Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses

Trista - September 16, 2019

Schizophrenia is more than “hearing voices.” It is possibly the most severe mental illness that is known to exist, and it inflicts people at all strata of society. Some people with schizophrenia go on to become known all across the world for the incredible talents that they learn to use, in spite of their illness.

Schizophrenia is not the only mental illness that can severely impede a person’s ability to function. Bipolar, borderline personality disorder, depression, anxiety, and narcissism are just a few mental illnesses that debilitate people every day. But not everyone with mental illness is unable to function. Some, like the people listed below, live incredibly productive lives and became famous in their own right.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Schizophrenia can be a confusing diagnosis. Photo: psychologywizard.net

1. Schizophrenia Is A Form Of Psychosis

People who have schizophrenia experience hallucinations, delusions, muddled thoughts, and numerous other symptoms associated with psychosis. They can have racing thoughts, and holding a conversation with them can be confusing, as they frequently change subjects mid-sentence.

People with schizophrenia are also subject to intense paranoia. They may put aluminum or devices on their heads or bodies to prevent aliens from intercepting their thoughts. The delusions and paranoid behavior are not the results of things that other people have said; instead, they are caused by the illness itself, which manifests in psychosis.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Changes in the brain cause schizophrenia. Photo: medicalindiatourism.com

2. Schizophrenia Is Not A Violent Disease

There are many stigmas attached to mental illness, especially more severe forms, like bipolar and schizophrenia. People are often afraid of people who have these diagnoses, as they may associate the psychosis and delusional, paranoid behavior with violence.

However, the fact is that people who have mental illness are much more likely to become victims of violence than to be perpetrators. Any violence that mentally ill people commit is likely not directly connected to the disease, but other factors, such as drugs and alcohol.

Possibly the worst case of a mentally ill person committing a felony was that of Andrea Yates, who drowned all five of her children in the bathtub. She was experiencing postpartum psychosis, but years before her crime, she had also been advised to not have any additional children because of the intense stress that her husband’s lifestyle was causing.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Navigating life with schizophrenia can feel like walking a tightrope. Photo: apa.org

3. The Causes Of Schizophrenia Are Complex

Mental illness, like physical illness, is often caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Having a family member with schizophrenia increases a person’s chance of developing it significantly, especially if that family member is a first-degree relative.

But not everyone with a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia or other mental illnesses will develop a diagnosable condition. Children who grow up in a stable home and whose environments lead them to create high levels of resilience may, despite having a genetic predisposition, not develop mental illness. However, then again, just like cancer and other physical diseases, even the best upbringing cannot always prevent mental illness from developing.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Jani was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was only six. Photo: foxnews.com

4. The Youngest Person Diagnosed With Schizophrenia Was Six Years Old

Jani Schofield exhibited symptoms of psychosis while she was still an infant. The symptoms became increasingly worse when she was a toddler, but due to her young age, professionals didn’t want to give her a diagnosis. Her parents became desperate and began researching what could be causing their daughter’s psychosis.

It turns out, Jani had one of the most severe cases of schizophrenia ever seen. Her younger brother, Bodhi, also had schizophrenia. Her parents went public with their children’s condition to help reduce the stigma around mental illness and raise awareness of childhood schizophrenia.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Van Gogh’s painting is one of the most famous in the world. Photo: fanpop.com

5. The Painter Of Starry Night May Have Had Schizophrenia

Vincent Van Gogh was a famous Dutch painter whose angry brushstrokes were immortalized in the famous Starry Night masterpiece. Serious art students today look at his paintings and immediately see the tormented mental state that the painter was in.

Anecdotal evidence has led mental health experts to suspect that Van Gogh may have actually had schizophrenia. On one occasion, during an argument with another painter, he heard a voice say, “Kill him.” He then took a knife and cut off his own ear. The tormented artist spent much of his life in isolation, but he is now known as one of the greatest artists of all time.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Jim Gordon was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Photo: rollingstone.com

6. Grammy-Winning Artist Jim Gordon Had Schizophrenia

In the 1960s and 1970s, Jim Gordon was one of the most sought-after drummers in the music world. He worked with groups like The Beach Boys, the Byrds, Eric Clapton, and even John Lennon. His drumming can be heard in the hit “Classical Gas,” which is still enjoyed on many retro radio stations today.

Later in life, Gordon developed schizophrenia, but it was misdiagnosed as alcohol abuse, common among those who were prominent in the music world. Probably because of his alcohol abuse, Gordon had several violent encounters, one being when he beat his girlfriend in a hotel room. In 1983, he fatally stabbed his mother with a butcher knife after first beating her with a hammer. Following his arrest, he was finally diagnosed with acute schizophrenia.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
The movie is modeled after the life of John Nash. Photo: quotesgram.com

7. The Beautiful Mind Of John Nash Was Plagued With Schizophrenia

Dr. John Nash, Junior was the genius whose life story was depicted in the movie A Beautiful Mind. He was a brilliant mathematician whose contributions helped shape everything from game theory to partial differential equations to differential geometry. His work heavily influenced modern economic methods, and he even received a Nobel Memorial Prize in economics.

In his thirties, Nash began showing clear signs of mental illness. In a 1959 speech at Columbia University, he was supposed to deliver a lecture on Riemann geometry but instead gave an incomprehensible jumble of mishmash. He was soon admitted to a psychiatric unit, where he was diagnosed and treated for schizophrenia. His candidness about his journey with schizophrenia has been at least as influential as his contributions to mathematics.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Lionel Aldridge, before developing schizophrenia. Photo: online-psychology-degrees.org

8. One Of The Greatest Football Players Ever Had Schizophrenia

Lionel Aldridge played for the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s and was even inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. After retiring from professional football, Aldridge became a sports analyst with NBC. However, when he began exhibiting paranoid behavior, his life went into a tailspin.

Aldridge soon became homeless, due in part to a misdiagnosis. After receiving a proper diagnosis of schizophrenia and getting appropriate treatment, he became a strong advocate for mental illness and those who were homeless. His message to the world was that people could and do recover from mental illness.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Veronica Lake credited schizophrenia with her creativity. Photo: reddit.com

9. The Star Of I Married A Witch Had Schizophrenia

Veronica Lake was an early movie seductress who turned millions of heads a full decade before Marilyn Monroe came onto the scene. She had an uncontrollable temperament as a child, due to childhood schizophrenia; her parents got her into acting because they thought that it would help control her behavior.

The young Veronica was known to have uncontrollable behavior while she was on the set. According to a magazine article published in 1944, people who worked with her speculated about “what precise moment her time-bomb mind will explode.” But Lake, full of charm, shrugged the comment off by saying that she has an imaginative mind.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
One of the greatest musical geniuses of our time has schizophrenia. Photo: thefamouspeople.com

10. The Founder Of Fleetwood Mac Had Schizophrenia

Peter Green is an icon of British music, described by BB King as one of the most significant figures of the “second great epoch” of British blues. His guitar skills were admired by some of the most accomplished musicians around, including Eric Clapton. In addition to his music skills, Green’s life is distinguished by his journey with schizophrenia.

In the 1970s, he began receiving treatment for the paranoid and delusional symptoms that he had been experiencing. At the time, treatment for schizophrenia usually entailed electroshock therapy, and he was often in a trance-like state. Now in recovery, he claims that he has a much simpler lifestyle.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd had schizophrenia. Photo: fanpop.com

11. The Founder Of Pink Floyd May Have Had Schizophrenia

Syd Barrett is most famous for being the founder of the British rock band Pink Floyd, in which he sang, wrote music, and played guitar for many years in the group’s early history. During his years with the band, which ended in 1968, he spiraled into drug abuse that was coupled with psychosis.

Barrett never came out publicly as having schizophrenia, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the disease may have caused his delusional and psychotic behavior. In the 1970s, he moved back in with his mother and died in her home when he was 60 years old.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Albert Einstein with his son, Eduard. Photo: sciencealert.com

12. Albert Einstein’s Son Had Schizophrenia

People with schizophrenia are often marked by incredible intelligence, so much so that some have questioned whether genius makes someone more susceptible to the disease. Case in point: Albert Einstein’s second son, Eduard Einstein, was a particularly brilliant student who held all of the promises of his father.

Eduard wanted to become a psychoanalyst, but because of the symptoms of mental illness that were developing, he had to be hospitalized multiple times, beginning in his twenties. The Einstein family has since used Eduard’s place in their lineage as grounds for advocating the cause of helping people who are living with schizophrenia.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Buddy Bolden was a famous jazz musician with schizophrenia. Photo: thefamouspeople.com

13. One Of The Pioneers Of American Jazz Had Schizophrenia

New Orleans wouldn’t be the same city without the up-tempo, improvise-style music known as jazz. Moreover, one of the pioneers of jazz music there was Buddy Bolden, known as the King of Jazz or King Bolden. He was known for his improvisation and loud music and played most prolifically from the years 1900 to 1907.

Bolden was also a heavy drinker, and in 1907, he had an episode of what was termed “acute alcoholic psychosis.” He later received a diagnosis of schizophrenia, which was then known as dementia praecox. He spent the rest of his life at the Louisiana State Insane Asylum, as a treatment for mental illness at the time consisted of locking people up.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Zelda Fitzgerald is an icon of feminists today. Photo: thefamouspeople.com

14. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Wife Had Schizophrenia

Zelda Fitzgerald lived with her husband as a celebrity during the tumult of the Roaring Twenties, and she was dubbed “the first American flapper.” However, she had many delusional and psychotic breakdowns, especially regarding what she believed was unfaithfulness on the part of her husband.

After 1930, Zelda spent much of her life in asylums and sanatoria, at first in Europe and later in the United States. Her symptoms improved with treatment, and today, she is seen as a feminist icon for her role in the women’s liberation movement of the 1920s.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Darrell Hammond has struggled with mental illness throughout his acting career. Photo: aceshowbiz.com

15. One Of The Longest-Standing Actors In Saturday Night Live Has Schizophrenia

Darrell Hammond is best known for his impressions on Saturday Night Live, perhaps the most famous being that of former president Bill Clinton. He was on the cast from 1995 until 2009, and in 2014, became the show’s announcer.

What is less known about him is his struggle with schizophrenia, along with borderline personality disorder and bipolar. He attributes these illnesses to the severe trauma and abuse that he suffered at the hands of his mother as he was growing up. He has been hospitalized several times, and after coming out with his mental illness in 2011, has been an advocate for other people who have a mental illness.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
The author of “On the Road” had schizophrenia. Photo: art-sheep.com

16. A Famous Novelist Was Diagnosed With Schizophrenia When He Was 21

Jack Kerouac is the quintessential American novelist. During the hippie movement, he emerged as one of the best writers, with his most famous work being the classic “On The Road.” He wrote on topics ranging from promiscuity to drugs to Buddhism to jazz to travel to poverty.

As a young man, Kerouac attempted to enlist in the navy but was diagnosed by a navy doctor with schizophrenia, then known as dementia praecox. He was a heavy drinker throughout his life, possibly as a means of self-medicating the hallucinations and voices in his head. He died from internal bleeding caused by cirrhosis, an effect of alcoholism.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Tom Harrell’s strange stage presence may be due to his schizophrenia. Photo: jazztimes.com

17. A Famous Jazz Musician And Composer Lives With Schizophrenia

Tom Harrell has recorded over 260 albums, many of them of him playing jazz solos on his trumpet. He has a bit of an odd stage presence, in any case. When Harrell goes on stage, the musician keeps his head bowed, raising it only to play. He stays to the side of the microphone as if shielding himself from something.

This awkward stage presence may be the result of his schizophrenia, which he has learned to cope with. He has achieved tremendous success in spite of his diagnosis, including numerous Trumpeter of the Year awards and multiple jazz awards throughout the country.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
The former first lady experienced many traumatic experiences. Photo: Wikipedia.org

18. Abraham Lincoln’s Wife May Have Had Schizophrenia

Mary Todd Lincoln grew up in an affluent Kentucky family that provided her with the best education that a girl could receive in the Antebellum South. She went on to become one of the most successful women in the country and supported her husband during his ambitious political rise.

Her life was also marked by immense personal tragedy, as she witnessed the assassination of her husband and outlived all but one of her children. Her temperament could be wild at times and included psychotic outbursts, sometimes in public. She even contacted mediums to attempt to contact the spirit of her dead son. Anecdotal evidence leads some researchers to believe that the former first lady may have had schizophrenia.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
The creative genius behind Jefferson Airplane had schizophrenia. Photo: rollingstone.com

19. Jefferson Airplane’s Drummer Had Schizophrenia

Skip Spence played the drums on the debut album of the 1960s rock group, Jefferson Airplane. As with many other musicians during the hallucinogenic hippie era, Spence was addicted to drugs, which almost certainly exacerbated his downward spiral.

After being found in a hotel room, bashing in walls with an ax and declaring himself to be the anti-Christ, Spence was hospitalized and diagnosed with schizophrenia. The music that he left behind is a testament to the creative power that many people with schizophrenia have, including other musicians, writers, actors, and other artists.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Dr. Russell May leads the way for patient-centered mental healthcare. Photo: compassionatementalhealth.co.uk

20. A British Psychologist Uses His Own Experiences With Schizophrenia To Help Others

Rufus May was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was 18 years old after spending much of his teen years dealing with hallucinations and being hospitalized several times. He decided to stop taking psychotropic medications and instead focus on activities to promote personal well-being, including exercise, creative outlets, social relationships, and nutrition.

Today, Dr. May participates in many networks aimed at improving the quality of life for people living with schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses. He uses his understanding of the disease to promote alternative treatments and therapies that are less restrictive and place the patient at the center of his or her own care.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
This Hollywood beauty had schizophrenia. Photo: drmacro.com

21. A Former Hollywood Bombshell Advocated Against Harsh Treatments

Gene Tierney was an actress who was the leading lady in multiple films, including the 1944 classic Laura. She struggled throughout her life with mental illness, likely either bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Following difficulties concentrating that affected her film appearances, in 1953, she sought treatment.

She was hospitalized in New York City and later moved to the Institute of Living in nearby Hartford, Connecticut. There, she received dozens of electroshock therapy treatments, which were intended to alleviate her severe depression. She claimed that they stole parts of her memory and spent her later years advocating against the use of electroshock therapy.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Brian Wilson is now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Photo: washingtonpost.com

22. One Of The Beach Boys Had Schizophrenia

Another highly creative, genius mind that also dealt with schizophrenia was Brian Wilson, one of the Beach Boys from the 1960s. His style of music became one of the most innovative of his era, but he also went through a prolonged period of drug and alcohol abuse.

Following the death of his father, Wilson became secluded and spent the better part of two years locked at home, doing little more than taking drugs, drinking alcohol, overeating, and sleeping. He was later diagnosed with schizophrenia after admitting that he heard voices. After receiving treatment, he re-entered the music scene and was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He also was honored for his lifetime contribution to music.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Schizophrenia can be very difficult to live with. Photo: brighthealing.com

23. Schizophrenia Isn’t A Death Sentence

As you can see, people who have schizophrenia can live incredibly productive lives. However, they have to receive the correct diagnosis and treatment, which often includes the support of the people that are close to them. Without treatment, people with schizophrenia are prone to a vulnerable lifestyle that may cause them to end up homeless.

With the right support and treatment, though, people with this illness can do remarkable things and become inspirations for entire generations. Famous people with schizophrenia have become ardent advocates for helping people with mental illness and helping them live healthy, productive lives.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Schizophrenic hallucinations can be tactile, visual, or auditory. Photo: livestrong.com

24. Mental Illness Can Severely Impact A Person’s Quality Of Life

People with mental illness can have remarkably productive lives, but all too often, their quality of life is impeded by their disease and society’s response to it. They may resort to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping with their illness, especially when they are not receiving appropriate treatment with the support of loved ones.

Therapies for mental illness, especially schizophrenia, have historically been harsh and restrictive. For a long time, people with these challenges were locked away, even tied to beds to make sure that they did not harm anyone or themselves. Treatments like electroshock therapy and even lobotomy are all too recent in the memory of mental health therapy.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Proper support and treatment can lead to outstanding outcomes for people with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. Photo: hanbleceya.com

25. People With Mental Illness Can Be Very Healthy

People with mental illness can still have healthy relationships and productive lives. The key is whether they are willing to get into the driver’s seat of their lives and be proactive in therapy and treatment. Equally significant is having the support of friends and family, especially when they go into relapse.

Mental illness is undoubtedly a significant challenge that people have to overcome. Fortunately today, the stigma around it is eroding. Employers and schools are allowing people to take days off to take care of their mental health to make sure that they are functioning at their absolute best.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Bipolar can make people feel isolated. Photo: healthination.com

26. Bipolar Disorder Can Also Severely Impact People’s Quality Of Life

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is characterized by extreme mood swings. The person can go into a state of mania, in which he or she may not sleep for days at a time and engage in impulsive and even self-destructive behaviors, like binge drinking and spending money that isn’t in the bank.

At the other extreme is depression, which is characterized by an extremely low mood and lethargy. The person may not want to get out of bed or leave the house for weeks at a time. People with bipolar can be particularly prone to addictive behaviors and damaging relationships, but with the proper treatment and support, they can live incredibly successful lives.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Demi Lovato is open about having bipolar. Photo: hawtcelebs.com

27. Demi Lovato Has Bipolar Disorder

Demi Lovato is one of the most vocal advocates today for mental healthcare and decreasing the stigma around mental illness. She has long dealt with bipolar disorder, which may be behind her long struggle with addiction, eating disorders, anxiety, and depression.

Since receiving an accurate diagnosis and getting proper treatment, Lovato has remained on track with managing her bipolar. She is open about her diagnosis and encourages people to seek the care that they need to ensure that they have the highest level of well-being possible. Since she came out with her diagnosis, many other celebrities have, as well.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Carrie Fisher spent much of her life advocating for people with mental illness. Photo: theaceblackblog.com

28. Carrie Fisher Had Bipolar Disorder

The actress who played Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy had her ashes buried in a giant Prozac-shaped box because she claimed that Prozac was her favorite thing ever. It was instrumental in helping treat the bipolar and depression that, at times, threatened to overwhelm her life.

Fisher was one of the first celebrity advocates to open up about bipolar disorder and share her own personal experiences. She made many public appearances to help raise awareness of the challenges associated with bipolar. Perhaps her effect on the mental health community is every bit as significant as her effect on the film industry.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
This modern Hollywood beauty has bipolar. Photo: hollywoodreporter.com

29. Catherine Zeta-Jones Has Bipolar II

Catherine Zeta-Jones is a modern-day Hollywood bombshell who, in 2011, publicly acknowledged that she has been seeking treatment for bipolar II disorder. Bipolar II is characterized by more severe depression and less mania than its counterpart, bipolar I.

Though Zeta-Jones has been public about proactively seeking treatment to help her manage her diagnosis, she is not as forthcoming as other celebrities, like Demi Lovato. She doesn’t want to be the face of the illness and prefers instead to focus on her film career and personal life.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Van Damme’s greatest nemesis is his mental illness. Photo: fanpop.com

30. A Kickboxing Actor Has Rapid-Cycling Bipolar

Jean-Claude Van Damme is an actor and martial artist whose film career rivals that of legends like Jackie Chan. Before coming forward with his mental illness, his life went into a tailspin. He was addicted to cocaine and had been divorced four times.

It turns out, Van Damme’s biggest enemy wasn’t hiding in the shadows on the screen. It was rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, a condition in which a person has frequent bouts of mania and depression. Whereas diagnoses of bipolar I and II require only one episode of mania and one episode of depression, rapid-cycling bipolar is characterized by four or more incidents each year.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Bipolar can be challenging to live with, but treatment can significantly improve quality of life. Photo: medicalexpress.com

31. Treatment Doesn’t Mean You Can Control When Your Mood Swings Will Happen

But it does mean that you can control how you handle them. Treatment for bipolar can also decrease the length and severity of manic and depressive episodes when they do strike; for some people, the events may disappear altogether, as long as the proper treatment is continued.

Many people with a diagnosis of bipolar will continue living with the illness throughout their lives. However, as the individuals listed demonstrate, they can experience healthy relationships, successful careers, and overall happy lives. The challenges that they must overcome are real, but the results are worth the effort.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Eeyore could probably be diagnosed as depressed. Photo: ohmy.disney.com

32. Depression Is More Than Just Sadness

When pharmaceutical companies first began airing commercials for antidepressants back in the 1990s, many people thought that the medicines were just gimmicks to force people to be happy. However, in time since, the stigma around depression has eroded, and many people now understand that it is more than just a healthy experience of sadness.

Whereas a sad person may have episodes of crying for a few days, someone with depression will be unable to be happy, even with pleasant experiences. Depression is like a severe form of sadness that hangs over a person, much like Eeyore’s cloud made rainfall wherever he went, either literally or metaphorically.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
The former child star’s problems began when she was still young. Photo: newdvdreleasedates.com

33. Drew Barrymore Is Candid About Her Depression

One of the most famous former child stars today is Drew Barrymore, who played Elliot’s little sister in the 1980s classic, ET: The Extra-Terrestrial. She began taking drugs and drinking as a child and soon found herself spiraling into the throes of addiction. Along with addiction came depression.

The depression became so severe that Barrymore even attempted suicide. She has since cleaned up her act and, in sharing her own personal experiences in public forums, has become an ardent advocate for people receiving treatment for both addiction and depression.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Chrissy Teigen suffered in silence before getting help. Photo: vogue.com

34. John Legend’s Partner Struggled With Postpartum Depression

Chrissy Teigen is a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model and television host. She also experienced a severe bout of depression after the birth of her and John’s first child. While “baby blues” may be a regular occurrence following giving birth, full-blown depression can dramatically impact the well-being of both the mother and child.

Teigen’s postpartum depression was so severe that she was unable to bring herself to go upstairs to go to bed. Instead, she would stay inside for days at a time, sleeping on the couch and refusing to get dressed. She has since received treatment and has been open about her diagnosis, though she does not want any sympathy or attention for her depression. The famous model wants people to be willing to get help.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Brooke Shields went public about her struggles with mental illness. Photo: fanpop.com

35. A Former Calvin Klein Model Suffered Postpartum Depression

Brooke Shields was another quintessential child star who, like Drew Barrymore, experienced severe depression while she was in the public limelight. She has been candid about her painful experiences growing up, but she has most recently become an advocate for new mothers experiencing postpartum depression.

Following the birth of her baby girl, Shields nearly jumped out of her fourth-story window. After that harrowing experience, she began seeking treatment for post-partum depression so that she could provide the best care possible to her infant daughter. Since then, many more women have come forward to acknowledge that they, too, have struggled with the same diagnosis.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Mental illness can be far-reaching and complex. Photo: inlifehealthcare.com

36. There Are Plenty More Mental Illnesses That People Learn To Live With

Bipolar, schizophrenia, and depression are only three of many, many mental illnesses that people can be diagnosed with throughout their lifetimes. Anxiety can be every bit as debilitating as depression, and the two often coexist within the same individual at the same time.

OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, can be life-limiting because of how incessantly the person feels the need to wash his or her hands or engage in other repetitive behaviors. ADHD is more than a learning disorder in children; it can severely hamper the quality of life for adults who have it and do not seek treatment. Also, don’t forget addiction, which hijacks the brain with the need to ingest harmful chemicals, like alcohol and drugs.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Howie Mandel strongly urges people to be proactive about mental hygiene. Photo: parade.com

37. Howie Mandel Has OCD

Howie Mandel is beloved by Americans for his characteristic bald head and quick wit. He frequently fills in for Kelly Ripa on her talk show and has produced and hosted many other shows, including Deal or No Deal and America’s Got Talent. However, his favorite role may be serving as an advocate for mental health.

Mandel is one of an estimated two million people who deal with obsessive-compulsive disorder, a condition that, without treatment, can be severely debilitating. He believes that mental hygiene should be treated like dental hygiene: seek preventative care before conditions develop, and be proactive in caring for your well-being.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
Paula Dean wants people to take care of their mental health. Photo: twitter.com

38. Paula Dean Has Dealt With Anxiety And Depression

The Food Network star and a former contender on Dancing With The Stars would have never found the success that she now has had she never sought treatment for severe anxiety. It became so bad that by the time she was only 20 years old, she would not even leave the house to buy the ingredients to cook her meals.

Since seeking treatment, her career as a professional chef has taken off. She is beloved all over the world for her Southern cooking and charm, along with poise and charisma. Unlike others who sought treatment while in the public limelight, she received her first television contract after recovering, proving that there is a new life waiting on the other side of mental illness.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
After getting his personal life cleaned up, Michael Phelps began advocating for adults with ADHD. Photo: si.com

39. Michael Phelps Has ADHD

Michael Phelps made waves as an Olympic swimmer when he became the most decorated Olympian of all time, with 28 medals. He also holds the record for Olympic gold medals. At several Olympics, he dominated the swimming competitions.

All this while, he was dealing with ADHD, a disorder that can affect adults as much as it does children. Phelps has used his immense success to advocate for people to strive to accomplish all that they can, with or without mental illness. He has also helped erode the stigma around adult ADHD and encouraged people living with it to seek treatment.

Famous People With Schizophrenia And Other Relatable Mental Illnesses
One of music’s biggest stars today advocates for mental health. Photo: people.com

40. Adam Levine Also Has ADHD

Adam Levine is a superstar of the modern music industry. His band, Maroon 5, is wildly popular and successful, and he is one of the judges/coaches in the show The Voice. People all over the world recognize both his face and his voice as emblematic of music today.

Levine has used his success to advocate for mental health, as he has lived his entire life with ADHD. He believes that with great fame comes great responsibility, and he wants people to be proactive in caring for their own well-being by practicing good mental hygiene.


Where Did We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

“Faces of Schizophrenia You May Know.” WebMD.

“20 Famous People with Schizophrenia,” by Kristen Fescoe. Online Psychology Degrees. November 2015.

“15 Extremely Successful People Who Suffer From Mental Illness,” by Sheila Rowlands. The Clever. March 20, 2017.