25 Historical Figures With Mental Illnesses

25 Historical Figures With Mental Illnesses

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This past week, October 4 – October 10, 2015, was Mental Health Awareness week. The theme for this year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), was #IAmStigmaFree. The Merriam-Webster definition of stigma is “a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something; a mark of shame of discredit.”

To hopefully help reduce some of the stigma that surrounds mental illness, I thought I would compile a list of well-known people over time who have suffered or are still suffering from a mental illness.

1. Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

Da Vinci was known to have kept complicated journals where he wrote upside-down and backwards. He also had dyslexia.

2. Michelangelo (1475-1564)


Known for his incredible art, Michelangelo also suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

3. Isaac Newton (1643-1727)

The scientist who explained gravity and had the Laws of Motion named after himself, Isaac Newton was known to have suffered from bipolar disorder and possible depression.

4. Beethoven (1770-1827)

While Beethoven is well-known for being a deaf composer and coming up with masterpieces such as Fur Elise, he also suffered from bipolar disorder and depression.

5. Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)


Though this is no surprise, the father of the American short-story suffered from depression and alcoholism.

6. Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

The 16th president of the United States suffered from depression and anxiety attacks.

7. Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

The creator of the Theory of Evolution suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

8. Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882)

The wife of Abraham Lincoln suffered from schizophrenia.

9. Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931)


The inventor of the light bulb suffered from dyslexia.

10. Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)

The creator of "Starry Night" suffered from bipolar disorder and depression.

11. Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

The former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom suffered from bipolar disorder and dyslexia.

12. Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

The creator of the theory of relativity suffered from dyslexia.

13. Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

This famous artist suffered from depression.

14. Walt Disney (1901-1966)

The man behind Mickey Mouse suffered from dyslexia.

15. Buzz Aldrin (1930- )


This astronaut, the second person to walk on the moon, suffers from depression.

16. Elton John (1947- )


This musician who wrote the song "Can You Feel The Love Tonight," suffered from bulimia.

17. Ozzy Osbourne (1948- )


This musician, known as The Prince of Darkness, suffers from bipolar disorder.

20. Robin Williams (1951-2014)


Loved by many, this actor and comedian lost his battle to depression in 2014.

19. Stephen Fry (1957- )


This actor and comedian suffers from bipolar disorder.

20. Princess Diana of Wales (1961-1997)

The late princess suffered from bulimia and depression.

21. Jim Carrey (1962- )


This actor and comedian suffers from depression.

22. Ben Stiller (1965- )


This actor and comedian suffers from bipolar disorder.

23. Kurt Cobain (1967-1994)


Founder and lead singer of the grunge-rock band Nirvana, Cobain suffered from ADD and bipolar disorder.

24. Leonardo DiCaprio (1974- )


This actor suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

25. Heath Ledger (1979-2008)


This Australian-born actor known for his amazing performance as The Joker in "Batman: The Dark Knight," suffered from insomnia, anxiety, and depression.


Every one in five people have a mental illness of some kind. These 25 people are only a tiny fraction of those who have some kind of mental illness in the "famous" or "well-known" spectrum. There are even more of those who have it in our day to day lives.

To learn more about mental health, visit https://www.nami.org/.


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Dear girl trying to get back in shape,

I know it's hard. I know the hardest thing you may do all day is walk into the gym. I know how easy it is to want to give up and go eat Chicken McNuggets, but don't do it. I know it feels like you work so hard and get no where. I know how frustrating it is to see that person across the table from you eat a Big Mac every day while you eat your carrots and still be half of your size. I know that awful feeling where you don't want to go to the gym because you know how out of shape you are. Trust me, I know.

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Remember how last January your resolution was to get back in the gym and get healthy again? Think about how incredible you would look right now if you would have stuck with it. The great thing is that you can start any time, and you can prove yourself wrong.

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You are only as strong as your mind. You will get there one day. Just be patient and keep working.

Nothing worth having comes easy. If you want abs more than anything, and one day you woke up with them, it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying as watching your body get stronger.

Mental toughness is half the battle. If you think you are strong, and believe you are strong, you will be strong. Soon, when you look back on the struggle and these hard days, you will be so thankful you didn't give up.

Don't forget that weight is just a number. What is really important is how you feel, and that you like how you look. But girl, shout out to you for working on loving your body, because that shit is hard.

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Physician-Assisted Suicide Is A Human Right, Period

It's about autonomy and nothing else.
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As of May 15, 2018, California’s physician-assisted suicide law has been overturned by a judge in Riverside, California. The law states that terminally ill adults with less than six months to live can be prescribed “end of life” drugs in order to die on their own terms. No longer counting California, four states have legalized physician-assisted suicide, Washington included.

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In total, patients seeking physician-assisted suicide must make three requests for the prescription; the first verbal, the second in writing, and the third verbally and at least fifteen days after the first request.

Another argument used by opponents of assisted suicide is that it will amount to legal euthanasia by which greedy younger generations can kill their elders and claim their inheritance. Again, this is fearmongering. Washington’s laws state that the two witnesses cannot be related by blood to the patient, they cannot stand to inherit any money from the patient, and they cannot be an owner or an employee of any healthcare facility the patient may reside in. In short, no one who might stand to benefit from the patient’s death is allowed to participate in the process or the decision.

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