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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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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Your Health Journey Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Perfection takes time.

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When you first start to do something, you have all of the motivation in the world to accomplish that goal set out in front of you, especially when it comes to being healthier. The problem is as you continue through this journey and food and laziness kick in, motivation slips. It's human, and it happens to everyone no matter how physically strong they are.

Trying to be healthier doesn't always mean losing weight. It can be so your knees don't ache as much, so you don't feel as out of breath climbing stairs, or any goal you have set for yourself. Being healthier is personal and different from person to person.

I will be the first to admit that there are plenty of changes I would love to make about myself. From my weight to my body type and many other things about myself inside and out. I am by no means the most confident person about how I look, but I have worked hard for the past year to be an overall healthier person.

Becoming healthier isn't about looking thinner or fitting into a specific size of clothes. It is about taking care of yourself from eating better to working out more. There comes a feeling of confidence in what your body can do if you put a little love in it.

Perfection takes time, and I know firsthand how frustrating trying to be healthier can be.

Pizza tastes so much better than salad. It is so easy to fall into a rhythm of something that seems never to change whether that is your weight or your mile time. Sadly, you can't build a city, or become healthier overnight.

We see people who are thinner, curvier, smarter, faster, and so much more than us. We all waste time comparing ourselves to people around us and on our timelines, but some of our biggest strengths are our individuality and the gift of getting back up after falling down.

All I can say is, please don't give up on your goal of being healthier because this is solely for you. We can have a great support system in the world and have everyone in our corner, but that isn't enough.

You need yourself. You need to know that if you don't entirely put yourself in this journey, then you won't fully succeed. Your commitment to bettering yourself can keep you going even if you want to give up.

Your motivation may not be at its peak level right now, and you may have every cell in your body screaming at you to quit. Don't do it. Prove to yourself that you can keep going no matter what. Not giving up will be worth it. The results and taking the hard way will make you a stronger person inside and out.

You can do this. You can do anything you want to accomplish if you just believe in yourself. You need to understand that becoming healthier takes endurance. There will be periods where you slow down and may not be going at your fastest pace. The difference is that you are not giving up and you are still trying and moving.

Don't treat becoming healthier as a sprint: short term and quick. That mentality will only leave you feeling deflated and defeated. It is a life-long marathon of pacing yourself and pushing yourself further than ever before.

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