25 Historical Figures With Mental Illnesses
Start writing a post

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/.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1398963

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

869076
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

831061
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

537529
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

337531
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

466612

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

318166

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

214455
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments