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Famous People with Schizophrenia

This article lists well known and famous people who have and had Schizophrenia.

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a mental illness characterized by impairments in the perception or expression of reality, most commonly manifesting as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions or disorganized speech and thinking in the context of significant social or occupational dysfunction.

Studies suggest that genetics, early environment, neurobiology and psychological and social processes are important contributory factors.

A person experiencing schizophrenia may demonstrate symptoms such as disorganized thinking, auditory hallucinations, and delusions.

Diagnosis is based on the self-reported experiences of the person as well as abnormalities in behavior reported by family members, friends or co-workers, followed by secondary signs observed by a psychiatrist, social worker, clinical psychologist or other clinician in a clinical assessment.

Management of symptoms and improving function is thought to be more achievable than a cure. Treatment was revolutionized in the mid 1950s with the development and introduction of chlorpromazine.

Famous People who had and have Schizophrenia
John Nash - (born June 13, 1928) John Nash is an American mathematician working in differential geometry, game theory and partial differential equations. A hollywood movie has been made representing Nash, the movie itself name "A beautiful Mind" which was later nominated for 8 Oscars. The movie was based on his mathematical genius and his struggle with Schizophrenia. Nash would conduct scientific experiments in his room at a young age and would prefer to work alone. He was often rejected by his classmates and would most of the time laugh it off with practical jokes and intellectual superiority. He would see everyone elses daily activities as a distraction to his scientific work. Nash was awarded the John von Neumann Theory Prize for his invention of non-cooperative equilibria, now called Nash equilibria. Between 1945 and 1996 he had published a total of 23 scientific studies.
 Eduard Einstein - (28 July 1910 - 25 October 1965) Eduard Einstein was extremely intelligent and always surpassed other students in school. Throughout his youth Eduard wanted to be a psychoanalyst but was afflicted with schizophrenia by the age of 20 which leaded him to be institutionalized several times. He died in an asylum at age 55 and his family lineage has been used to raise public awareness of schizophrenia.
 Syd Barrett - (6 January 1946 - 7 July 2006) Syd was an English artist, songwriter, guitarist and artist being in the renowned rock band of Pink Floyd. He left the band in 1968 while many told stories of him having mental illnesses during his hard drug abuse. He eventually suffered a severe burnout and cut out all social aspects of his life while remaining in constant isolation. With time Barrett stopped contributing to music and would not like people mentioning his past with Pink Floyd.
 James Beck Gordon - (Jim Gordon) - (born in 1945) James is an American Recording Artist, Songwriter and Grammy Award winning Musician. Being one of the most requested session drummers in the late 1960's and 1970's. James is now incarcerated in Atascadero State Hospital after killing his mother following a demand from one of the voices in his head. He was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison, he was diagnosed with Schizophrenia during the trial.
 Charles "Buddy" Bolden - (September 6, 1877 - November 4, 1931) While there is substantial first hand oral history about Buddy Bolden, facts about his life continue to be lost amongst colourful myth. Stories about him being a barber by trade or that he published a scandal-sheet called the "Cricket" have been repeated in print despite being debunked decades earlier. He was known as King Bolden and a king of Jazz, and his band was a top draw in New Orleans from about 1900 until 1907.
 Antoin Artaud - (born September 4, 1896, in Marseille; died March 4, 1948 in Paris) Artaud's parents were of Greek origin (Smyrna). Although his mother had many children, only Antoine and two siblings survived infancy. At the age of four, Artaud had a severe attack of meningitis. The after-effects of this virus presumably gave Artaud a nervous, irritable temperament throughout adolescence. He also suffered from neuralgia, stammering and severe bouts of depression. As a teenager, he was allegedly stabbed in the back by a pimp for apparently no reason - similar to the experience of playwright Samuel Beckett.
 Lionel Aldridge - (February 14, 1941 - February 12, 1998) played American football professionally as a defensive end on the historic Green Bay Packers teams of the sixties.After retiring, Aldridge worked as sports analyst in Milwaukee until manifesting a mental illness called paranoid schizophrenia during the early seventies. "There was extreme paranoia and irritability and it was difficult for me to get along with others. I was unable to work. It was a rough setting" Lionel explained. After 10 years of being untreated and several years of being homeless Lionel finally fought the illness when he accepted to find a treatment with the help of some of his friends.
 Peter Green - (born 29 October 1946) Guitarist for the band Fleetwood Mac. Green played lead in Peter Bardens' band, Peter B's Looners, in 1966. After a three month stint, he had the opportunity to fill in for Eric Clapton in John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers for three gigs. Upon Clapton's permanent departure not long after, he was hired full-time. Green has been institutionalized in the past with psychological problems and he underwent electro convulsive therapy in the mid-1970s. Many sources attest to his lethargic, trance like state during this period. In 1977, he was arrested for threatening his accountant, Clifford Davis, with a rifle, but the exact circumstances are the subject of much speculation, the most popular being that Green wanted Davis to stop.
 Mary Todd Lincoln - (December 13, 1818 - July 16, 1882) Mary Todd was the wife of America's 16th President Abraham Lincoln and was the first lady of the United States. Abraham Lincoln always pursued his increasingly successful career and Mary Todd Lincoln was well educated and she shared the same fierce ambitions. In February 1862 her son Willie died at the age of 11 years old. After his death Mary spent a considerable amount of money to pay for mediums and spiritualists to try and contact her dead son, spending a lot of money the family did not have. She was known to suffer fro Schizophrenia.
 Joe Meek - (born 5 April, 1929 in Newent, Gloucestershire - 3 February 1967 in London) Joe Meek was a pioneering English record producer and songwriter acknowledged as one of the world's first and most imaginative independent producers. Meek was obsessed with the occult and the paranormal, especially the idea of the "other side". He sometimes used to set up tape recorders at graveyards to try and hear the voices of the dead, at one point he claimed that a cat that was recorded was actually imitating a human's voice calling for help. Another time Meek claimed that that the late American rocker Buddy Holly had tried to communicate with him in dreams. Joe Meek was known to suffer of Schizophrenia.
 Andy Goram - (born April 13, 1964) Andy Goram is a former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper. Also a cricketer, Goram represented the Scottish cricket team four times: twice (1989 and 1991) in the annual first-class game against Ireland and twice (again in 1989 and 1991) in the NatWest Trophy. Goram has faced accusations of sectarianism. He attracted publicity for sporting a black armband at a match in 1997 after the murder of the Loyalist paramilitary Billy Wright. Andy Goram's ex-wife, Tracey, once released a photograph of him in a bar holding a flag of Northern Irish Loyalist group the UVF. After it was reported in the press that Goram had a mild form of schizophrenia, fans responded with a chorus of "Two Andy Gorams, there's only two Andy Gorams". This chant quickly gained popularity, and became the title of a book documenting humorous football chants.
 Tom Harrell - (born June 16, 1946) Tom Harrell is a renowned American post bop jazz trumpeter and composer. However he has a disability which profoundly affects his life away from the stage. He suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. On stage he stands away from the microphone, off to the side, his head bowed and his hands clutching his trumpet. When called upon to play, he walks slowly to the microphone, head still lowered, raising it only to play. When finished, he bows his head and resumes his original place.
 Alexander "Skip" Spence - (April 18, 1946 - April 16, 1999) Alexander Spence was a musician, singer and songwriter. Spence's past is unhappy; he was diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia, was an alcoholic and lived as a derelict on the streets of Santa Cruz, although reports suggest that he had finally managed to stop drinking a few years before his death from cancer on Friday in a Santa Cruz hospital. A Tribute to Alexander "Skip" Spence, an album featuring contributions from R.E.M., Robert Plant, Tom Waits, Beck, and many others, was released a few weeks after his death.
 Parveen Babi - (4 April 1954 - 20 January 2005) was an Indian actress, who is most remembered for her glamorous roles alongside top heroes of the 1970s and early 1980s in blockbusters like Deewar, Namak Halaal, Amar Akbar Anthony and Shaan. Parveen Babi is often cited as one of the most beautiful actresses to have ever appeared in Indian cinema. Parveen reportedly suffered from paranoid schizophrenia which triggered a systematic disintegration of her personality and life. Some claim that her mental disorder was a result of substance-induced psychosis and alcoholism. Some blame a series of failed relationships. Some link it to a genetic disorder. And some even to an adolescent trauma where reportedly a young, trembling Parveen was hidden under a heap of mattresses in a truck by the nuns of her school during the Ahmedabad riots in the '60s.
 Meera Popkin -A star of Cats and Miss Saigon on Broadway and in London's West End was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Her life went from center stage and limos to waiting tables at Wendy's, but she's now back and is doing well. "I've had quite a year. I thought the highlight would be getting married. I thought the highlight would be having my baby girl. Now it looks like the highlight is being completely recovered from schizophrenia. Did I ever have it? Was I misdiagnosed? Am I the one in a thousand that recovers from this illness? These are the questions my doctor is asking."
 Bob Mosley -Singer/songwriter and bassist James Robert Mosley was born December 4, 1942, in Paradise Valley, CA, and spent his teens playing in a number of garage combos, including the Misfits, the Strangers, and the Frantics. The Frantics eventually morphed into Moby Grape, and with a lineup of Bob Mosley, Peter Lewis, Skip Spence, Don Stevenson, and Jerry Miller, the band recorded the brilliant but ill-fated Moby Grape album, released by Columbia in 1967. In 1969 Mosley joined the U.S. Marines, making it through basic training, only to be diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic . Bob Mosley descended into schizophrenia and was homeless in the mid-1990s. But he rejoined the band for its previous New York show in August 1997.
 Roger Kynard - Roky Erickson (born Roger Kynard Erickson on July 15, 1947) 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. In 1968, while doing a stint at Hemisfair, Erickson started speaking nonsense. He was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and sent to a Houston psychiatric hospital, where he involuntarily received electroconvulsive therapy.
 Vaclav Nijinsky - Vaslav Fomich Nijinsky (March 12, 1889 - April 8, 1950) was a Polish ballet dancer and choreographer. Nijinsky was one of the most gifted male dancers in history, and he became celebrated for his virtuosity and for the depth and intensity of his characterizations. He could perform en pointe, a rare skill among male dancers at the time (Albright, 2004) and his ability to perform seemingly gravity-defying leaps was also legendary. Nijinsky had a nervous breakdown in 1919 and his career effectively ended. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and taken to Switzerland by his wife where he was treated by psychiatrist Eugene Bleuler. He spent the rest of his life in and out of psychiatric hospitals and asylums.
 Rose Williams - Sister of Tennessee Williams. Tennessee was close to his sister Rose, a slim beauty whose sad life had perhaps the greatest influence on him. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia at a young age. As was common then, Rose was institutionalized and spent most of her adult life in mental hospitals. When therapies were unsuccessful, she showed more paranoid tendencies. In an effort to treat her, Rose's parents authorized a prefrontal lobotomy, a drastic treatment that was thought to help some mental patients who suffered extreme agitation. Performed in 1937 in Washington, D.C., the operation went badly. Rose was incapacitated for the rest of her life.


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