell, 1819-1891 poet, depression
Robert Lowell, 1817-1877 poet, Lowell described mania as a funny creeping feeling coming from the spine up. Lowell was diagnosed with manic depression (now bipolar disorder) after his father died. Prior to his diagnosis, fellow faculty members found Lowell's excitable talk flattering and brilliant and found no reason to think of him as being ill. He described mania as being an illness for one's friends, whereas depression was an illness for oneself. In 1954, after the death of his mother, he spent time in a Massachusetts mental hospital. There his psychiatrists encouraged him to write about his childhood.
He described mania as being an illness for one's friends, whereas depression was an illness for oneself. In 1954, after the death of his mother, he spent time in a Massachusetts mental hospital. There his psychiatrists encouraged him to write about his childhood. writer
Malcolm Lowry, 1909-1957 poet, bipolar, addiction, suicide, Lowry's alcoholism and mental disorders shadowed much of his writing career and starting a new novel was for him very difficult. The last ten years of his life he spent in and out of hospitals. Accidents followed him everywhere, broken bones, dog bites, blood poisoning. Lowry died of an overdose of sleeping tablets in a boarding house in Ripe, Sussex, England, on June 27, 1957. He was buried in the graveyard of the village church. A number of Lowry's works has been published posthumously. In the unfinished novel DARK AS THE GRAVE WHEREIN MY FRIEND IS LAID (1968) the protagonist, Sigbjørn Wilderness, is Lowry's alter ego-a writer unable to write, but whose voyage of self-destruction ends against all odds with a possible happy ending. The collected edition of Lowry's poetry was published in 1992. His poems were highly autobiographical and record his personal problems, probing such themes as desperation and guilt.
J Anthony Lukas, 1933-1997 writer, depression, suicide, Lucas, two-time winner of Pulitzers, spent the last seven years of his life researching and writing his 754-page opus "Big Trouble," which will remain without question the seminal study of one of America's most facinating trials. On the morning of June 5, 1997, Lukas met with his editor to discuss final revisions to Big Trouble. He returned in the afternoon to his Upper West Side apartment and hanged himself with a bathrobe sash. He was 64 when he died. Lukas, who had been diagnosed with depression ten years earlier, wrote a 1987 book "Silent Grief: Living in the Wake of Suicide," inspired by his own pain of living with the suicide of his mother, who had slashed her throat at age 33.
Salvador Luria, 1912-1991 scientist of bacterial genetics, Nobel Laureate, depression
Martin Luther, 1483-1546 Protestant leader,There is a substantial body of literature now extant which points to the unavoidable conclusion that Martin Luther suffered from serious mental illness and that his mental illness was directly related to the theological opinions he espoused when he broke from the Church in the 16th century. The common excuse offered by dissident theologians that he was a crude peasant ignores the fact that Luther was hypercritical of his opponents to the point of inventing faults they didn't have while being himself morally suspect. Erasmus, for instance, had many faults, but Luther's attacks on him in "The Bondage of the Will" were exercises in slander fueled by his own battle with manic-depression and psychotic tendencies during his periods of mania. His mental illness contributed directly to this rebelliousness and his religious errors. And even as modern dissidents claim he can somehow be rehabilitated as a Catholic, his excommunication was based on sound reason and is witness against this man's apostasy and its bitter fruit—Arthur Sippo, MD, MPH.
Gustav Mahler, 1860-1911 composer, Kay Jamison in "Touched with Fire" describes Mahler as cyclothymic, with a strong family history of mental illness - a brother who committed suicide, a sister with death hallucinations, and another brother with grandiose tendencies. He was treated by none other than Freud. A stormy marriage to a woman 19 years younger, the death of his daughter, a tumultuous tenure as artistic director of the Vienna Opera, living life as three times homeless, and a bad heart that kept him in death’s shadow ensured that he would feel far deeper and wider than his contemporaries. But it is in his music that we find his bipolar smoking gun. Yes, others may have written sadder or more exalted compositions, but no one leads us down the strange and disturbing and contradictory byways of the human psyche as does Mahler. Even as he boasts we shall live forever in one symphony he sounds his own death knell in another. It was not the kind of stuff for simpler minds in a simpler time.
Elizabeth Manley, 1965- Canadian figureskater, When she was 16, Manley relocated from her Ottawa home to Lake Placid, N.Y., for more intensive training. The move resulted in some of the rockiest years of her life During the 1982-83 season, she suffered from depression, and then developed alopecia, a condition induced by stress which results in hair loss and weight gain. Manley even dropped out of the sport completely for a brief time.
Camryn Mannheim, 1961- actress, addiction, "I was doing speed in the morning to get through the day and Valium at night to get to sleep. Speed in the morning to get through the day and Valium at night to get to sleep. Speed in the morning. Valium at night. Speed in the morning. Valium at night. Speed. Valium. Speed. Valium. Speed. Valium. (Pant, pant) Speed and Valium . . . it’s got a certain rhythm, but you can’t dance to it. Life was going by at a hundred miles a minute. I wasn’t eating a thing and I was exercising more than ever. I was playing tennis, racquetball, swimming. I was really improving my cardiovascular system and destroying it at the very same time. By the end of the summer, I had lost about thirty-five pounds, and when I returned to NYU I was celebrated by my peers. My teachers took a brand-new interest in me and I felt like a star. I was afraid if I stopped taking the speed I would gain all thirty-five pounds back, so I decided to keep taking it during my last year at NYU. I was a wreck but a trimmed-down wreck, and that kept NYU happy. By spring I was the thinnest I had ever been in my adult life, about eighty pounds less than I am now. I don’t think anyone ever noticed that I was on speed, but then, ya know, I could have been in denial."
Martha Manning, psychologist, writer Manning is a clinical psychologist who writes poignantly about her own experience of severe depression, suicidal thinking and electroconvulsive treatment (ECT).
Imelda Marcos, 1929- Philippine dictator’s wife, addiction, Grown in poverty and forced to being down at the heel /which was among the famous explanations of her later addiction to shoes/, Imelda Marcos compensates the early ears of destitute with unprecedented improvidence. Her private plane is furnished with golden taps, the minimal rate of the flowers that decorate her hotel apartments around the world on duty, is $1000 and her caprices are never-ending. She goes so far as to deport “The Beatles” who were on a visit for a concert only because they refused to play at her residence – “in ear”.
Duke of Marlborough, 1650-1772 soldier, depression
Jay Marvin, radio personality, writer, Marvin has bipolar disorder and has openly spoken about his condition. He has devoted much air time to the discussion of mental health issues.
Vladimir Mayakovsky, 1893-1930 poet, bipolar
Gary McDonald, 1948- Australian actor, anxiety disorder
Kevin McDonald, 1961- Canadian comedian, actor, depression, Kevin McDonald was born on May 16th, 1961. None would suspect that the athsmatic, overweight tv addict would grow up to star in, create, and write for one of the most popular Canadian comedies. With such famous and neurotic characters such as Dean, the king of empty promises, and Sir Simon Milligan its hard to think of Kevin as anything but a really funny guy. Kevin, the soft-spoken guy, hidden under silly bundles of brown hair, admits that while growing up all he could really do was be funny. He couldn't live up to his fathers dreams of him being a lawyer so he stopped doing his homework and worked on his jokes for the next day. He was kicked out of a college art program for only being able to do comedy and for being too clumsy to do anything behind the scenes. One of the teachers who liked him introduced him to Dave Foley, there by beginning a strong friendship that lasts to this day. In 1982 Kevin, Dave and Luciano Casimiri formed The Kids In The Hall. Around that time Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney, Norm Hiscock, Gary Campbell, and Frank Van Keeken were performing in a group they called The Audience. The two groups merged and started doing acts together. With the absence of Gary Campbell and Frank Van Keeken, Mark McKinney invited Scott Thomopson to join Kevin, Bruce, Dave, and himself to create The Kids In The Hall. In 1988 the kids get their own HBO special and the tv show started the next year. Kevin McDonald was married to Tiffany Lacy in 1993. They were divorced in 1995 as The Kids were shooting their movie: Brain Candy. Kevin played the main character, Chris Cooper in the film about a drug that cures depression. Kids In The Hall ended in 1994, just before they started work on Brain candy. Since Brain candy's release in 1996, Kevin has been in other films such as National Lampoons Senior Trip, The Wrong Guy, and Dinner at Fred's. he has also had guest appearances on tv shows such as Seinfeld, Newsradio, Friends, Mad TV, and Ellen. Keep watching out for Kevin, he keeps popping up in different places.
Robert McFarlane, 1937- former United States National Security Adviser, depression, Hospitalized, Suicide Attempt
Rod McKuen, 1933- writer, poet, producer, McKuen retired from live performance in 1981, and a year later he was diagnosed with clinical depression, which he battled for much of the next decade. He continued to write poetry, however, and made appearances as a voice-over actor in The Little Mermaid and the TV series The Critic.
Sarah McLachlan, 1968- singer, Lilith Fair creator, Known for giving fans a window into her occasionally tortured soul, McLachlan says of her early work, "It was almost as if I needed to be depressed to be creative."
Kristy McNichol, 1962- actress, Mcnichols also came face to face with her struggle and also admitted openly that she had sought treatment. Many will remember that she acted on Family and on Empty Nest. In 1983, she was diagnosed with bi polar disorder. During the last of the filming of Empty Nest, she again had problems coping with her bipolar disorder.
Peter McWilliams, 1949-2000 writer,
Herman Melville, 1819-1891 writer, depression
Burgess Meredith, 1907-1997 actor, bipolar, "All my life, to this day, the memory of my childhood remains grim and incoherent. If I close my eyes and think back, I see little except violence and fear... In those early years I somehow came to understand I would have to draw from within myself whatever emotional resources I needed to go wherever I was headed. As a result, for years I became a boy who lived almost totally within himself" In his 1994 autobiography, "So Far So Good " Meredith revealed that he suffered from cyclothymia, a form of bipolar disorder.
Robert Merrill, 1917-2004 musician, lyricist,
Paul Merton, 1957- British comedian, breakdown, 'I was starting to frighten people and they were starting to frighten me,' he smiles wryly. His stay at the Maudsley wasn't entirely without laughs. A psychiatrist felt he had to humour him when he said he appeared on the television ('Like I'd said I'd gone to Jupiter to buy a jumper') and Merton had to show him a tape to prove it. Since then, he's done a bit here and there for mental health charities.
Conrad Meyer, 1825-1898 writer, poet, obsessive compulsive disorder, Even in the child two traits were observed that later characterized the man and the poet: he had a most scrupulous regard for neatness and cleanliness, and he lived and experienced more deeply in memory than in the immediate present. He suffered from bouts of mental illness, sometimes requiring hospitalization; his mother, similarly but more severely afflicted, took her own life
Michelangelo,1475-1564 Italian artist, renaissance painter of the Sistine Chapel ceiling and sculptor of David, the mental illness of one of the world's greatest artistic geniuses is discussed in The Dynamics of Creation by Anthony Storr
Dimitri Mihalas, scientist bipolar, Though he suffers from the bipolar illness (manic depression), he feels that he has actually "gained" from it instead of "losing" to it. He has also been, in my opinion, a pioneer in attempts to increase public awareness of (and therefore decreasing the stigma associated with) the bipolar illness by the act of being completely open about it.
John Stuart Mill, 1806-1873 writer, bipolar
Edna St Vincent Millay, 1892-1950 poet, depression
Kate Millet, 1934- writer and feminist, The Loony-Bin Trip is the powerful, staggeringly personal story of Kate's manic depression. Compulsively readable, Millett's journey into "that other region" traverses a fearful terrain of self-doubt, futility, and alienation. Beginning with the summer at her farm in Poughkeepsie, New York, when she decides to prove her sanity by going off the lithium prescribed to combat depression, Millett courses through a season of doubt about her own sanity and the loyalty of the people around her. Tormented by the fear that her own mind is "too dangerous" to be left to its own devices, haunted by recollections of two brief, involuntary commitments to mental hospitals--the first by a doctor who mockingly commented, "Yourbonly mistake was in trusting the people who brought you here"--she becomes increasingly terrified of being "captured" again. Millett's nightmares come true when she is forcibly confined to a mental hospital while traveling in Ireland. "I am telling you what happened to me," Kate Millett says, "in the hope that it may help all those who have been or are about to be in the same boat." Her story illuminates not only the personal but also the social conditions--the "general superstition"--of mental illness. A new preface comments on recent movements for patients' rights and notes touchstone books that have begun to tread the still-taboo ground of psychiatric confinement.
Spike Milligan, 1918-2002 humourist, manic depression, "Depression and How to Survive it" Milligan reveals the dark side of his life in this book which is co-written with his psychiatrist Anthony Clare. He recalls the traumas of his childhood, his highly-strung mother, his largely absent father, the cruelties of a colonial upbringing and of sadism towards animals, the break-up of his first marriage, the mortar bomb which blew him up in Italy and the overwork which gave him a mental breakdown during the "Goon Show". This book charts the development of this depression and his strategies for dealing with it were improvised, as both when he would get drunk with Peter Sellers, and clinically in his discussions with Clare. Spike Milligan's previous books include "Silly Verse for Kids" and "Where have all the Bullets Gone?". Anthony Clare is the author of "Psychiatry and General Practice" and presents the BBC Radio series, "In the Psychiatrist's Chair".
John Milton, 1608-1674 poet, manic depression
Charles Mingus, 1922-1979 composer, depression, Mingus consistently struggled with his raging emotions. Delving in and out of rages and depression, Mingus could be as gentle as a child or as volatile as a bottle of nitroglycerin.
Carmen Miranda, 1909-1955 actress, singer, We also know that in despair over Carmen, composer Assis Valente, one of the most popular songwriters of the 1930s and 1940s, committed suicide by drinking Guaraná soft drink and insecticide. A singer who worked with her at the Copacabana Palace related that Carmen cried all the time. In her last days she was receiving electrical shocks to treat her depression.
Claude Monet, 1840-1926 artist, suicide attempt
Thelonious Monk, 1917-1982 musician, He played with the Giants of Jazz during 1971-1972, but then in 1973 suddenly retired. Monk was suffering from mental illness and, other than a few special appearances during the mid-'70s, he lived the rest of his life in seclusion.
Marilyn Monroe, 1926-1962 actress, Marilyn Monroe, the icon, actress, birthday serenader, model and immortal vixen, couldn't beat chronic depression--and ultimately paid for it with her life. At the end of her short, wild career, Monroe was under the constant care of a psychiatrist, and was prone to mixing prescription drugs with alcohol. While she received acclaim for her work in Some Like It Hot (1959), she became increasingly unreliable, was fired from the last film she worked on and was briefly hospitalized in a mental clinic. Three years later, at the age of 36, she was found dead, apparently having overdosed on barbiturates
Mavor Moore, 1919-2006 producer, depression
JP Morgan, i837-1913 industrialist, depression
Alanis Morissette, 1974- canadian singer, while on tour to promote her platinum album, Jagged Little Pill, Morissette began to feel helpless. "Schedule-wise, my health and peace of mind weren't a priority," she told reporters. "There had been this dissonance in the midst of all the external success. Because on the one hand, I was expected to be overjoyed by it, and at the same time I was disillusioned by it." To combat her depression, Morissette traveled to India and Cuba, read, competed in triathlons and reconnected with friendships that she had let lapse. Feeling better within a year, she went on to produce a second hit album
S P Morrissey, 1959- musician, depression, Morrissey revealed: "I find it shocking to look back at the period of The Smiths and to reflect upon the magnitude of doom that surrounded me every single day. I have no idea how I made it through my 20s. "It was impossible for me to agree to any aspect of life or to compromise with it. I think I doomed myself. The terms of my connections with other people were dreadful, and I couldn't ever manage to feel responsible for my own life. He added on the demise of The Smiths: "I was forced to go solo, and I found myself going further with all my experiences of life, it helped me."
Alison Moyet, 1961- English singer-songwriter, depression, agoraphobia. Crippling agoraphobia left Alison a prisoner in her own home. Moyet, believes the debilitating condition was a result of overnight success with 80's pop group Yazoo. She says, "I never went out. For months and months I wouldn't even go into the garden. There were kids outside my door and I even hid in cupboards because there were people pressing their faces to my window."
John Mulheren, 1949-2003 american financier, bipolar
Edvard Munch, 1863-1944 artist, The Scream, Hospitalized, His father's mental illness profoundly affected Munch and the deeply personal statements of his paintings echoed his troubled life: "Sickness, insanity and death were the angels that surrounded my cradle and they have followed me throughout my life."
Robert Munsch, 1945- One of Canada's best-loved children's authors says his stories - from princesses battling dragons to mischievous boys making play-dough cookies - actually stem from his battle with depression. "I didn't expect any of this," says Robert Munsch. "I think I fell into storytelling as a way to get away." Munsch, 60, has manic-depression, characterized by extreme mood swings and irritability, countered by periodic, classic depressive symptoms. Recently, Munsch learned he was listed in a college psychology textbook as a well-known Canadian author suffering from depression. "People with manic-depression get into strange things, like action sports and drinking. I got into storytelling, which is less dangerous. I just seem to have a manic compulsion to write stories."
Les Murray, 1938- australian poet, aspergers syndrome, clinical depression, "I would wake up and it was as if my head was full of black spinach."
Modest Mussorgsky, 1839-1881 Russian composer,addiction, depression, Though he was plagued by alcoholism and mental illness for most his life and his initial efforts were met with cynicism from his contemporaries, his works, including A Night on Bald Mountain and his opera Boris Godunov, were enthusiastically received by the public.
Benito Mussolini, 1883-1945 Italian dictator, manic depression
Ilie Natase, tennis player, politician, depression
Nebuchadnezzar, Biblical figure
Sir Isaac Newton, 1642-1727 physicist, Isaac Newton had some choices for treatment: bloodletting, purging, potions of mixed sedatives, prayer, a walk in the woods or a good book. These were your options if you suffered from mild schizophrenia or manic depression as Newton did in the late 1600s. Nobody knew exactly what was wrong with him and most simply labeled him "mad." But Newton's insanity seems to have inspired his discovery of calculus, the laws of mechanics and gravity. In fact, during a manic period in his early 20s, Newton worked night and day--often forgetting to sleep, eat and bathe--and made most of his important discoveries. But the insomnia and anorexia, on the other hand, often induced periods of depression. Newton suffered memory loss, confusion and paranoia. As a child, he raged against his mother; he was a hypochondriac; he didn't fit in with his classmates; and he was oblivious to his schoolwork. Newton thought he had a personal relationship with God, was obsessed with sin and preoccupied with death
Florence Nightingale, 1820-1910 British nurse When in Rome in 1847, recovering from a mental breakdown precipitated by a continuing crisis of her relationship with Milnes, Nightingale met Sidney Herbert, a brilliant politician who had been Secretary at War
Vaslav Nijinksy, 1889-1950 ballet dancer, From 1919 onwards, Nijinsky became increasingly mentally ill and was forced to retire. His wife took him to Switzerland where he was in and out of psychiatric hospitals for the remainder of his life. Nijinsky wrote about his inner conflicts and obsessions in four notebooks, which were published in heavily edited versions during the years after he dropped out of public life.
Richard Nixon, 1913-1994 former U.S. president, addiction, "The extensiveness of Richard Nixon's alcohol abuse was pretty remarkable and alarming, given the authority he had," Swartz said.
Sinead O’Connor, musician, On aOctober 4, 2007 on The Oprah Winfrey Show, O'Connor disclosed that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder four years earlier, and had attempted suicide on her 33rd birthday.
Georgia O’Keeffe, 1887-1986 painter, Georgia O'Keeffe was so deathly afraid of being unoriginal that she destroyed all of her paintings shortly before her 30th birthday. O'Keeffe's self-confidence was crushed in the late 1920s when her husband had an affair with a woman 40 years his junior. O'Keeffe was briefly hospitalized for depression, but emerged feeling reborn. She wrote to her husband: "I am not sick anymore. Everything in me begins to move." Shortly after this episode, she found inspiration in the Southwest, and subsequently created many of her haunting landscapes
Eugene O’Neill, 1888-1953 playwright, the famous playwright, author of Long Day's Journey Into Night and Ah, Wilderness!, suffered from clinical depression, as documented in Eugene O'Neill by Olivia E. Coolidge
John Ogden, 1937-1989 pianist, composer, In 1973, Ogdon suffered a breakdown which, given the pace of his career, might not have been unexpected, but a more serious cause was at the heart of it. Like his father before him, Ogdon was diagnosed with schizophrenia and hospitalised for several years at the Maudley Hospital in London, where he was nevertheless reported to maintain a practice schedule of three hours a day on the hospital's Steinway. In general he needed more nursing than it was possible to provide while touring. In 1980, he made a comeback in the concert hall, but critics found that his technique had suffered from the years of institutionalisation and the medication he took to maintain his inner balance.
Laurence Olivier, 1907-1989 actor,
Ann Margaret Olsson, Swedish born-American actress, In her autobiography Sugar and Spice her personal recollections reveal the low points of her life, including her near-fatal accident and the alcoholism and severe depression that followed.
Margo Orum, writer, Fairytales in Reality: My Victory over Manic Depression. Published in 1996 by Macmillan. Written in 1993, this book tells my early history with the illness (now called bipolar disorder) - how I struggled with and came to learn from it, eventually finding ways to successfully manage it.
Jack Osborne, 1985- addiction, depression, TV personality, Jack got addicted to a nasty cocktail of pain pills including OxyContin, and in that respect, he is like many kids his age: OxyContin continues to spread as a party drug in rural, suburban and urban areas. But unlike many 17-year-olds, Jack also had the guts to go to his parents with his problem, knowing full well that a trip to rehab would be a full-on media event. Whatever you make of Jack Osbourne, he is a young man who deserves immense credit not only for tackling his addiction in public but also for being so forthright and honest about what drove him to abuse drugs in the first place.
Kelly Osborne, 1984- addiction, depression, singer, Kelly is still shocked that her drug and alcohol problems got to the level they did. Kelly turned to drink and painkillers after becoming an overnight celebrity on The Osbournes and becoming depressed. Kelly revealed recently: “I’d take so much Valium and Vicodin that I couldn’t actually hear anyone, I liked it because the world would just shut up.” “Sometimes I wouldn’t even get out of bed if I didn’t have to, or I’d nod off at the table in some fancy restaurant like the Ivy because I was out of it.” “Thinking about it all now makes me want to throw up - it’s hard to believe I was ever that bad.”
Ozzie Osborne, 1948- rock star, addiction, bipolar, After getting a divorce from his first wife Thelma and a diagnosis of bipolar disorder further increased the singer's problems ultimately, made him suffer from a deep depression. Osbourne became a loner and preferred spending weeks alone locked in his hotel room
Sharon Osborne, 1952- rock manager, eating disorder, Sharon has revealed that she suffers from an eating disorder. The reality TV mum, who is married to rock legend Ozzy, says she has bulimia . The 52-year-old star admitted she needed professional help to overcome the disease she has battled all of her adult life. She also says it’s what causes most arguments in the family.
Donny Osmond, 1957- musician, anxiety disorder,
Marie Osmond, 1959- musician, Marie Osmond suffered postpartum depression following the birth of her youngest son in 1999. She chronicled her battle in the 2001 memoir, Behind the Smile: My Journey Out of Postpartum Depression.
Wilfred Owen, 1893-1918 poet, soldier, “Wilfred Owen and the Horrors of War,” convincingly limn the thrust of a huge physical trauma, the barbarism of trench warfare, upon an evolving poetic gift. A victim of shell shock, today’s post-traumatic stress disorder, which Orr diagnoses in terms of the three symptoms established by psychologist Judith Herman—hyperarousal, intrusion, and constriction—Owen underwent a personal transformation that advanced his poetry dramatically from flag-waving rhetoric to sardonic protest intensity: “My subject is War, and the pity of War. The poetry is in the pity.”
Nicola Pagett, 1945- actress, manic depression, Nicola was acting in a Joe Orton play when manic depression took over and she had a breakdown. In this book "Diamonds Behind My Eyes" she spares herself nothing in her determination to explain, openly and in a manner that mirrors her condition, what happened to her and how she was cured.
Susan Panico, business executive, and Director of the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association,
Charlie "Bird" Parker Jr, 1920-1955 jazz saxophonist, composer, addiction, depression, suicidal, Parker?s body was suffering both physically and mentally by the age of 30. Paired with his alcoholism, drug use, and overeating, Parker developed severe depression due to his daughter?s death. He became so helpless he even twice attempted suicide in 1954. He soon realized he needed professional help and admitted himself into Bellevue Hospital in New York. On March 5, 1955 Parker performed his last public engagement at ?Birdland?, a nightclub in New York named for him. The performance proved to be devastating as Parker publicly fought with Bud Powell. Exactly one week later on March 12, 1955 Parker died at a friend?s apartment. Because of Parker?s persistent drug and alcohol and abuse, his body was in the shape of what the doctor believed to be the body of a fifty-three year old. However, Charlie Parker was only thirty-four at the time of his death.
Dorothy Parker, writer, poet, wit, addiction, depression, suicide attempts, Despite her success, her life was scarred by failed love affairs, alcoholism, and depression, products of the not entirely realized freedom she so craved; after all the advances made for women, they were still the victims of an oppressive male regime. She attempted suicide twice during the decade, once in 1923, following an abortion, and again in 1925, and twice more during her lifetime. However, even her own personal demons could not keep her wit or intellect at bay: "Through her worst years, Parker maintained a tough-talking, hard-drinking public exterior, scoffing at her own misery with blasé humor"
Dolly Parton, 1946- singer, depression, suicidal, Country legend DOLLY PARTON pulled herself back from the brink of suicide in the '80s, by refusing to let herself wallow in pity anymore.She suffered from depression so badly that at one point she could see no other way out - until she decided to get on with her life without any professional help. She says, "There was a time when I was going through the whole female thing with my hormones and I gained weight and that was a very down time for me. It lasted for about 18 months. "I am a spiritual person so I prayed, but I also have good family and friends so I leaned on them a lot. I never went to a psychiatrist. "One day I found the answer and told myself, 'Just get off your fat a*s and get back in line or get on with it and blow your head off".
Boris Pasternak, 1890-1960 poet, novelist, depression
John "Jaco" Pastorius, 1951-1987 composer, addiction, bipolar, Pastorius became overwhelmed by mental problems, exacerbated by drugs and alcohol in the mid-'80s, leading to several embarrassing public incidents (one was a violent crack-up on-stage at the Hollywood Bowl in mid-set at the 1984 Playboy Jazz Festival). Such episodes made him a pariah in the music business and toward the end of his life, he had become a street person, reportedly sighted in drug-infested inner-city hangouts. He died in 1987 from a physical beating sustained while trying to break into the Midnight Club in Fort Lauderdale. Almost totally forgotten at the time of his death, Pastorius was immediately canonized afterwards (Marcus Miller wrote a tune "Mr. Pastorius" in his honor).
George S Patton, 1885-1945 soldier, depression
Pierre Peladeau, 1925-1997 publisher, addiction, manic depression, "I haven't taken a drink since 22 years," says Péladeau. He says he self-diagnosed his manic depression 16 years ago. "If you have the desire, the need, for killing yourself, there is something wrong."
Charley Pell, 1941-2001 former coach, University of Florida, On Feb. 2, 1994, Charley Pell drove his car into a wooded area near Jacksonville, Fla., drank vodka, swallowed a handful of sleeping pills, ran a hose from the exhaust pipe into the back window, and lay down to die. It had been coming for a while, he says. Several business deals went sour, and he worried about debts. His father and a close friend had died. One day, he decided, "There's got to be a better place than this." Typically, Pell spent nine months planning his suicide. He made financial arrangements for Ward, wrote good-bye letters, even left a map for a friend so his body could be found afterward. "Being as obsessive as I am, I planned every detail," Pell said later. The attempt failed because Pell, thinking he wasn't slipping away quickly enough, tried to hurry the process by putting the hose in his mouth. Sickened, he semi-consciously stumbled from the car, where a friend, Malcolm Jowers, discovered him. When he woke up in a hospital, "anger was the first emotion I felt," he said. "It was the biggest failure of my life." In fact, it was the scream for help of a man suffering from clinical depression. Pell spent 17 days in a mental health facility, getting treatment, medication and understanding. Later, he found out his brother, Myles, had been on similar medication for 26 years. Pell became a spokesman for depression awareness. "The message I want to get out is that it's an illness (but) it's manageable, it's treatable," he said in 1996. "When all our worth has to come from outside ... "
Teddy Pendergrass, 1950- musician, depression, suicidal, Pendergrass was arguably the most popular male star in R&B music. However, his life would be changed forever on the night of March 18, 1982, when the brakes on his Rolls-Royce failed, causing the car to hit a metal guardrail, cross into oncoming traffic, and ram into a tree. Pendergrass suffered a broken neck, a crushed spinal cord, and damage to vital nerves. He was unconscious for eight days and, when he regained consciousness, he realized that he was paralyzed below the waist and would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Following his accident, Pendergrass contemplated suicide. In his 1998 autobiography, Truly Blessed, he remarked that he had once asked his wife to give him an overdose of sleeping pills. Pendergrass suffered severe depression and insomnia for years after the accident, but his road to recovery began when he gingerly tried out his voice by singing along with a coffee commercial on television. Although he had been warned that he might never sing again, Pendergrass found that his voice was still in working condition. "Nothing ever sounded as sweet to my ears as my version of that silly damn jingle," he wrote in Truly Blessed. Pendergrass sought help from a quadriplegic therapist, who helped him exorcize thoughts of suicide through the staging of a mock funeral.
Walker Percy, 1916-1990 writer, depression
Murray Pezim, Canadian businessman
Jimmie Piersall, 1929- baseball player, bipolar, Piersall's career with the Sox was marked by his distinctive personality, which varied from contemplative and engaging to quirky. Sadly, Piersall suffered a nervous breakdown and entered a sanitarium in the middle of the 1952 season. He made a comeback in 1953, and wrote a book about his struggles with mental illness, Fear Strikes Out, which was made into a motion picture. Piersall's problems were very public, but he carried himself with dignity, and with a distinct sense of humor about his ordeals. He never quite rid himself of his unique behavior, quipping that he'd "give 'em their money's worth" if the crowds came out to see him.
William Pitt, The Younger, 1759-1806 former Prime Minister, depression, In July, 1766, Pitt was recalled to form and lead another coalition government. This time, he met with little success as prime minister. He entered the House of Lords as Earl of Chatham which proved a disaster. His government was unable to deal with the problems in America; he supported the Americans against the king, but was not for independence; and in fact, proved incapable of governing at home as well. His most loyal ministers resigning around him, Pitt fell into depression and resigned his office October 1768.
Sylvia Plath, 1932-1963 poet, breakdown, bipolar, suicide attempts, suicide, she reveals her manic as well as depressive side: "God, is this all it is, the ricocheting down the corridor of laughter and tears? Of self-worship and self-loathing? Of glory and disgust?" And again: "It is as if my life were magically run by two electric currents: joyous and positive and despairing negative; whichever is running at the moment dominates my life, floods it. I am now flooded with despair, almost hysteria, as if I were smothering." On the day after she met Ted Hughes, she wrote a poem "about the dark forces of lust." Entitled "Pursuit," it begins: "There is a panther stalks me down:/One day I'll have my death of him." But first came the grim foretelling of her suicide attempt at age 20. In November 1952, she wrote: "God, if ever I have come close to wanting to commit suicide, it is now, with the groggy sleepless blood dragging through my veins, and the air thick and gray with rain and the damn little men across the street pounding on the roof with picks and axes and chisels, and the acrid hellish stench of tar ... My world falls apart, crumbles, 'The centre does not hold.' There is no integrating force, only the naked fear, the urge of self-preservation." With a wisdom way beyond her years, she notes: "I am afraid, I am not solid, but hollow. I feel behind my eyes a numb, paralysed cavern, a pit of hell, a mimicking nothingness, I never thought, I never wrote, I never suffered. I want to kill myself, to escape from responsibility, to crawl back abjectly into the womb. I do not know who I am, where I am going - and I am the one who has to decide the answers to these hideous questions. I long for a noble escape from freedom - I am weak, tired, in revolt from the strong constructive humanitarian faith which presupposes a healthy, active intellect and will. There is nowhere to go - not home, where I would blubber and cry, a grotesque fool, into my mother's skirts - not to men where I want more than the stern, final, paternal directive - not to church which is liberal, free - no, I turn wearily to the totalitarian dictatorship where I am absolved of all personal responsibility and can sacrifice myself in a "splurge of altruism" on the altar of the Cause with a capital 'C'."
Edgar Allen Poe, 1809-1849 writer, addiction, depression, Despite his literary success, Poe was again looking at tragedy with the failing health of his wife, Virginia. In January 1847, she died and Poe was hit by deep physiological depression and heavy drinking. On 3 October 1849, Poe was found unconscious on a Baltimore street. He spent his last days delirious in hospital. On 7 October 1849, Poe uttered his last words, "Lord help my poor soul."
Jackson Pollock, 1912-1956 artist, the man famous for splashing and dripping paint across canvases was also a depressed, argumentative boozer, who ultimately died drunk behind the wheel. During his lifetime, he saw an analyst, but never took medication. Reaching fame posthumously, Pollock is now considered the pioneer of expressionism, his pieces selling for as much as $18 million each.
Cole Porter, 1891-1964 composer, depression, When Porter died at the age of 73 in 1964, few people, save his closest friends and associates, had any idea of the painful and tragic life he led for more than 25 years. Miraculously, through physical anguish, drastic surgical procedures, and the grip of addiction, and severe depression and electroconvulsive treatment, he could still trip the light fantastic in his mind and reliably inspire the rest of us to do so as well.
Ezra Pound, 1885-1972 poet, In 1945 he was arrested by the U.S. forces, tried and pronounced insane. Subsequently Pound spent 12 years incarcerated in a hospital for the criminally insane in Washington, D.C. During this period he received the 1949 Bollingen Prize for his Pisan Cantos. After he was released, he returned to Italy, where he spent his remaining years. Pound died on November 1, 1972 in Venice. According to Katherine Anne Porter, "Pound was one of the most opinionated and unselfish men who ever lived, and he made friends and enemies everywhere by the simple exercise of the classic American constitutional right of free speech."
Alma Powell, wife of Gen Colin Powell, depression, Powell has said publicly that she suffers from depression. She has three children and moved 22 times during her husbands incredible military career. As a young mother in the early 1960's she cradled her new baby in the explosive civil rights cauldron of Birmingham, AL, while Colin, the soldier was half way around the world fighting the Viet Cong. She says, "I don't think any of those things made me depressed. Depression is often hereditary." She has now dedicated herself to public education in support of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.
Susan Powter, 1957- motivational speaker, writer, depression, author of "Stop the Insanity" Susan Powter has walked the walk: divorce, depression, and the final blow, ballooning to over 240 pounds. Trying to follow the lessons of the diet and fitness industries as we know them, she only encountered failure and frustration. On her own, she learned how to eat, breathe and move properly, lose weight permanently, and regain her strength and sanity. Now she can talk the talk. Listen to her! This woman can, and will, change your life.
Sergei Rachmaninoff, 1873-1943 Russian composer, depression. The trauma caused by the extreme failure of one of his pieces took its toll on Rachmaninoff. After the failure of his First Symphony, Sergei stopped composing for three years and battled extreme depression. Rachmaninoff struggled to reenter the music world as a conductor, perhaps, but not a composer. Eventually, the Philharmonic Society of London asked Rachmaninoff to conduct and perform one of his own pieces in Queen's Hall. The Philharmonic Society probably meant for Rachmaninoff to perform his First Concerto, which had already been written, but instead Rachmaninoff decided to write a brand new concerto. Rachmaninoff instantly ran into writer's block when trying to compose this new concerto. His three year drought of composing had taken its toll on his creative instinct and he could not come up with any good ideas. Eventually, Rachmaninoff turned to Dr. Nikolai Dahl, a prominent psychologist, for psychological help. Dr. Dahl used hypnosis to help stimulate Rachmaninoff's mind. The hypnosis apparently worked, because Rachmaninoff quickly created his most famous and popular work: his Second Piano Concerto. With great gratitude, Rachmaninoff dedicated this brilliant and beautiful work to Dr. Nikolai Dahl.
Bonnie Raitt, 1949- American singer, addiction. Raitt dropped out of Radcliffe College in the late 1960's to pursue her music, and later stubbornly refused to compromise her blues-oriented rock to the industry's more mainstream standards. And in the mid 1980's she acknowledged and began to treat an alcohol addiction.
Mac Rebennack (Dr. John), 1940- American musician, addiction. It is truly a credit to Mac Rebennack's prodigious talents, determination, and maybe a few potent incantations and some good gris gris, that he and his career survived this tumultuous period. He was consumed by a serious heroin addiction that continually disrupted his life and art and allowed him to fall victim to shysters like Charlie Green, who did not have his best interests in mind or at heart, to put it mildly.
Lou Reed, 1942- American singer, addiction. Reed's prolonged heroin addiction was a theme of several of his early songs, including the plainly-titled Velvet Underground song Heroin. He also wrote Walk on the Wild Side (about some of the transvestites at Andy Warhol's Factory) and Pale Blue Eyes (about an ex-girlfriend). Bringing sordid or disturbing subject matter into pop music is something of a Lou Reed speciality - he was one of the first to do it - and among his repertory one can also find songs about depression, suicide, illness and prostitution.
Trent Reznor, 1965- American musician and producer. depression, social anxiety disorder, addiction. Trent Reznor struggled with depression, social anxiety disorder, writer's block, and the death of his grandmother. It has also been revealed by Reznor that he had been suffering from alcohol and drug addiction during the Fragile era.
Anne Rice, 1941- American writer, depression. When her five-year-old daughter was diagnosed with acute leukemia and eventually died, Rice sank into depression. She managed to escape only by losing herself in her writing. She started a novel, and--writing continually--finished it within five weeks. It's the story of a vampire obsessed with the company of a five-year-old girl, whom he decides to turn into a vampire for the company she will provide. But when he learns that she will forever remain a five-year-old trapped in a vampire's soul, he is devastated. The novel was Interview with a Vampire
Jeannie C Riley, 1945- singer, depression, “I was bed-ridden with depression for six years. All I did was eat and go right back to bed. I had no will to do anything,” said the Grammy-winning singer of the 1968 No. 1 hit “Harper Valley PTA.” “I thought the depression was going to kill me.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, 1875-1926 poet, depression, Rilke suffered from depression and could hardly write anything at all, the exception being the fourth elegy, which he wrote in 1915. The whole cycle of elegies was completed in February 1922 when Rilke visited the Château de Muzot in the Rhône Valley. Here he also wrote many of the sonnets of the cycle "Die Sonette an Orpheus." Rilke was of mature age when he wrote about the young dead and the lovers and the angels. He once said that poetry is not emotion, it is experience.
Joan Rivers, 1933- American comedian, bulimia, suicidal. Rivers developed "acute onset" bulimia after the tragic suicide of her husband, Edgar Rosenberg. Devasted by the loss, her appetite went into orbit as she launched her gastronomic space program--bags of cookies, whole cakes and ice cream by the gallon. She was so angry and despondent that for a moment she too considered suicide. The love of those around her caused her to take stock. She began to count her blessings, not her losses. She sought counseling. She volunteered to help others. She learned that the long journey back to health begins with small steps. Step-by-step, she recovered.
Lynn Rivers, 1956- US Congresswoman, anxiety, depression. “I had made a promise to myself during the campaign that I would speak out,” says Rivers. “Then, my opponent tried to use my illness to discredit me. So, I gave a speech about my experience at a fundraiser.” Encouraged by the crowd’s positive response, she went on to tell her story to the press. Today she continues to give talks to audiences around the country. Rivers had her first daughter at age eighteen and soon after began experiencing severe anxiety attacks. Three years later, her anxiety increased and depression followed with the birth of her second daughter. Sensing something was very wrong, Rivers sought the help of a psychiatrist. She was first diagnosed with depression; then her diagnosis was changed to bipolar disorder. Over the next 12 years she worked closely with her psychiatrist to find a combination of medications that stabilized her. "I’ve managed to reach balance with my medication and have been in good health for ten years. But I had to continue working with my doctor for 12 years to get to this point. I had a number of relapses and each time it was not only heartbreaking to feel I was losing, but also very embarrassing. I had to keep starting over, fighting the same battles. There is a real anger and frustration that goes along with that. Psychotherapy has also been a great help. I’ve learned how to function as a healthy person and had a chance to talk through my feelings. My family and community have been very supportive and we talk openly about my condition."
Alys Robi, 1923- Canadian singer, depression, hospitalized, lobotomy. Alys Robi underwent a lobotomy at the age of 29 in 1952. She had become depressed after she was injured in a car crash, and spent five years in a Quebec mental hospital. She described the experience in her book "Long cry in the night: five years in the asylum" (Montreal 1990). Although she was terrified at the prospect of a lobotomy, she credited it with giving her a chance of recovery: (I woke up better and later understood that I was one of the rare success stories). She returned to singing, but not quite as successfully as before.
Norman Rockwell, 1894-1978 artist, depression, The young Rockwell knew years of partying and adulterous promiscuity, and he as well as his second wife Mary battled clinical depression. Rockwell’s life included much that could not have found a place in the seemingly innocent world of his work.
Theodore Roethke, 1908-1963 poet, addiction, depression. Roethke suffered from bouts of manic-depression all his life. He was a bear of a man, with a taste for big fur coats, big cars--preferably Buicks--young women, and alcoholic binges. When he was in his manic states, he would become excited, overly talkative, full of extravagant ideas, and he would indulge in a variety of eccentricities. In one instance, Roethke was said to have gone into the University Bookstore near the campus, and ordered a dozen golf balls, along with volumes of his poetry, to be sent to the chiefs of police in Bellingham and Seattle. All through these bouts, whether high or low, Roethke continued to write poetry.
George Romney, 1734-1802 artist, depression, In 1798, suffering from mental depression and failing physical health, he returned to Kendal to die.
Theodore Roosevelt, 1858-1919 former US President, According to Kay Jamison, speaking to the 2002 Depression and Related Affective Disorders (DRADA) Conference, Teddy Roosevelt was "hypomanic on a mild day." He suffered from depression, and mental illness ran in the family, including a brother who had to be institutionalized and a son who committed suicide. He wrote 40 books, and read a book a day, even as President.
Axl Rose, 1962- rock star, depression, Rose himself has stated he was diagnosed manic-depressive, but that he isn't sure the diagnosis is correct. Between 1987 and 1991, Axl was arrested several times for assault. At some point he was diagnosed as bipolar and put on lithium; one source says he also underwent anger management therapy. Axl himself has been quoted in Rolling Stone as saying, "I'm very sensitive and emotional and things upset me and make me feel like not functioning or dealing with people... I went to a clinic, thinking it would help my moods. The only thing I did was to take one 500 question test - ya know, filling in the little black dots. All of a sudden I'm diagnosed manic-depressive. 'Let's put Axl on medication.' Well, the medication doesn't help me deal with the stress. The only thing it does is help keep people off my back because they figure I'm on medication."
Amelia Rosselli, 1930-1996, poet, depression, mental breakdown, suicide, Rosselli grew up in an environment jolted by -assaults of personal and social history. She suffered her father's assassination when she was seven. After an adolescence characterized by movement between cities and continents, her mother died, triggering a mental breakdown. War Variations encompasses these intense life experiences, terrifying psychological realities that ultimately led to Rosselli's suicide.
Dante Rossetti, 1828-1882 poet and painter, depression, addiction, mental breakdown, suicide attempt, In the late 1860's Rossetti began to suffer from headaches and weakened eyesight, and began to take chloral mixed with whiskey to cure insomnia. Chloral accentuated the depression and paranoia latent in Rossetti's nature, and Robert Buchanan's attack on Rossetti and Swinburne in "The Fleshly School of Poetry" (1871) changed him completely. In the summer of 1872 he suffered a mental breakdown, complete with hallucinations and accusing voices. He was taken to Scotland, where he attempted suicide, but gradually recovered, and within a few months was able to paint again. His health continued to deteriorate slowly (he was still taking chloral), but did not much interfere with his work. He died of kidney failure on April 9, 1882. He died at Birchington-on-Sea, Kent, England.
J K Rowling, 1965 English author, depression. Rowling professes that she experienced a brief bout with depression in 1994, during the time she was struggling to make ends meet for herself and her infant daughter. Her experience with depression made a lasting impact on her and inspired the Dementors that first appear in Prisoner of Azkaban. On depression, Rowling said, "It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad."
Winona Ryder, 1971- American actress, anxiety disorder, hospitalized. Playing an emotionally unstable teenager in ''Girl, Interrupted'' was a task Winona Ryder felt a little too qualified to tackle. The 28-year-old actress backed out of ''The Godfather III'' in 1990 due to overwhelming anxiety attacks and, like her character in ''Girl,'' voluntarily checked herself into a mental hospital (at the time, her last-minute departure from the Coppola film was attributed to a respiratory infection). ''It was very scary, because the role [in ''Girl''] did mirror a lot of stuff I've been through,'' she says. ''I was terrified to play a character who was full of fear and anxiety knowing that I have been full of fear and anxiety, and it's not something that's just past tense for me. It's something you battle with your whole life.''
Yves Saint Laurent, fashion designer, ECT.
May Sarton, poet, novelist
Francesco Scavullo, artist, photographer
Lori Schiller, writer, educator
Charles Schulz, cartoonist (Peanuts)
Robert Schumann, German composer
Delmore Schwartz, poet
Ronnie Scott, musician
Alexander Scriabin, 1872-1915 Russian composer
Jean Seberg, 1938-1979 American actress, depression, hospiralized, attempted suicide, suicide. Seberg succumbed to severe bouts of depression, and was hospitalized several times. On every subsequent anniversary of her child's death she attempted suicide. In 1978 she even survived an attempt during which she threw herself under a train on the Paris Metro. Following this attempt she seemed more at ease, and even planned a return to filmmaking in 1979. However, she was reported missing in Paris later that year, and despite public pleas for her to return home, her legions of fans feared the worst. She had been missing for two weeks when she was found dead in the back seat of her car in a Paris suburb on 7th September 1979. She had taken a massive overdose of barbiturates, and had been dead for eleven days.
Edie Sedgwick, 1943-1971 American actress, anorexia, hospitalizations, suicidal, ECT. Edie was first institutionalized in the autumn of 1962 after suffering from anorexia and, like her brother, attended the Silver Hill mental hospital. Her anorexia continued until she weighed only ninety pounds at which time she was transferred to Bloomingdale, the Westchester Division of New York Hospital. "She was in the clinic from January 17 to June 4... She had shock treatments - I don't know how many - maybe twenty or more. Dr Mercer told me that she'd had some shock treatments in the East. He authorized the new ones because he thought Edie could be close to suicidal." On the night of November 15, 1971, Edie went to fashion show at Santa Barbara Museum, a segment of which was filmed for the television show An American Family, Lance Loud had already met Edie before on a beach in Isla Vista and she spoke to him in the lobby "drawn" by the cameras. After the fashion show Edie attended a party and was verbally attacked by one of the guests who called her a heroin addict. The guest was so loud that she was asked to leave. Edie rang Michael who arrived at the party and could see that Edie had been drinking. Eventually, they left the party, went back to their apartment where Michael gave Edie the medication that had been prescribed for her and they both fell asleep. When Michael woke up the following morning at 7:30, Edie was dead. The coroner registered her death as Accident/Suicide due to a Barbiturate overdose.
Monica Seles, 1973- Yugoslavian professional tennis player, anxiety, depression. In April 1993 Seles was competing in a tournament in Hamburg when she was stabbed between the shoulder blades by an obsessed fan of Steffi Graf, Gunther Parche, who was sitting in the stadium directly behind Seles’ chair. Parche attacked her with a steak knife, leaving a puncture wound half an inch deep. Seles’ immediate physical injuries had healed within a few weeks but the psychological effects were dramatic. Parche only received a suspended sentence for the stabbing from a German court, and the aftermath of the incident left Seles suffering from anxiety and depression. She withdrew from public life for over two years, but finally became strong enough to come back in 1995, when she made a sensational return to the game by winning the Canadian Open.
Anne Sexton, 1928-1974 American poet, addiction, depression, attempted suicide, suicide. In 1954, Anne began struggling with recurring depression and began seeking counseling. During the time of her counseling she and Kayo gave birth to their second child, Joyce Ladd Sexton, whom they nicknamed Joy. Beginning in 1956, Anne's mental condition worstened, leading up to her first psychiatric hospitalization and her first suicide attempt. In December of that year, under the guidance of her psychiatrist, Dr. Martin, she resumed writing poetry. Finding therapeutic value in her writing, she enrolled in John Holme's poetry workshop, where she met Maxine Kumin. Yet falling, once again into a deep depression, Anne attempted suicide again in May, 1957. Following her last poetry reading at Goucher College in Maryland on October 3, 1974, Anne returned home to commit suicide in her garage on October 4, 1974 by way of carbon monoxide poisoning. The tragic end she brought to her life was the result of several years of battling depression and dissatisfaction with her place in life. Despite this truth, she carved a place in the minds and hearts of the American literary world forever. Anne Sexton: A Biography
Linda Gray Sexton, 1953- American writer, depression. Searching for Mercy Street An unsparing account of the anguish and fierce love between Linda Gray Sexton and her brilliant, unstable and ultimately self-destructive mother, Anne Sexton. Anne taught Linda how to write, how to see, how to imagine; and only Linda could have written a book that captures so vividly the intimate details and lingering emotions of their lives together. Linda finds her life linked to her mother's, most directly in her work as literary executor, but most disturbingly in her own struggle against depression and her battles to maintain her equilibrium when dealing with her own children. In deceptively fluid prose, Linda explores her complex relationship to her mother and strips raw the nerves of a troubled family.
Mary Shelley, 1797-1851 British novelist, depression, attempted suicide. While in France, she had an affair with an army captain which ended in the birth of her first daughter, Fanny. After the soldier abandoned her and the child, she returned to England and attempted suicide. At age 22 Mary sunk into depression, she had borne Shelley 3 children and seen them all die, most recently their adored son William. A fourth child, Percy Florence, was born in November 1819, and Mary was now nursing him but had not emerged from her depression.
Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792-1822 English poet, nervous attacks, nightmares, hallucinations. At the beginning of 1812 Shelley started to suffer from "nervous attacks" for which he took doses of laudanum. He also started to sleepwalk when life became difficult or stressful. One evening he was either attacked, or imagined he was attacked, outside the door of his cottage. His wife and a neighbor found him lying senseless at the foot of the entryway. Shelley himself suffered from disturbing recurring nightmares and hallucinations during the summer. One vision was of a naked child rising out of the sea and clapping its hands; another was an encounter with his own doppelganger on the terrace, who then asked him "How long do you mean to be content?"; and the most terrifying was of his good friends Jane and Edward Williams coming into his room one night, bloody and mangled, to tell him that the house was falling down -- and when he rushed to Mary's room to warn her, he found himself strangling her. Shelley wrote to a friend and asked him to send a lethal dose of prussic acid, not to use immediately, but as comfort to hold "that golden key to the chamber of perpetual rest."
William Tecumseh Sherman, 1820-1891 American general, Appointed a brigadier general of volunteers after Bull Run in July 1861, Sherman's first command in Kentucky did not go well. Amid allegations that he had exaggerated the weakness of his position, he was relieved as head of the Department of the Cumberland in November 1861. Struggling with the apparent symptoms of manic depression and stung by criticism in the press that he was "crazy," Sherman redeemed himself at the Battle of Shiloh in April 1862.
Brooke Shields, 1965- Actress, post natal depression, suicidal. When actress Brooke Shields gave birth to a beautiful baby daughter, Rowan, she felt like the luckiest woman in the world. But moments later, everything changed. For months after the birth, all Brooke could do was lie in bed and stare at the wall. When she wasn't sobbing her heart out she felt desperate and isolated, and she dreaded Rowan's presence. Whenever she looked at her daughter, a numbness swept over her and froze her to the core. All Brooke wanted to do was kill herself. Although she didn't realise this at the time, Brooke was suffering from postnatal depression, a crippling condition that affects one in ten new mothers. With astonishing honesty and a refreshingly wry sense of humour, Brooke Shields writes about her battle with postnatal depression, and her slow path to recovery. In this brave and warm memoir, she lifts the lid on this taboo subject that is still widely misunderstood, giving hope to the countless women who suffer from this debilitating illness. Down Came The Rain: A Mother's story of depression and recovery.
Michelle Shocked, 1962- American singer, song-writer, ECT. In San Francisco, she was arrested at a squatter’s rights demonstration, given a shot of the now-discredited control drug Thorazine and taken to a psychiatric ward in handcuffs. Not long after she was released, she suffered a “psychotic episode” and was committed to a second mental hospital, in Texas, by her own mother. After a month of therapy, medication and electric-shock treatment, her family’s health insurer declined to pay the bill and sent her home. This time, she left for good. She would not even speak to her mother for the next 25 years.
Dmitri Shostakovich, 1906-1975 Russian composer, depression. In the last decade of his life this contradictory figure, torn by doubts and depression, composed his last three symphonies and his last quartets, all masterpieces.
Scott Simmie, Canadian writer, journalist, depression. I had no history, other than one depression, of mental health problems. But I would develop one while abroad; an illness that would take me through several countries, a number of states of mind, and push me to the brink of professional and financial ruin.
Lauren Slater, 1963- American psychologist and writer, anxiety, hospitalized, suicide attempts, anorexia, self-harm, OCD Slater began taking Prozac in 1988 she was 26 and had already struggled for over a decade with hospitalizations, suicide attempts, anorexia, and self-mutilation resulting from a variety of mental illnesses, obsessive compulsive disorder the most recent among them. The newly released drug liberated her from debilitating anxiety and pain even as it raised unsettling questions about her own identity, as she had always been defined by her afflictions.Today millions of people take Prozac, but Lauren Slater (author of Prozac Diary) was one of the first. In this rich and beautifully written memoir, she describes what it's like to spend most of your life feeling crazy -- and then to wake up one day and find yourself in the strange state of feeling well, and then to face the challenge of creating a whole new life.
Tony Slattery, 1959- English actor, addiction, bipolar, suicidal. Slattery, who plummeted very publicly into depression, admitted that even after all the havoc and pain that being bipolar disorder has caused him, he wouldn’t choose to be rid of it. There is some fear that although they would not be as tormented as they sometimes feel, maybe they would also not be as creative, and successful, as they have been when propelled by manic surges of energy.
Christopher Smart, 1722-1771 English poet, addiction, depression, debt. It is unclear exactly when Smart's first attack of madness began, or how long it lasted. It is known that Smart was confined three times between the years 1756 and 1763, part of the time in private homes, part in state-run asylums. The extent of Smart's insanity is also unknown. It expressed itself in religious monomania, in the compulsion to pray aloud wherever and whenever the urge arose. Sympathetic contemporaries conceded that, although undoubtedly strange, Smart's behavior was by no means a threat to anyone. Johnson insisted, "I did not think he ought to be shut up. His infirmities were not noxious to society. However, in 1770 he was sent to the King's Bench Prison for debt, and it was here that he composed his last work, Hymns, for the Amusement of Children. Smart died the following year, still incarcerated in the prison.
Anna Nicole Smith, 1967-2007 American model, addiction, depression, eating disorders. Smith gave birth to a daughter, Dannielynn Hope, in September of 2006; the event was marred when Smith's 20-year-old son Daniel died suddenly while visiting her in the hospital three days later. Legal battles involving the paternity of her daughter followed her into 2007, and she was also named in a class-action lawsuit against TrimSpa. Smith was found unconscious in her hotel room in Hollywood, Florida on the afternoon of 8 February 2007 and rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The medical examiner's report eventually blamed Smith's death on a fatal combination of the sedative chloral hydrate and several other prescription drugs. Two months after her death, a court-ordered DNA test showed that Smith's former boyfriend, Larry Birkhead, was the father of Dannielynn.
Andrew Solomon, 1963- American writer, depression. The Noonday Demon examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. Drawing on his own struggles with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, doctors and scientists, policy makers and politicians, drug designers and philosophers, Andrew Solomon reveals the subtle complexities and sheer agony of the disease. He confronts the challenge of defining the illness and describes the vast range of available medications, the efficacy of alternative treatments, and the impact the malady has on various demographic populations -- around the world and throughout history. He also explores the thorny patch of moral and ethical questions posed by emerging biological explanations for mental illness. With uncommon humanity, candor, wit, and erudition, award-winning author Solomon takes readers on a journey of incom-parable range and resonance into the most pervasive of family secrets. His contribution to our understanding not only of mental illness but also of the human condition is truly stunning.
Britney Spears, 1981- Singer, addiction, depression, Doctors at Promises, Britney's rehab facility,believe her recently erratic behavior stems from a postpartum depression brought on by the birth of her sons Sean Preston Federline and Jayden James Federline. They have also considered the possibility of bipolar disorder but are leaning more towards postpartum depression. Her attempts at self medication with alcohol and other substance (to dull the pain) are why her problems spiraled out of control.
Phil Specter, 1939- American promoter and producer, “Tearing Down the Wall of Sound is a remarkable book about, among other things, fame, obsession, genius, money and madness. It paints the fullest picture yet of a man who, whether creating some of the greatest pop music of all time, or destroying the lives of those closest to him, seems to have existed in a continuous state of mental agitation. The Phil Spector story still awaits its ending. In the meantime, this is the definitive study of the man, and the myth that engulfed him.”
Alonzo Spellman, 1971- American athlete football, bipolar. Spellman may best be known for the public battle he has waged with mental illness. Manic episodes cost him his football career and in 2002 it cost him his freedom. Spellman was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after an outburst on a flight from Cincinnati to Philadelphia just months after the September 11 attacks. Spellman claimed that the time he spent incarcerated had a profound affect on his view of the disease that robbed him of his career and liberty. “Handcuffs, shackles, an orange suit, dark room, that you can't control the light — yeah, that'll pretty much put it in perspective for you,”
Muffin Spencer-Devlin, 1953- American pro golfer, manic depression. Spencer-Devlin spoke about her bouts with manic depression over the years that led to short stays in psychiatric hospitals and disrupted her promising career and suggested that keeping the truth about her sexuality bottled up may have harmed her. "I think that keeping the secret may have contributed to my illness," said Spencer-Devlin, who after creating a ruckus in the lobby of New York's Waldorf-Astoria hotel a couple decades ago was taken to a hospital in a straitjacket. "Whatever the consequences, being honest should be less stressful, not more."
Rick Springfield, 1949- Australian singer, musician,actor, depression. In 1985, Springfield took a self-imposed sabbatical from the spotlight. Throughout the rest of the decade, he battled depression so debilitating, he rarely left the house for three years. "The candle burned down at both ends," he says. After years of being a “Where are they now?” fixture, Springfield, with the help of therapy, reemerged into the not-quite-as-bright spotlight. Following the release of his 1998 album, “Karma”
Vivian Stanshall, 1945-1993 English musician, writer, artist, addiction, panic attacks, breakdowns. In 1970 Stanshall suffered a massive, and much-publicised, nervous breakdown. As a result, Stanshall became tranquiliser dependent, a condition he wrestled with for the next twenty years.
Rod Steiger, 1925-2002 American actor, depression, suicide attempts. Rod Steiger had a tough upbringing marred by alcoholism in his family. As a child he often found himself ridiculed by classmates when he had to fetch his inebriated mother from the local pub or saloon. He underwent a heart bypass operation in the 1970s. He was warned by doctors that the surgery could leave him depressed, to which he now says: "You should never tell an actor he might be depressed because then he's going to give you the best depression scene you've ever seen in your life." After surgery Steiger promptly fell into an eight-year depression which brought him very close to taking his own life. "I figured I'd go out in a fishing boat, lower myself into the water and put a gun in my mouth," said Steiger. "That way there would be no mess." After a slow recovery Steiger went on to actively campaign to promote mental health, and addressing Congress on the issue.
Rick Stein, 1947- English chef, depression. Stein has said that people think he is excessively amiable, but claims that he is in fact quite bad tempered. His father was a manic depressive who committed suicide in front of Rick when he was 18 and the chef recently gave a frank account of his own experience of depression in Stephen Fry’s documentary on bipolar disorder.
George Stephanopoulos, 1961- American political advisor, depression. His 1999 memoir, entitled All Too Human: A Political Education, was published after he left the White House during Clinton's second term.Stephanopoulos spoke of his depression Although he believes there is less stigma surrounding mental illness than in years past, Stephanopoulos said, "there is still a ways to go" in terms of providing access to care. "People are becoming more and more aware of what mental illness is... yet we haven't expanded our ability to care for those people who are now aware they have a problem."
Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850-1894 Scottish writer, depression, Stevenson, although Scottish-born, spent most of his life out of the country and married an American. Desperate for money and fighting a fit of depression, he allegedly wrote The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde within ten weeks while residing in Bournemouth, England. The success of the novel cemented Stevenson's writing career.
Sting, 1951- English singer-musician, depression, suicidal. In a May 1996 interview with Live! Magazine, musician and actor Sting was quoted as saying, "Anyway, during that period with the Police, the most successful time of my life, I was suicidal. My first marriage and my relationship with the other members of the band was collapsing. I just felt adrift. I was manic-depressive and I just wasn't chemically balanced enough to enjoy it. I was out to lunch."
Teresa Stratas, 1938- Canadian opera singer, depression, attempted suicide, Few, however, are aware that she has suffered from depression virtually since seeing her manic-depressive father banging his bloody head against a wall when she was three years old. That scene was the first of many traumatic memories she retains from her childhood. "We were told to shut up an awful lot," Stratas remembers. "I think it is amazing that one of the things I chose to do later was to make loud sounds." Stratas says she spends much of her time in psychic pain, but has never taken medication for fear it will blunt the beauty and anguish of life, which for her go hand in hand. Stratas remembers her manic-depressive father dismissing her as "just another mouth to feed." She barely survived a bout of tuberculosis and once attempted suicide after hearing her mother weeping over unpaid bills.
Darryl Strawberry, 1962- American baseball player, addiction, bipolar. Strawberry has been battling an array of health problems, including bi-polar depression, alcoholism, drug addiction and colon cancer.
William Styron, 1925-2006 American writer, depression, suicidal, ECT. William Styron, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist whose explorations of the darkest corners of the mind were charged by personal demons that nearly drove him to suicide, died in Martha's Vineyard, Mass., on Nov. 1. 2006 He was 81. In the mid-80s, Styron suffered a major case of depression that nearly cost him his life. Remarkably, he recovered and went on to write an account of his sickness titled "Darkness Visible," a piece that has entered into the medical literature on depression. In the summer of 1985, Styron was struck by an illness once called melancholia, but today referred to as clinical depression. Having trudged "upward out of hell's black depths," Styron has been able to record his devastating descent into depression onto paper.
Amy Tan, 1952- Chinese American writer, depression. Amy Tan has said that her mother witnessed Tan's grandmother committing suicide. She believes that she, her mother and grandmother all have suffered from depression.
James Taylor, 1948- American singer and musician, deppression, addiction. In 1965 he committed himself to a mental institution - McLean Psychiatric Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts - to which his sister Kate and brother Livingston would later be admitted. There he began writing songs. After 10 months, he discharged himself and went to New York..Taylor, still hooked on heroin at the end of the year, returned to America and signed himself into another mental institution. The mid-’90s were a time of personal trial for Taylor, who lost his brother Alex to alcoholism in 1994 and he was divorced in 1996.
Kate Taylor, 1949- American singer, song-writer, hospitalized. Like most people, Taylor has lived through times of suffering as well as joy. She was admitted to a mental institution - McLean Psychiatric Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. The 1990s were especially difficult, during which time Taylor's 46-year-old brother, Alex, died of a heart attack in 1993 and her 75-year-old father, Isaac Taylor, passed away in 1996. Nevertheless, Taylor titled her album Beautiful Road after an emotionally moving Erica Wheeler song she covers on the record.
Lili Taylor, 1967- American theater actress, eating disorder, depression. Taylor has a family history of bipolar disorder (manic-depression) through her father. She received a diagnoses of bipolar disorder herself as a teen during her high-school years. Taylor herself became so depressed in high school that for a time she simply stopped going. She also developed an eating disorder, now past. ... ‘In high school I thought I was much fatter than I actually was. I figured if no one could see my emotional pain, maybe they'd see my bones sticking out and recognize I'm distraught’.” However,Taylor “believes she was misdiagnosed and does not take medications. The therapist Lila saw during her teens “suspected Taylor's symptoms might disappear once she found an outlet for her creative energies -- which is exactly what happened,
Livingston Taylor, 1950- American singer, song-writer, depression, addiction. Taylor suffered from depression and checked himself into McLean Psychiatric Hospital in Massachusetts, a stay that would inspire some of his early songs.A more pressing concern, however, was that Taylor had not been able to kick. As a result, he returned to the U.S. and checked into the Austin Riggs Hospital in Massachusetts. By July 1969, he had recovered sufficiently to make his solo debut at the Troubadour nightclub in Los Angeles, but soon after he was in a motorcycle accident and broke both of his hands, which put him out of commission for several months.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, 1840-1893 Russian composer, depression. Tchaikovsky's life in Moscow was one of much struggle, intensified by several attacks of the nervous depression and morbid self-disgust always dogging him.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1809-1892 Poet, depression. The sudden death of his friend Hallam in 1833 produced in Tennyson a profound spiritual depression, and he vowed to refrain from issuing any more of his verse for a period of ten years. During this time he devoted himself to reading and meditation. While refusing to publish, he did continue to write, producing, for example, The Two Voices (1834), a philosophical poem on death and immortality.
Emma Thompson, 1959- English actress, depression. Thompson found it easy relating to her character's depression in new movie STRANGER THAN FICTION 2006 because she's "been there herself". The Oscar-winning star, who plays troubled writer Kay Eiffel in the film, believes her experience of extreme unhappiness in real-life boosted the role. She says, "We've all done that - I've certainly been there, in various depressions, when you never was, and wear the same things all the time. "It's the sort of depression that doesn't necessarily make you want to kill yourself - you just don't want to be, you want to switch it all off and stop."That's not the same as saying, 'I'm going to kill myself.' But it's a feeling I do well."
Tracy Thompson, Writer, reporter, depression. A good investigative reporter will dig deep into her subject, attempting to enlighten her readers' knowledge. Washington Post reporter Thompson does that here, although in this case the subject is the personally difficult one of her own "beast" --her history of depression. Drawing on her journals from adolescence onward, Thompson details her emotional and mental history in brief, impressionistic scenes, creating a mosaic of the human mind's emotional complexities. Colloquially referred to as "the doldrums" or being "blue" or "low," depression has come to be regarded as a genuine illness, something requiring not only counseling, but medical intervention.
Dylan Thomas, 1914-1953 Welsh poet, addiction.
Edward Thomas, 1878-1917 English poet, depression, suicidal, He felt trapped into a sort of writing that was unfulfilling and stifling by his poverty and family responsibilities, which led to feelings of bitterness. In order to escape the bouts of depression, sheer hard work and frustration, Thomas would stay with friends or go off on solo walking and bicycling tours of England and Wales. Throughout all his moods and absences his wife Helen remained loving and patient.
Uma Thurman, 1970- American film actress, addiction, depression. Thurman has spoken about her experience of being addicted to nicotine. The Kill Bill star says that she missed out on leading roles because smoking made her unfit. "I used to smoke so much that I got winded if I did any exercise," she is quoted by the Daily Star as saying. "I was never rippling and toned like a lot of my colleagues. "That makes you incredibly depressed and full of self-loathing, so thank goodness I've unhooked myself from the slavery of nicotine."
Gene Tierney, 1920-1991 American actress, depression, mental breakdown, hospitlaized, ECT. Tierney was hospitalized for mental depression brought on by tragedy in her personal life and stress in her career. As part of the treatment, she was repeatedly subjected to electroshock therapy sessions. Gene's career was affected by her father stealing all her finances, a failed romance with Aly Khan who demanded that she abandon her family to marry him, a mental breakdown in the 1950's which led to a difficult shoot of The Left Hand of God, electric shock treatment that erased portions of her life from her memory and admission to 3 hospitals, severe depression and medication. In 1959 during her mental recovery she worked as a part time dress store clerk. When she returned to Hollywood, she suffered dry mouth from fear, so then was happy to retire from movies and be a Texas housewife, until the death of her husband. She asked something to the effect of, "If you forget all your troubles, how can you be depressed about them?"
Leo Tolstoy, 1828-1910 writer, Author of War and Peace, Tolstoy revealed the extent of his own mental illness in the memoir Confession. His experiences is also discussed in The Dynamics of Creation by Anthony Storr and The Inner World of Mental Illness: A Series of First Person Accounts of What It Was Like by Bert Kaplan. Though he had limitless energy for his many creative projects, Tolstoy told fellow writer Ivan Bunin: "There is no happiness in life, only occasional flares of it." While finishing his novel Anna Karenina, Tolstoy began to experience episodes of depression, and even contemplated suicide. But during this dark period, he found new meaning in Christianity. He expressed his celebrated mantra of "universal love and passive resistance to evil in the form of violence" in a series of writings that amplified his newfound faith.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1864-1901 French artist, addiction. He availed himself of many contemporary stimulants, including fashionable absinthe and morphine. He formed an addiction to morphine and in 1899 he had to go through a “demorphinisation” treatment, or addiction treatment, to kick the habit.
Spencer Tracy, 1900-1967 American actor, addiction, depression, suicidal. Tracy's, life was very hard. Throughout his sixty-seven years he suffered from suicidal depression and alcoholic rages, which made him a man of contradictions. When he was sober, he loved his brother, Carroll, and when drunk hated him so much he’d try to throw him out of a window. Tracy’s drinking problems were no secret. Sometimes he would go drinking for days on end, resulting in one occasion where he was fired from Fox who were tired of his escapades and resulting bad press. He was a heavy drinker, and although he attempted to stay sober around Hepburn, he inevitably fell off the wagon whenever she left to work on a film. MGM gave Hepburn and Tracy a number of opportunities to work together which allowed Hepburn to keep an eye on Tracy.
Lars von Trier, 1956- Danish film director, depression, hospitalized. A deep depression has left Danish film director Lars von Trier unable to work and is threatening his career, he told the Danish newspaper Politiken on Saturday. "It's very strange for me, because I've always had at least three projects in my head at one time," he was quoted as saying. "But right now I am completely blank." Von Trier helped found the Dogme 95 movement, a set of rules that required a filmmaker to shoot only on location with hand-held cameras, using natural light and sound. Known for films such as "Dogville", which starred Nicole Kidman, he won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000 for Dancer in the Dark" with Icelandic singer Bjork. His most recent work was last year's comedy "The Boss of it All." The paper said von Trier checked himself into a Copenhagen hospital around Christmas 2007 to treat his depression. It quoted him as saying he was unsure whether he could complete his next project, the horror film "Antichrist", which was scheduled to being production later this year. "I assume that 'Antichrist' will be my next film. But right now I don't know," von Trier told the paper. "After my downspin, I feel like a blank sheet of paper."
Margaret Trudeau, 1948- Wife of Pierre Trudeau, bipolar. Trudeau came forward for the first time in 2006 to share her lifelong struggle with bipolar depression, saying it was unbearable trying to cope with her illness under the scrutiny of the public eye. "It's not easy to live with an illness that impacted my family life for years, that tore away at my two marriages and ultimately the very meaning of my life," said Trudeau, the ex-wife of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau. "None of this has been easy -- but through all these years, I remember Pierre always said to me, 'Margaret, it's not what happens to you, it's how you react to it that is important,'" she told reporters in Ottawa.
Ted Turner, 1938- Founder, CNN Network, manic depression. Turner tried lithium for a while to help him fight manic depression, but stopped relying on it before Turner Broadcasting merged with Time Warner in 1995. Turner, now 61, essentially responsible for the birth of cable television, possesses over $2 billion in company holdings, despite--or possibly due to--his illness.
Mark Twain, 1835-1910 American author, depression. Twain suffered depression in his later years much attributed to the death of his wife.
Mike Tyson, 1966- American prizefighter, addiction.
Vivian Vance, 1909-1979 American actress, depression, Vance battled mental illness for years and was open about her successful psychoanalytic treatment decades before celebrity confessions were commonplace. She was most proud of her work with the mentally ill, and whatever she could do to publicize depression as an illness, she did. That included talking to patients, something at which she excelled and enjoyed. She also was a mentor to many young performers, teaching them what she knew about comedy.
Jean-Claude Van Damme, 1960- actor, manic depression, Van Damme speaks of teenage depression that worked itself out in physical endeavors: karate, ballet and "rosy dreams." Early in his life and career, said Van Damme, he was " ... compensating for (then undiagnosed) manic-depressive disease with training. When I didn't train for a couple of days, I felt so low and nothing could make me happy."
Vincent Van Gogh, 1853-1890 Dutch artist, depression, nervous breakdown, self mutilation, suicide. Van Gogh had an eccentric personality and unstable moods, suffered from recurrent psychotic episodes during the last 2 years of his extraordinary life, and committed suicide at the age of 37. Van Gogh suffered a nervous breakdown in 1880, was shot the 27th of July 1890, suffered from depression, epilepsy, and gonorrhea. He amputated his ear.
Townes Van Zandt, 1944-1997 American singer song-writer, addiction, manic depression, hospitalized, ECT. Born in 1944, he was a troubled young man who played Russian roulette for kicks, deliberately fell off a fourth-floor balcony, and was placed in a mental home, where shamefully given insulin shock therapy robbed him of significant parts of his memory and personality. Married three times, he was also wedded to the bottle, which ultimately destroyed him (he died of a heart attack in 1997 aged 53). Be Here to Love Me details these events through various interviews with Van Zandt himself. He had a MENSA intelligence, he was diagnosed as a manic-depressive in his early twenties.
Victoria, 1819-1901 British Queen, Victoria was deeply attached to her husband and she sank into depression after he died, aged 42, in 1861. She had lost a devoted husband and her principal trusted adviser in affairs of state. For the rest of her reign she wore black.
Mark Vonnegut, 1947- Doctor, writer, schizophrenia, manic depression. Thirty-two years ago I was diagnosed with schizophrenia but with newer definitions my disease is more consistent with manic depression or bipolar disease, mostly because I’ve gotten better. These labels can be more trouble than they are worth. There are manic depressives who don’t get well and look more and more like chronic schizophrenics as they go along. With the deck stacked against them, a considerable number of schizophrenics do get better. Until we have some unambiguous diagnostic test, we are all talking through our hats. Whatever the diagnosis, the care for serious mental illness is in disarray. Meaningful leadership and reform in my opinion is more likely to come from patients and their families. The needs of patients and families dealing with manic depression, schizophrenia, autism, depression, substance abuse are very similar. We need a commitment to improving care and the means to do so…I’ve been lucky. I received good care early, and have had a small number of episodes. Rather than a suicide or chronically disabled son, brother, friend, I’m what they cal A &W, alive and well. The turn around on the investment for recovery is substantial. I’m happily married, have a wonderful life and three strong handsome very smart sons who would not otherwise be. I could be dragging down a dozen or more people.
Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007 depression, suicide attempt. Writer, Vonnegut struggled with depression throughout his life, and attempted suicide in 1984. He was, as always, honest about his battle. "When Hemingway killed himself he put a period at the end of his life; old age is more like a semicolon," Vonnegut told the AP. "My father, like Hemingway, was a gun nut and was very unhappy late in life. But he was proud of not committing suicide. And I'll do the same, so as not to set a bad example for my children."
Sol Wachtler, Judge, In November of 1992, New York's Chief Judge Sol Wachtler, an heir aparent to the governor's mansion, was arrested. He was charged and convicted for a humiliating crime stemming from his manic, obsessive harassment of his former mistress. A prominent New York socialite, the woman happened to be pals with the director of the FBI. Recorded conversations of the judge's threatening phone calls made for an open and shut case and sent the judge to federal prison for a 15-month stint. In After the Madness, the fallen jurist has created a confessional diary that chronicles his prison term. Stories of inmates are interspliced with prison reform recommendations and brief reflections on his crime. He also describes his "illness" and eventual diagnosis as manic-depressive, his incredible appetite (and ability!) to "self- medicate" at the rate of 5,000 pills in an 18-month period while serving on the bench, and the path he has taken to rebuild his name and career. The degree of hubris and the catastrophic fall give this story a classical dimension; the emphasis on psychiatry and self-esteem mark it as a product of our times.
Tom Waits, 1949- American singer-songwriter, musician, addiction. His life was unravelling. 'I had a problem,' he says, matter-of-factly. 'An alcohol problem, which a lot of people consider an occupational hazard. My wife saved my life.' When Waits was once asked what his wife brought to the table, he replied, 'Blood and liquor and guilt.' Which is handy, because Waits himself hasn't had a drink for 14 years. When he says that Kathleen saved his life, he means it literally. 'Oh yeah, for sure,' he continues, rocking back and forth again. 'But I had something in me, too. I knew I would not go down the drain, I would not light my hair on fire, I would not put a gun in my mouth. I had something abiding in me that was moving me forward. I was probably drawn to her because I saw that there was a lot of hope there.'
Mike Wallace, 1918- Broadcaster, journalist. Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes has informed, aroused and incensed millions with his documentaries--not always handling the criticism well. In 1982, Wallace's documentary on government misrepresentation of Vietnam War enemy troops inspired a general to file a libel suit. In reaction, Wallace developed psychosomatic pain: the feeling of "knives" in his arms and weakness in his legs. He battled suicidal thoughts and relied on sleeping pills for rest. When the trial finally began in 1984, Wallace collapsed and was hospitalized for two weeks. His doctor diagnosed him with clinical depression and gave him the drug Ludiomil. When the trial ended in 1985, Wallace was able to stop taking medication. But he suffered two more bouts of depression over the next 10 years. Since 1993, the antidepressant Zoloft, combined with therapy, has kept his depression under control. Wallace, now 81, appeared in the 1998 HBO documentary Dead Blue: Surviving Depression and is working to destigmatize the illness.
Zoe Wannamaker, 1949- English Actress, Hearing voices. Zoe talked about her voice hearing on the radio programme "Desert Island Discs" (BBC, Radio 4), she said: "It's like a little person sitting on your shoulder saying "No that's wrong. Don't do this. Don't do that...It's got in the way when I was working, because my concentration would be tripped by this voice in the back of my head. You think you're concentrating, but the voices were also saying "your not concentrating". I know it sounds like Joan of Arc, but it was a sort of chatter that would be going on while I was on stage." When asked if the voices had gone she said "They come back occasionally and have a good chat."
Bill Ward, 1948- American musician, addiction, depression, suicide attempts. Ward was the drummer for the British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He was with the band throughout its entire tenure from the late 1960s to its eventual demise during about the mid-1980s. Ward was stricken by depression after asking his best friend Ozzy Osbourne to leave the band. He had a severe drinking and drug abuse problem. After leaving the band, Ward tried to commit suicide three times but failed. In 1997 Sabbath had a reunion tour with all 4 original members. In early June 2004, he agreed to return to the band for another reunion tour featuring all the original members.
Michael Warren, Executive, Canada Post
George Washington, 1732-1799 Former US President
Damon Wayans, Comedian, actor, writer, director, producer
Vince Welnick, 1951-2006 American keyboardist, depression, suicide attempt, suicide. When Vince Welnick signed on to play keyboards for the Grateful Dead, some people said it probably saved his life. He had five good years with the band, five fat years. But then Jerry Garcia died and the Dead was no more. Welnick spent the next 11 years dreaming that the band would reunite, with him, once again, at the keyboards. That dream died on the cloudless morning of June 2 2006, when the 55-year-old musician stood on a hillside behind his Forestville home and drew a knife across his throat in front of his wife. Welnick's suicide caught many of his more casual friends by surprise. Welnick was always an upbeat kind of guy, with twinkly eyes and a lopsided smile. But his cheery exterior was deceptive. Those who knew him better recognized that even during the last years of the Grateful Dead's long strange trip, Vince Welnick was veering along the edge and battling demons that would eventually alienate many musical colleagues. In the weeks before his death, several old friends who hadn't heard from him in a while were surprised by phone calls from a cheery, optimistic Welnick, talking about plans for the future. On June 1, the day before he killed himself, he called pianist George Michalski, who invited Welnick to join him at his weekly restaurant job in San Francisco that weekend. "He was all excited about it," Michalski said. "And he told me he was going to come by the restaurant and jam Saturday night." But Michalski had also seen Welnick's dark side and knew he was a troubled soul, especially in recent years as he struggled with deep depression over the demise of the Dead. Michalski said Welnick talked about committing suicide in February when they flew to New Orleans. "He told me he was going to kill himself," Michalski said. "That's all we talked about all the way to New Orleans. He had no qualms about it." Grateful Dead computer programmer Bob Bralove, one of Welnick's closest friends, traveled the country playing improvisations with Welnick and another former Dead keyboardist, Tom Constanten. They appeared together last month in Las Vegas. "He was very, very depressed," said Bralove, "even though he was headed for a gig, which usually cheered him up. We were talking. He said he couldn't stop the bad feelings. He was looking for some way this would change. I guess it didn't. He had hoped to pull something off." After an earlier suicide attempt about 10 years ago, Welnick started taking antidepressants, but lately, he had been telling friends the pills didn't seem to be working anymore. When he died, according to friends, he was trying to wean himself from the old medication and begin a new drug regimen. Nobody knows whether there was a direct link between his suicide and the change in his medication, but two years ago the Food and Drug Administration asked antidepressant manufacturers to add a warning on pill bottles about potential suicide risk during changes in dosage.
Pete Wentz, 1979- American bassist, songwriter, manic depression. Fall Out Boy star Pete Wentz suffers from manic depression. The bassist-and-songwriter, has revealed his bipolar disorder stems from his obsessive nature. "I have manic depression. I obsess over everything. When I am depressed, I can't get out of bed. But right now, it's sunny and 65 in my head, so it's OK!" Pete, has been on medication for his depression and anxiety problems since he was 18. He explained: "I am on anti-anxiety medicine. The technical term is Lorazepam. I am supposed to be on antidepressants but I think it's part of my neuroses that I don't take them." Pete revealed the trauma of his parents splitting up on his sixth birthday left him emotionally scarred and unable to express his feelings. He said: "I turned my emotions off like a faucet. I didn't cry until I was, like, 22."
Walt Whitman, 1819-1892 Poet, Leaves of Grass Hospitalized, Depression, Suicide
John Wieners, 1934-2002 American poet, addiction, mental illneess, ECT. Wieners confronted mental illness in his poetry as well, perhaps most notably in The Asylum Poems (For My Father) in 1969. He was often in and out of mental institutions and struggled with drug abuse in the 50’s and 60’s. In the Boston Globe’s obituary for Wieners, poet and close friend Corbett commented: “John never exploited his madness for glamour - it was a burden for him. He was a man for whom poetry was sanity. The lucidity of his poetry was a saving grace.” Wieners, who spoke fluent French, was no longer able to speak or understand the language after receiving shock treatments.
Dar Williams, 1967- American singer-songwriter, stage fright. Her voice teacher pushed her to try her hand at performing at coffeehouses, but due to the intimidating nature of the Boston folk music scene, as well as her own battles with stage fright, things got off to a rocky start.
Robbie Williams, 1974- Singer, addiction, bipolar, Williams has revealed that he takes medication for depression. 'People think that if you're depressed, you're depressed about something, but I'm not,' Robbie has said. 'I just feel terrible. The real root of it all is that I suffer from an illness.' Williams, who has struggled with drug and alcohol problems in the past, is now facing an addiction to anti-depressant pills. "I could get up in front of 35,000 or 40,000 people and go, 'Look at me, I'm ace'. Then I'd get in the tour coach, go back to my bedroom and pull the duvet over my eyes."
Robin Williams, 1952- American actor, addiction, depression. 1982 was the sorriest chapter in Robin's life. For a while, like many performers who expend high levels of energy, he'd been caning the alcohol and drugs, in particular cocaine, his Love Me Syndrome being in full effect. He actually got loaded with Belushi the day he died (he'd guested on Belushi's Saturday Night Live the year before), though he wasn't at the hotel when it happened. Valerie tried to get him to stop - he couldn't. His marriage slowly went on the skids.
Tennessee Williams, 1911-1983 Playwright, depression, hospitalized, The playwright gave a personal account of his struggle with clinical depression in his own Memoirs. His experience is also documented in Five O'Clock Angel: Letters of Tennessee Williams to Maria St. Just, 1948-1982; The Kindness of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams by Donald Spoto, and Tennessee: Cry of the Heart by Dotson
William Carlos Williams, 1883-1963 Physician, writer, clinical depression
Bill Wilson, 1895-1971 Co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous
Brian Wilson, 1942- American musician, Beach Boys singer, addiction, depression, schizoaffective disorder. In the late 60s and early 70s, he sank into a morass of drug use and depression, reportedly spending weeks to months at a time in bed. His overeating supposedly led his first wife, Marilyn, to padlock the refrigerators. In 1976, Wilson’s family engaged the help of controversial psychiatrist Eugene Landy. While the Wilsons ultimately rejected Landy’s methods and control over his patient’s life, Wilson did recover his musical productivity and began recording and even performing on stage again. His mental health struggles have been legendary, even appearing in the lyrics penned by current-generation rock stars (as with the Barenaked Ladies’ musical quip, “Lying in bed, just like Brian Wilson did…”). However, not until recently has Wilson discussed openly that his experiences go far beyond simple depression and drug use to a mental condition called schizoaffective disorder, which involves ongoing hallucinations, paranoia and other distortions of reality.
Carnie Wilson, 1968- American singer, addiction, depression. "Seriously overweight, Wilson underwent stomach surgery in August, 1999. The operation was broadcast on the Internet, and was viewed by some 50,000 people. The surgery, which involved stapling her stomach, helped Wilson to lose 150 pounds. Battling depression after the weight loss, Wilson began to tour the country, lecturing to encourage others to lose weight and live healthier lives. Thinking she had overcome her addiction to food, she then turned her attention to alcohol. Carnie said in an exclusive interview with Oprah that her life fell into a deep descent when she found herself struggling with alcoholism two years after her surgery. She explained, "The drinking progressed more and more and I found I was getting drunk very fast and I was getting sober very fast and it was frightening because I saw myself going down a dark spiral very quickly." She was drinking up to 10 margaritas a day and had to eventually hit rock bottom before she could start climbing back up again. Wanting to start a family with her husband Rob Bonfiglio, and not put her child at risk, is what ultimately made the star turn her life around.
Owen Wilson, 1968- Actor, addiction, depression, suicide attempt. Wilson plunged into a “cloud of depression” after splitting with Kate Hudson. The actor has a reputation as a Hollywood party animal. Yet he failed to show at summer beach bashes thrown in Malibu and Beverly Hills. And pals described him as “MIA” — missing in action. One friend said Wilson’s rift with film beauty Kate late last year hit him hard. The pal added: “He seemed to go into a cloud of depression. He was down and didn’t open up. He kind of changed.” Wilson was still under observation in a hospital detox unit yesterday after slashing a wrist and swallowing pills on Sunday. He issued a plea for privacy in what he called a “difficult time” but made no mention of his suicide attempt. Friends fear Wilson was pushed over the edge by magazine photos of Kate, 28, kissing her new fella, comic Dax Sheppard. The star also had a drink and drugs problem.
Amy Winehouse, 1983 Singer, addiction, self-harm, depression, eating disorder, The troubled star also discussed her battle with depression, which she had suffered since the age of 16. 'I saw a picture of myself when I came out of the hospital. I didn't recognise myself,' admitted Winehouse. 'Since I was 16, I've felt a black cloud hangs over me. Since then, I have taken pills for depression.'
Jonathan Winters, 1925 Comedian, bipolar disorder
Frank Wisner, 1909-1965 CIA officer, depression, ECT, suicide. Under Wisner’s leadership, the CIA undertook a program of skullduggery that included sabotage, economic warfare, subversion, assistance to terrorist groups and direct action—most of which was illegal in the targeted countries. According to the author, Wisner “commandeered aircraft, arms, ammunitions, parachutes and surplus uniforms from the Pentagon and its bases in the occupied zones of Europe and Asia. He soon controlled a military stockpile worth a quarter of a billion dollars.” In December, 1956, Frank Wisner, suffered a mental breakdown and was diagnosed as suffering from manic depression. During his absence Wisner's job was covered by Richard Helms. Former CIA chief, Richard Helms described Wisner as a man who burned with “a zeal and intensity which imposed, unquestionably, an abnormal strain” on him. Wisner’s passion for covert action, according to Weiner, forever altered “America’s place in the world.” Not only did America pay a price for Wisner’s actions, he and his family paid a price The CIA sent Wisner to the Sheppard-Pratt Institute, a psychiatric hospital near Baltimore. He was prescribed psychoanalysis and shock therapy (electroconvulsive treatment). It was not successful and still suffering from depression, he was released from hospital in 1958. Wisner was too ill to return to his post as head of the Directorate for Plans (DPP). In 1965, Wisner blew his head off with a shotgun.
Hugo Wolf, 1860-1903 Austrian composer
Thomas Wolfe, 1900-1938 American writer,
Mary Wollstonecraft, 1759-1797 British writer, philosopher, feminist, depression, attempted suicide. Wollstonecraft managed to create a substantial body of work, made up of several novels; many essays, reviews, books of advice, and many letters. But, her life was also fraught with disappointment and depression, which let her to attempt suicide several times. Wollstonecraft once wrote, "I am a strange compound of weakness and resolution! However, if I must suffer, I will endeavour to suffer in silence. There is certainly a great defect in my mind -- my wayward heart creates its own misery -- Why I am mad thus I cannot tell; and till I can form some idea of the whole of my existence, I must be content to weep and dance like a child -- long for a toy, and be tire of it as soon as I get it."
Ed Wood, 1924-1978 Movie director, actor, addiction, depression. Judging by the level of inebriation clearly visible in his last two screen appearances, he must have been in really bad shape at that point. Wood's depression grew, and with it a serious drinking problem. His poison of choice was Imperial Whiskey, but he switched to Popov Vodka after Imperial went out of business. Evicted from his Hollywood apartment on Yucca Street, Wood and his wife moved into the bungalow of friend Peter Coe. Only days after the move, Wood died of a heart attack while watching a football game alone in Coe's basement. In Nightmare of Ecstasy, it's reported Wood yelled out "Kathy! Kathy, I'm dying!" a plea his wife upstairs ignored for 90 minutes before finally going downstairs to find him dead. He was 54 years old. Wood apparently shouted this at his wife quite frequently, often to the point of Kathy yelling back "Shut up,
Natalie Wood, 1938-1981 American actress, Wood fell into a deep depression. Always an emotional girl – based in no small part on her questionable upbringing – the heartbroken Wood overdosed on sleeping pills in the summer of 1966, waking up in a hospital and later confessing that she had not wanted to live.
Virginia Woolf, 1882-1941 Writer, breakdown, bipolar disorder, hospitalized, suicide, Born in 1882, Woolf had a history of mental illness on both sides of her family. Many people (including her husband) believe that Virginia Woolf suffered from manic depression, also called bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, little treatment was available to her at the time, and she eventually took her own life at the age of 59. Woolf experienced mood swings for most of her life, and she had her first serious mental breakdown at age 13, following her mother's death. In 1904, she had another breakdown and was confined to a nursing home for rest and solitude. During this episode, she heard voices and threw herself out of a window. She also experienced major attacks of mental illness in 1910 and in 1912. The later episode began shortly after Leonard Woolf proposed marriage to her. She spent more time in a nursing home, and when she seemed well, she married Leonard in August of 1912. Between depressive periods, Woolf was very creative and productive. In early 1913, she completed her first novel, The Voyage Out. But by July of that year, she was re-admitted to a nursing home, where she was given the barbiturate Veronal to help her sleep. She returned home soon after but then attempted suicide by overdosing on Veronal. She did not recover from this episode until late September 1914. Unfortunately, in 1915, Woolf relapsed, becoming incoherent and even violent. She was admitted to a nursing home and then was governed by nurses at her own home until November. After 1915, Woolf experienced a long period of good mental health and artistic exploration. This was when she wrote her great novels To the Lighthouse and Mrs. Dalloway and her proto-feminist essay A Room of One's Own, among other works. Leonard Woolf noted "319 days of headlong and yet slow-moving catastrophe" between May 1940 and Virginia's death in March 1941. This was during World War II, and southern England was being bombed by Germany. Two of the Woolfs' homes were bombed in succession, and this may have sparked a return of Virginia's depression. Around noon on March 28, 1941, she walked down to the River Ouse, near her weekend house in Sussex. Leaving her hat and cane on the riverbank, she placed some heavy stones in her coat pocket and drowned herself. Her body was found on April 18, and the coroner declared the death a suicide, Woolf left two similar notes for her husband and sister. In these letters, she admits to "going mad again" and expressed the belief that she would not recover this time.
Luther Wright, 1971- American basketball player, addiction, bipolar disorder. Luther Wright describes what happened on Jan. 24, 1994, as an out-of-body experience. Then a 22-year-old rookie center for the Utah Jazz, Wright, as he puts it, "wigged out" and spent seven bizarre hours brandishing a gun, smashing a car windshield and eventually, at a rest stop outside of Salt Lake City, banging on garbage cans. When he was finally arrested for disorderly conduct, he was taken not to prison but to the Western Institute of Neuropsychiatry in Salt Lake City for observation. Wright's fit was particularly perplexing given his normal demeanor. A lovable loafer, Wright rarely played with intensity and had shortly before taken up residence in coach Jerry Sloan's doghouse for smuggling a puppy aboard a team flight. "Talk about gentle giants," says retired Jazz president Frank Layden. "Luther wouldn't hurt a flea." Having never had an episode like this before, Wright was frightened. "I just kept thinking, What's wrong with me?" The initial explanation was that Wright had overdosed on Ritalin, which he had been taking for less than a year to combat attention deficit disorder (ADD). Within a few days the diagnosis changed: Doctors at the psychiatric institute asserted that Wright was suffering not from ADD but from bipolar disorder, a condition that involves episodes of mania and depression and can trigger erratic behavior.As his doctors tinkered with Wright's medication, his feelings of depression intensified. He was released after two months but, he says, hit rock bottom during the summer of 1994, when he tried to overdose on pills.
Stevie Wright, 1948- Australian singer, addiction, depression, deep sleep therapy, ECT. By the late Seventies Stevie was in a parlous state. He was admitted to hospital in August, 1976 after an overdose and he received rehab treatment from the William Booth Institute in Sydney. He tried methadone treatment, but like so many addicts he simply became dependent on that instead. Desperate for a cure, he put himself into the hands of notorious Sydney quacks Dr Harry Bailey and his associate Dr John Herron at Chelmsford Private Hospital. Their horrific 'deep sleep' treatments involved tranquilising patients into an induced coma for days or even weeks at a time, and it was combined with repeated electroshock treatment, often administered without the patient's knowledge or permission. Deep-sleep therapy caused tremendous suffering to many patients, and resulted in at least one death. For Stevie the results were disastrous -- after just two weeks at Chelmsford, his brain was so badly damaged by the fourteen shock treatments he received that he was unable to write songs for the next ten years, and it did nothing to alleviate his dependency problems.
Elizabeth Wurtzel, 1967- American writer, depression. Wurtzel shared her ordeal with depression, drugs and how she overcame it during the Keene State College's Citizenship Symposium. "The worst part of any mental illness is being stuck in your own head and thinking you're the only one,"
Tammy Wynette, 1942-1998 American country singer, depression, ECT. Wynette became pregnant with her third child, and from the beginning of the pregnancy, she had complications. Under the constant stress of Euple's frequent unemployment, going to beauty school, and having a difficult pregnancy, Wynette fell into a deep depression. Wynette's Doctors chose to treat her with electroshock therapy. Wynette always said that the treatments were really awful, but they helped her depression. After coming through her depression, Wynette had finally had enough and wanted a divorce from Euple Byrd. At this time, 1965, divorce was something that was not done in the American South. Wynette's Mother and Husband tried to have her classified as insane and have her committed to a mental hospital. Wynette gathered up her two young daughters and moved to Birmingham
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 11/10/2006
Depression appears to be the new must-have disease among those in the public eye. But could it be a convenient cover to excuse their appalling behaviour, Tom Leonard wonders
Only a level of self-absorption that blinds one to the most crass insensitivity can explain how Alastair Campbell could dare put himself and his mental welfare at the centre of the tragedy surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly.
I sat in on much of the Hutton inquiry, and it would have surprised me and, I suspect, most of the other reporters in that cramped courtroom, to know that, one day, Mr Campbell would be opening his heart about his depression over the suicide of the government scientist. Guilt, perhaps.
Depression, not really. Guilt, because if anybody ought to have felt some responsibility for the pressures that led to Dr Kelly's suicide it was – most impartial observers believed – those in the government PR machine.
"The Hutton saga was one of those episodes where things were spiralling out of control," said Campbell in an interview at the weekend about his depression.
"The day he (Dr Kelly) killed himself was without doubt the worst day. It was about the sadness that someone felt driven to do this."
At the time, a lot of us who covered the story expressed "sadness" that MoD press officers "felt driven" effectively to hand Dr Kelly over to the media, knowing that elements of it were rooting for the Government and likely to rip him to shreds.
Campbell admitted in his diary that he wanted to reveal the BBC's source and the MoD steered journalists in Dr Kelly's direction, dropping heavier and heavier hints until, for some reporters, they pretty much spelt it out.
Days later, the scientist was dead. Suicides are often regarded as the ultimate in selfishness.
If only Dr Kelly had known what suffering he was going to cause poor Mr Campbell, would he have stayed his hand?
Campbell and his former colleague, David Blunkett, are the latest sufferers from the new celebrity disease of depression, a diagnosis of which instantly whacks up the public sympathy levels and makes others wary of criticism.
The word is now firmly ensconced in the lexicon of secret celebrity language.
When you're in rehab, it's always because you're suffering from exhaustion; when you're addicted to anything it's always to pain-killers, and "charity work" means going to a lot of parties and being given free watches. And now, when you behave appallingly, you are depressed.
One wonders what Dr Kelly's widow makes of Mr Campbell's "battle with depression" over the Hutton affair.
Or what the husband of Kimberly Quinn makes of David Blunkett's tear-soaked grizzling, in recent interviews and extracts from his diaries, about his inner turmoil as he fought to keep on top of his job and Mrs Quinn.
Chances are we will never know. Janice Kelly and Stephen Quinn have no books to flog or battered public profiles to resurrect by dragging us into their slough of despond.
We already know what Terry Lubbock thinks of the season's other big celebrity woe-is-me book, Michael Barrymore's Awight Now.
The book "sets the record straight" about the entertainer's rise, depression-hit fall and – apparently – remarkable comeback.
But Mr Lubbock turned up on the book publicity tour and made clear it was very much not awight now as he was still seeking answers to why his son, Stuart, was found dead in Barrymore's swimming pool.
Barrymore, who tries but fails to explain convincingly in the book why he immediately left the scene of the death and later refused to answer drug-related questions at the inquest, is clearly getting tired of Mr Lubbock Snr.
His refusal to go away and let Barrymore feel sorry for himself in peace has now prompted the former television presenter – with surely unintentional irony – to accuse him of trying to milk the tragedy.
Perish the thought anyone would do that. After his unhelpful heckling at a book signing in central London last week, Mr Lubbock was ushered away by security staff.
Ordinary people are not supposed to get in the way when celebrities are trying to come clean about their shattered emotions.
I didn't need a publisher friend to tell me yesterday that the broken hearts of the famous are big business nowadays, but she did all the same. In a celebrity-obsessed culture, everyone wants to read that it's not a bed of roses at the top, she said.
The effect is magnified by the fact that we also live in a victim culture. In a think tank report published this week, David Green, a criminologist, said that the spread of such a culture means that more than seven of out 10 people can claim to be oppressed.
Women, ethnic minority men and disabled men scored particularly highly. Mr Green provided no statistics for celebrities but it must be high.
All charities know the value of celebrity endorsements. Celebrities affected by depression include Ulrika Jonsson, Stephen Fry, Stan Collymore, Sarah Lancashire, George Michael, Patsy Kensit, Melvyn Bragg and Ruby Wax – the list goes on and on – and all feature on mental health websites.
The message is clear – this is an ailment from which everybody can suffer. But the danger of the readiness of some less deserving cases to identify themselves as clinically depressed is that it waters down the impact of what is clearly a serious modern disease, with hundreds of thousands of genuine sufferers.
It's probably inevitable that in an industry that is all about egos and self-belief, even the mildest knock to the boat can rock it violently. Even journalists, that sensitive breed, can act like their world has fallen apart just because a piece they wrote is spiked.
Fry, the celebrity depressive's depressive, has just made a BBC documentary about his suffering. He reveals that the climax came when he considered suicide after getting bad reviews for a West End play.
Fry's suffering is clearly more serious than just getting bad reviews.
We know deprivation is relative and that one makes allowances for creative people, but it begs the question whether people who want to kill themselves over losing their arms and legs in a bomb blast, or perhaps their entire family in a car crash, will feel comfort or disdain at revelations such as these.
Famous People and Mental Illnesses
Isaac Newton, most famous mathematician of the 17th Century was responsible for many scientific discoveries we take for granted today such as the "corrected" Gregorian calendar date. Newton’s greatest mathematical discovery was the gravitational relationship between the earth and the moon, and of centrifugal force. Newton was well educated, had access to the best knowledge of his day and was wealthy in later life. He suffered from several “nervous breakdowns” in his life and was known for great fits of rage towards anyone who disagreed with him which some have labeled Bipolar Disorder which was unknown at the time. In 1705 Newton was the first Scientist to be knighted by Queen Anne for his great scientific contributions.
Ludwig van Beethoven, composer, had bipolar disorder which some have said gave him such creative power that his compositions broke the mold for classical music forever. He was a child prodigy which his father tried to exploit. His “manic” episodes seemed to fuel his creativity. He wrote his most famous works during times of torment, loneliness, and suffering psychotic delusions. It took him 12 years to finish his last and 8th Symphony in total deafness. He then medicated himself with the only drugs available in that day to bring some relief –opium and alcohol- and died several years later of liver disease.
Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of U.S. suffered from severe and debilitating and on occasion suicidal depressions, as recorded by Carl Sandburg in his comprehensive six-volume biographical analysis of his life. “A tendency to melancholy” Lincoln once wrote in a letter to a friend, “...let it be observed, is a misfortune, not a fault.” The most amazing part of his story was the sheer determination with which he willed himself to overcome his serious affliction and still achieve all he was able to achieve for our young and troubled nation at war with itself.
Vincent Van Gogh, famous painter and artist was labeled peculiar with unstable moods most of his short life. He suffered from epileptic seizures some believe from excesses of absinthe, very strong liquor popular among talented people for inspiring greater creativity. Many have tried to give a definitive diagnosis of his illness through reading his personal letters. From them it seems clear that his depressive states were also accompanied by manic episodes of enormous energy and great passion. Van Gogh committed suicide at age 37.
Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain who, as one of the “Big Three” (Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin) to lead the world to the defeat of Hitler in WWII, told in his own writings of suffering from “black dog” Churchill’s term for severe and serious depression. Less often talked about are his writings of how he often self-medicated with alcohol to deal with these times. Like so many other famous people with a mental illness, he was able to make the great contribution he did through sheer personal determination. There was a nation, he said, and a world depending on his efforts to lead Britain and the world in the defeat of their common and formidable enemy of Nazism.
Virginia Woolf, the British novelist, born of privilege, experienced the mood swings of bipolar disorder her entire life. She wrote to make sense out of her mental chaos and gain control of madness; and was greatly admired for her creative insight into human nature. She was tolerated by friends and family, receiving great care and understanding during her entire life and because of this, never had to face institutionalization, the only medical “treatment” in those days. She died at her own hand by filling her pockets with stones and walking into a nearby river. The cause of death was determined as "Suicide, while the balance of her mind was disturbed."
Jane Pauley, NBC newsbroadcaster, since the age of 25, talks candidly about her depression and bipolar illnesses. In her new book, "Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue."she tells about her childhood and family problems, and how she discovered her need for medication to control mood swings.
Linda Hamilton, actress, has gone public with her diagnosis of bi-polar disorder diagnosed at a young age. Hamilton, well known for her part with Arnold Schwarzenegger in "The Terminator" movies explains how helpful medication has been for her and that she understands she will have to be on medication for the rest of her life.
Shawn Colvin, Winner of two Grammys in music, talked about her struggle with depression. Colvin has suffered from major depressive disorder for more than 20 years. "During the worst times, I shut the world out, refusing to get out of bed. Even the smallest tasks were overwhelming," she said.
Judy Collins, singer and songwriter, has written a book titled "Sanity and Grace: A Journey of Suicide, Survival and Strength," (2003). The book chronicles her journey as a survivor of depression after the suicide of her 33-year-old son in 1992. She states that her own spiritual life and practice have been a strength for her as she battles with her illness.
Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, prof. of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, author of many books on mental illness. Dr. Jamison has bipolar illness herself and has attempted suicide. Her book "Touched With Fire," lists and describes many famous persons whose lives have been changed by bipolar illness.
Maurice Bernard, portraying Sonny Corinthos on "General Hospital" weekdays on ABC, tells the National Mental Health Association that he suffered from bi-polar disorder for many years before he was diagnosed and given medication to bring his illness under control.
William Styron, author, writes about his own depression in his book, "Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness, " (1990) and his decision to seek help. His earlier works which he wrote prior to his diagnosis and admission of his illness described with uncanny accuracy, the symptoms and the problems he would experience later in his life. He was one of the first to write about other famous persons who struggled with mental illness and for explaining the almost unexplainable experience of a brain disorder to those who had never experienced it in a way which gained their sympathy and admiration.
John Nash, Nobel Prize Winner in mathematics, has faced a lifelong battle with schizophrenia. He was known as the “Phantom of Fine Hall” at Princeton where his reclusive, ghost like figure could be seen roaming around, leaving messages of his mathematical genus on the boards of empty classrooms. His struggle was well documented in the book "A Beautiful Mind," by Sylvia Nasar which was later made into a movie by the same name.
Carrie Fisher, the child of two Hollywood stars (Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher) and actress, in her own right, played Princess Leia in "Star Wars" movies. Early in the 70’s she says she started using cocaine. Her experiences with drug addiction led to her first best selling book, Postcards From the Edge. The book was made into a film in 1990 starring Meryl Streep. Her illness comes from her mother’s side of the family.
Lionel Aldridge, a football player for the Green Bay Packers during the 1960's, developed paranoid schizophrenia and was homeless for 2 1/2 years. “Once I accepted and cooperated with the treatment, I started to beat the illness.”he said. He now speaks to groups to help them better understand mental illness. He states that he is completely symptom free and that helping others understand mental illness is “therapy” for him.
Eugene O'Neill, famous playwright, author of "Long Day's Journey into Night," and "Ah, Wilderness!” came from a deeply troubled family background, suffering from clinical depression the greater portion of his life. His most famous plays were written between 1935 and 1943 despite persistent mental illness. He is the only American playwright to have won the Nobel Prize for literature.
Vivien Leigh, actress made famous by her leading role in "Gone With the Wind" and her creative genus for stage and screen, suffered from serious bouts of manic depression, tuberculosis, and poor health her entire life. It was, in fact, because of her illness, that she was frequently cast into roles that required a personal experience of the torment that comes from the experience of this disease. Vivien was once able to make a full recovery after shock treatments, only to succumb some years later. A nervous breakdown associated with a miscarriage proved to be the unraveling of her marriage with actor Lawrence Olivier who continued to be a devoted friend. She was finally diagnosed with cyclical manic-depression with hallucinations and had to be confined to a nursing home only to recover and return to the screen for her last movie. Leigh finally succumbed to the tuberculosis at the young age of 53 of while filming “The Ship of Fools”. She became known and admired for her ability to fulfill her passionate dream for stardom despite her TB and debilitating manic-depression.
Ruth Graham (daughter of Ruth and Billy Graham) writes about her many years of suffering with depression, drugs, eating disorders and thoughts of suicide in her 2004 book "In Every Pew Sits A Broken Heart," Church was never the comfort for her that it seemed to be for others. An adult with a tragic life behind her, she was finally able to talk about it. Being the daughter of a famous preacher she felt she should not have problems. Through the steady love of her family she was able to feel God’s forgiveness. Her message today is that being a Christian doesn’t guarantee us a perfect life. She hopes her story will give those who want to serve others a place to start in knowing what to do and say.
Brooke Shields talked about her disabling Post Partum Depression in her newly published book "Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression." Shields reported she first had difficulty bonding with her baby and later thought of hurting it and even killing herself. She was able to gain a significant improvement in her mood through medication and the help of a skilled nurse-helper who recognized her problem and encouraged her to get help.
Additional Famous People Known to have Coped with Symptoms of Mental Illness
Leo Tolstoy, author
Charles Dickens, English author,
John Keats, poet,
Bette Midler, entertainer
Charles Schultz, cartoonist
Dick Clark, entertainer
Irving Berlin, composer
Rosemary Clooney, singer
Jimmy Piersall, baseball player. Boston Red Sox
Burgess Meredith, actor,
Peter Illyich Tchaikovsky, composer
Charlie Pride, singer
Sylvia Plath, poet and novelist.
Janet Jackson, singer
Patty Duke, actress,
Roseanne Barr, comedian
Marlon Brando, actor
Maurice Bernard, actor
Buzz Aldrin, astronaut
Margot Kidder, Actress
Jonathon Winters, comedian
Pat Conroy, author
Ernest Hemingway, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist,
Tennessee Williams, American playwright
Famous People with Bipolar
Comedian Stephen Fry says he tried to kill himself after walking out of the West End play Cell-Mates in 1995.
"I went into my garage, sealed the door with a duvet I'd brought and got into my car," the star reveals in a BBC Two documentary on manic depression.
"I sat there for at least, I think, two hours in the car, my hands on the ignition key."
Fry fled the country after his suicide attempt. He later paid the producers of Cell-Mates £20,000 in damages.
After returning to the UK, Fry says he was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder, which is the modern clinical term for manic depression.
"I'd never heard the word before, but for the first time at the age of 37 I had a diagnosis that explains the massive highs and miserable lows I've lived with all my life," said Fry.
"There's no doubt that I do have extremes of moods that are greater than just about anybody else I know."
Fry starred in Blackadder and Jeeves and Wooster
I do have extremes of moods that are greater than just about anybody else I know
'Candour and bravery'
Fry interviews other celebrities who suffer from bipolar disorder for a BBC Two documentary, The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, which will be screened this autumn.
Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher, Hollywood star Richard Dreyfus and British comedian Tony Slattery are among the interviewees.
The programme also talks to ordinary people who have the condition, which causes them to swing from deep clinical depression to episodes of extreme mania.
BBC Two controller Roly Keating said: "Stephen talks about his own experiences with incredible candour and bravery.
"I think he felt he could use his prominence to make a difference."
Around one in 50 people suffer from bipolar disorder in the UK.
At least one in four of them attempt suicide, with some estimates as high as 50%.
Yet the condition, although incurable, can be managed effectively with the right drug regime.
Adam Ant: King of the Wild Frontier
For three glittering years, he was the biggest name in British pop - but he always hid the truth about himself behind his obsessively-promoted stage image. Now, for the first time, Adam Ant reveals how thousands of women threw themselves at him, and the madness that destroyed every relationship he had.
In the grey, cold, echoing emergency ward of a hospital in North London, I was shaken into consciousness by a hard-faced and overworked charge nurse. "Wake up, you little bastard,", she hissed in my ear. I groaned. Satisfied I was awake, she left me alone. Somewhere out of sight down a winding, peeling corridor, a woman was screaming. There was no one else around.
As I sat up, groggy and lost, I saw the name Stuart Goddard written in chalk on a board next to a door. That was the name my parents had given me 22 years earlier. But I had killed Stuart Goddard. The handful of my mother-in-law's pills I swallowed had done the job. That failed suicide attempt, in the summer of 1976, was the turning point in my life.
I hadn't died but 'Stuart' had. For that evening I ceased to be him and emerged, reinvented, as Adam Ant - a pop star alter ego hungry for fame and fortune. My young wife of a few months, Carol, came to pick me up from the hospital with her father, scared and confused.
"Why did you do it, Stuart?" she asked.
"Call me Adam," I replied.
"Why?" she said.
"Because..." I mumbled.
Sitting in the back of her father's car, I couldn't really explain. But I knew that a new life was calling me and that I would, eventually, have to leave her.
Within a few weeks, I had formed a new band, Adam And The Ants - I chose ants because they are hard- working, tough and communal. And in less than four years I would be celebrating the first of 15 Top 20 UK hits and the start of a global pop career that would earn me more than £10million.
Riding a wave of hysteria and adulation, I would embark on romances with a string of famous women, among them actresses Amanda Donohoe and Jamie Lee Curtis, and countless others.
But the deep depression that had led to my suicide attempt and the birth of Adam Ant would remain a constant companion. Although I did not know it, my very need to succeed and my countless affairs were a clue to my problems. Girls, music and hard work helped contain my illness and erratic behaviour. Sex was my panacea.
The first signs of mental illness came early in life. From the age of about four, I suffered terrifying hallucinations.
Sitting wide awake in the early hours, I'd be in the middle of a giant aquarium. Perfect, 3-D Technicolor fish would swim around the room. Sharks, stingrays and Portuguese men-of-war would slide within inches of my pyjamas.
My parents put it down to the trauma caused by my father's drinking. He was a violent alcoholic and after each episode he would promise to mend his ways. Which he would - for about two days.
My mother finally left him when I was seven. She was a cleaner who had once worked as an embroiderer for Norman Hartnell, the Queen's dress designer. As a single parent, she struggled to bring me up in a run-down tenement in North London. Not that life was utterly without glamour: Mum once had a job as a daily for Paul McCartney in his white Georgian house in St John's Wood.
I was passionate about painting and, after leaving grammar school in 1973, I went to Hornsey art college in North London. It was here I met Carol, the cutest blonde at college.
On the day I met her, she was wearing satin hot pants and suede knee-length boots. If she had been only a great pair of legs, that would have meant some serious sex, but since she was also kind, generous and understanding, that meant something altogether different.
I was in love. I wanted her for myself. To my mind, there was only one way of making sure of that. Although I was only 20, I asked her to marry me. We exchanged rings at a white wedding in St John's Wood in 1975.
For a few brief months, with me feeling high, restless and full of energy, we had a great time together. But then things started to change. In November 1975, I saw The Sex Pistols play their first gig at St Martin's art school. They were the support act for my band - Bazooka Joe - and their rawness and energy, which made our performance look hopelessly out-of-date, had a hair-raising effect on me. From then on, I wanted to be something different and be someone else.
What's more, I was living with Carol's parents and felt trapped. My hallucinations returned and I sank into a depression as bad as any I had suffered as a child. Carol couldn't make me feel better, alcohol didn't help and I had no energy to create music. It was in this desperate state that I decided I could no longer be Stuart Goddard and took the pills.
After leaving the hospital and, later, Carol, I went to live with my father and stepmother and formed Adam And The Ants. Our music wasn't outright punk, but it was still raw - and loud. I called it Antmusic. In the first incarnation of my new alter ego, I wore black leather and white Japanese kabuki face paint.
I later teamed up with the guitarist Marco Pirroni to devise the sound and look that came to define the band. I had taken to reading books on American Indians and African tribes, and adopted an Apache/gipsy-warrior look, with knee bells to make my moves percussive, a kilt and the now legendary white stripe across my nose.
We played our first gig in May 1977 and I was on a high again, enjoying my new-found freedom as a single man. It seemed the only way of keeping my depression at bay was to stay busy - and have as much sex as possible. So that became the big idea for Adam Ant: work and sex for a healthy life.
I was seeing many women, among them Amanda Donohoe, now famous for her roles in the film Castaway and the TV series LA Law. At the time, though, she was only 16 and not yet an actress. Mandy had approached me at a gig in 1978 and a few days later came to see me at home in Chelsea. It was difficult to believe she was just 16. She was beautiful, with black hair and a perfectly formed woman's body. She was also intelligent and sharp-tongued.
After an hour of chatting and laughing on the sofa, I was shocked when she suddenly kissed me. I didn't expect her to be experienced and had no intention of going any further until we knew each other better. It would be more than a month before we made love, but when we did it was amazing. In my diary I described it as "life-enriching".
Meanwhile, Antmusic was starting to catch on. We gigged solidly, leading to sessions on the influential John Peel radio show and our first album, Dirk Wears White Sox, in 1979.
The following year we went on tour, with Mandy acting as wardrobe mistress, painting feathers with stripes and sewing ribbons into hair extensions for me. Mandy thought I was her boyfriend and that, naturally, meant we were to be faithful.
In my mind, I was. I cared deeply about her. But in the flesh I couldn't be faithful. I had to have sex with new, different women whenever I could. The sex distracted me, kept me sane.
After receiving any kind of bad news - about the band or contracts, for instance - I had to have sex. When, on rare occasions, I couldn't find anyone, I couldn't sleep. My diary of the time is littered with my thoughts on those lonely nights. I refer constantly to Mandy as "my girl" and to other women I was sleeping with as "friends".
One day, Mandy looked at my diary and discovered what was going on. She was furious, and we had a huge row. But we agreed to stay together.
In July 1980, Adam And The Ants signed to the record label CBS and in October we appeared for the first time on Top Of The Pops, which propelled our single Dog Eat Dog up the charts. Our next single, Antmusic, made No 2 in December.
After three years of hard work, I had finally made it. I had always expected it to happen. Part of me was relieved the wait was over - another part felt apprehensive about what was to come next. I wanted to make another album and set up another tour, to be as busy as I could to keep the "high" going. I knew work would keep depression at bay.
Women were now more available to me than ever before. On tour, I would go down to the hotel lobby to meet girls who had followed us back from a show. Sex was available every few feet. With the right vibes and a little chatter I'd have a lovely girl in my room and soon in my bed.
Mandy was about to start drama school and we were still seeing each other off and on - though with my touring commitments it had been more off than on. In the meantime, I began an affair with a red-haired topless-model-turned-dancer named Carole Caplin (who later became famous as Cherie Blair's health guru). We'd met through the Page Three girl Tessa Hewitt, and although I was sleeping with Tessa, the attraction between Carole and I was too powerful to ignore.
Fortunately, we were able to keep our affair private for several months. It was a gorgeous romance, tainted slightly by the guilt I fought. Carole was calm, sensuous and relaxing to be around. But her serenity did not rub off on me and I continued to work manically, either writing songs, recording videos or touring.
Eventually I realised I'd been working non-stop for two years and decided to take a ten-day break in Barbados with an old friend.
As it turned out, it was the worst thing I could have done. After two days, my mind was crowded with irrational thoughts of Mandy back in Britain sleeping with someone else and concerns that my record company was doing nothing but feeding off me.
After four days, I called my manager, Don Murfet, and had him fly Carole Caplin out to be with me. We had three days together before I came back to London early, damning Barbados as a tropical hell. Carole had enjoyed the lazing around, as most people would, but I was having obsessive thoughts about Mandy - despite being with Carole - and desperately wanted to see her.
I next ran into Carole on a flying visit to London. After a pleasant meal, we went back to her flat where she ambushed me. By now, she'd become an Exegesist. Exegesis involves the detailed reading of religious texts, or at least that's its literal meaning. In the early Eighties it came to be a catch-all name for reading anything and then reading too much into what you'd just "studied".
Since Carole had been "enlightened", she decided to tell me how f***** up I was. Instead of leaving, as I should have done, I stayed and argued until we were both exhausted. I then went home to my Primrose Hill flat and slept like a baby.
In summer 1981, the band recorded our third album, Prince Charming. But I already had one eye on the future and hoped the pop videos we were releasing would launch a new career as an actor.
The video for the Prince Charming single is the one most people remember. It has a cast of thousands and the song was written with the video in mind, which is probably why both were so successful. It has the chorus, "Ridicule is nothing to be scared of." It meant, "Go out and do what you want to do, believe and you'll succeed." After all, I had.
Throughout this period, Mandy Donohoe was still on the scene, though I continued to be unfaithful to her. In July 1981, we had another big argument. Mandy had found and read my diary. Again. Again we screamed at each other, again she stormed out of my life. I wrote in my diary: "She needs to be free of me,cos I am bad for her. It breaks my heart to accept and record this because it is never easy to admit weakness, frustration and disappointment in yourself."
We made up, and three weeks later, when I was going abroad, I asked Mandy to walk with me in front of a barrage of photographers at the airport. I wanted to let the world know we were an item. But our relationship didn't last. The following year we finally agreed it was best to be good friends.
Prince Charming topped the UK charts in September 1981. At the time we were touring Australia, where I saw Hollywood star Liza Minnelli on stage. Her performance wiped me out; she was fantastic. Afterwards, I went back to her dressing room. Liza was warm and sincere, and when I left she hugged me and I felt sure we'd meet again.
The show made me think differently about my own live performances and feel I was an idiot for not enjoying my success. I could never take the time to be still, to not work, lie back and simply enjoy things. I had to be active, to keep pushing myself and everyone around me for...what? I wasn't sure.
Liza and I met once more in Australia, and shortly afterwards in Japan, where we went to a club. I asked her to dance. I couldn't believe it as the words left my mouth, but she said "Yes" and there I was, dancing with Liza Minnelli! We danced for ages, holding each other tight, her with her eyes closed.
Nothing else happened between us, but it wasn't long before I began an affair with another Hollywood star. I met Jamie Lee Curtis at a dinner party in Los Angeles. She had just hit the big time - playing a hooker in Eddie Murphy's film Trading Places - and had the most beautiful body. I felt very, very attracted to her.
Our meeting was like a first date where you're both ultra-polite, touching each other surreptitiously and starting conversations just so you can look into each other's eyes. And because she was so ambitious I felt intrigued by her as well as being slightly envious. All night I tried to get close and grab a moment with her. Yet I got the impression she knew that to be successful you have to be ruthless and independent.
When she left the party, we briefly kissed with as much tenderness as company around us would allow. In the hallway she touched my hand and I held hers. I felt we were made for each other.
A couple of days later we had lunch, but neither of us ate much because we were talking so much. Afterwards, we went to a photoshoot I had to do. As I sat waiting for make-up, Jamie leaned over and gave me a quick kiss on the lips. "Sorry," she said shyly, "I had to do that."
I went red and pecked her in return.
The make-up woman appeared and I had to go to work. Jamie left, but sent me a card. It read: "I'm sorry I had to leave. I would have loved to stay with you. I hope I get to see you again somewhere. You are very special. With much affection, Jamie."
When we met again it was as if we'd never been apart. She was waiting on the doorstep of the apartment I had on Sunset Strip as I returned sweaty from the gym. We grinned at each other, started hugging and then spent a week together making love, laughing, eating breakfast in public.
We snogged in the back row of a cinema and ate dinner in intimate restaurants. Jamie was one of the most positive people I had met. She was always happy to see me, tactile and generous with her affections.
In 1983, I took my mum for supper at a swanky restaurant in London. After a while, as waiters sucked up to me, the pop star, I looked across at my mum. There she sat, pale and lovely, small and almost shivering with fear.
My mum, who had probably only ever been out to supper at most a dozen times in her whole life, was scared and unsure of how to act. I felt ashamed of myself and how big and full of s*** I had become.
Jamie was special to me, but I still could not think about getting totally involved with one person. Also, I didn't want to be known as the boyfriend of a famous Hollywood actress, which she was rapidly becoming. I wrote in my diary at the time: "I am not in any shape to get too serious about anybody."
Nonetheless, we agreed to spend Christmas 1983 together and spent eight days in my Primrose Hill flat - which almost proved to be the end of the relationship. It wasn't Jamie's fault. She was so positive and bubbly and I was such a misery that, as I wrote in my diary, I would be surprised if she ever spoke to me again.
Yet Jamie was an optimist and did not give up on me. In January, I embarked on a US tour and saw her in New York. We spent four days making love as much as possible before Jamie flew back to LA and I carried on with the tour. After four weeks, I began to get "road fever" and, as ever, I felt an overwhelming compunction to have sex. As with previous tours, it was a different woman in every town.
Eventually, Jamie met me in LA and told me she had to be in control of everything in her life, including her relationships. While I understood, there was no way I could take her in my arms and say that I would be the man she could trust with her life. Our goodnight kiss was chaste and, as it turned out, final.
My personal life was still unsettled and, by the mid-Eighties, my pop career was also faltering. Our recent records had not been quite as successful as earlier ones and the critics were lining up to dismiss us. My 1985 album, Vive Le Rock, flopped.
I was angry with my record company for not helping us as much as I'd hoped. I was told they were cutting back on everything, but I suspected they were just cutting back on Adam Ant.
In December I was told they would "let me go" if I wanted. If we couldn't agree on how to work together, then I could quit the label. At that moment, I knew I was stone cold as a commercial prospect and was floored by a tidal wave of depression.
In less than five years I had gone from the height of global fame to the lowest point in my career. But there was worse to come.
Adapted from Stand And Deliver by Adam Ant, published by Sidgwick & Jackson on September 15 at £18.99. To order your copy for £17.09 with free p&p call The Review Bookstore on 0870 165 08700870 165 0870.
Margot Kidder Pushes Alternative Mental Health
Americans Have New Options for Their Own Mental Health
(Los Angeles, California): With the growing concern nationwide about violence, drug abuse, illiteracy, and other pressing social ills, people turn to their friends, their church, their doctors, school counselors and often, as a last resort, to the psychiatric industry for answers. But a new movement is rapidly developing. Similar to the popular trend to choose natural healing over orthodox medicine, people are doing the same for their mental health.
Actress Margot Kidder of Superman fame decided this week to lead the campaign to introduce a new voice for mental health care. On April 10, Ms.Kidder was appointed as the national spokesperson for AlternativeMentalHealth.com, the world's largest Internet site on non-drug mental health treatments.
"The number of people looking for help without medication is staggering, she said. Sometimes I am on the phone three to four hours a day with people asking me how I did it. Now I can refer them to AlternativeMentalHealth.com.
After years of searching for answers to her own health problems, Kidder finally resolved her troubles through nutrient therapy. I got a hold of a 900-page medical book on manic depression, sat down with my dictionaries and worked it out for myself, said Kidder.
Among other things, it said that certain amino acid deficiencies were common in manic depression. But the recommended treatment was drugs! Kidder continued. I thought,~Heck, why not just take the amino acids? I did and that was the starting point on my road to wellness.
The actress, who has appeared in 55 feature films and over 100 television shows and continues to work steadily, has since become a passionate spokesperson on behalf of people seeking nutritionally oriented drug-free mental treatments. She was in Los Angeles in January of this year to receive the Courage in Mental Health Award from the California Womens Mental Health Policy Council.
AlternativeMentalHealth.com is a much needed presence on the internet, she said. It has a directory of alternative mental health practitioners around the world and many, many articles on the various causes and drug-free treatments for mental problems.
A recent Harvard study confirms a dramatic increase in the public's interest in non-drug mental health treatments. Reporting in the February 2001 issue of the American Journal ofPsychiatry, the study authors claim, Complementary and alternative therapies are used more than conventional therapies by people with self-defined anxiety attacks and severe depression. Most patients visiting conventional mental health providers for these problems also use complementary and alternative therapies....Use of these therapies will likely increase as insurance coverage expands.
AlternativeMentalHealth.com issponsored by Safe Harbor, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public, the medical field, and government agencies on drug-free alternatives for mental health problems. They emphasize the role of physical causes such as medical problems, allergies, toxic conditions, and nutritional imbalances.
Safe Harbor was founded by L.A.businessman, Dan Stradford, who saw his fathern crippled by electroshock therapy and heavy medication in the late 1950s. He was unrecognizable after that, Stradford says. But 42 years later, through nutrient therapy, we have been able to free him from taking antipsychotic drugs. He regained dignity by getting that part of his life back.
A wide variety of physical ailments can cause mental upheaval, yet these often are not looked for by physicians,who can be quick to prescribe antidepressants or other medications. Even when a full physical exam is done, many causes, such as a zinc deficiency or copper excess, could remain hidden because few doctors consider looking for them, usually due to a lack of education in the area of nutrition or a limited understanding of the dangerous effects of the psychotropic drugs they prescribe.
AlternativeMentalHealth.com includes numerous informative articles on specific symptoms and possible natural remedies. Ms. Kidder has recently included an article on amino acids, a natural substance research has shown to have powerful benefits without non-optimum side effects.
The simple fact, says Kidder, is that an extraordinary number of people dislike the effects that psychiatric medication has on them. It can dull the senses and cause all kinds of emotional and physical reactions. I know I was very upset to find out that very simple and logical alternatives existed but no doctor ever told me about them.
Psychiatric drug use has increased sharply in recent decades. In the 1960s, when tranquilizers first came on the market, Valium rapidly became themost prescribed drug in medical history.
Antidepressants and anti-anxietyagents are still widely in use. The Family Research Council estimates that 6 million American children are currently taking psychiatric drugs, primarily for Attention Deficit Disorder. Newsweek reports that prescription drug sales have doubled to $145 billion in the past five years.
The use of nutrient therapy for mental disorders has been around since the 1940s. Double-Nobel-prize-winner Linus Pauling was a champion of it and referred to it as orthomolecular (correct molecule) treatment. Research concentrates on extensive lab testing of subjects to determine what metabolic abnormalities they have in common.
One pioneer of nutrient therapy, Dr. Abram Hoffer of Canada, has used a nutrient protocol on schizophrenia, which has proven highly effective in six double-blind studies. The protocol is available free at AlternativeMentalHealth.com.
AlternativeMentalHealth.com. is here to give Americans of all ages a choice through education and access to doctors nationwide who are experts in fields such as nutritional deficiencies, hormonal and metabolicdisorders, and other things that can cause mental suffering, said Stradford. Many people are seeking alternatives to the often devastating effects of electroshock therapy or years on drugs. If we help one of them, then we have accomplished our goals.
For further information on http://alternativementalhealth.com/ contact Dan Stradford at 818-890-1862 or Christie Communications at 805-969-3744.818-890-1862805-969-3744
Later this year, comedian Stephen Fry will front two films about the reality of living with manic depression.
The star - who has suffered from the illness - will speak to celebrities and other people dealing with the condition in - The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive.
Stephen Fry will deal with the trauma of manic depression