List of famous people with schizophrenia, loosely ranked by fame and popularity. Schizophrenia is a mental illness that is diagnosed based on observed behaviors. Symptoms of the illness include delusions, visual and auditory hallucinations, and lack of emotional intelligence. Genetics and environmental factors can be causes of schizophrenia or symptoms of schizoaffective disorder.
Who is the most famous person with schizophrenia? Brian Wilson tops our list. The Beach Boys mastermind has hallucinations in which he hears voices. The “God Only Knows” singer says that he began experiencing the hallucinations when he started taking psychedelic drugs in the 60s. Other famous musicians with schizophrenia include Pink Floyd co-founder Syd Barrett, Derek and the Dominos drummer Jim Gordon, and singer-songwriter Roky Erickson.
Some famous women also suffer from schizophrenia. Silent film actress Clara Bow was diagnosed with schizophrenia and underwent over 25 shock therapy treatments. Her hallucinations presented themselves as severe abdominal pains that actually didn't exist. Bow also tried to commit suicide in 1944, claiming that she preferred death to a public life. She retired from acting in 1933. Other famous women with schizophrenia include Veronica Lake, Gene Tierney, and Zelda Fitzgerald.
How do you think these famous people cope with schizophrenia? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Actress Veronica Lake was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a child.(Source)
- Age: Dec. at 50 (1922-1973)
- Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
- Profession: Pin-up girl, Actor
- Cause Of Death: Renal failure, Acute renal failure, Hepatitis
- Credits: Sullivan's Travels, This Gun for Hire, The Blue Dahlia, I Married a Witch
- Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
On the Road author Jack Kerouac's military records revealed that he was diagnosed with dementia praecox, today known as schizophrenia.(Source)
- Age: Dec. at 47 (1922-1969)
- Birthplace: Lowell, Massachusetts, United States of America
- Profession: Painter, Poet, Novelist, Screenwriter
- Cause Of Death: Cirrhosis
- Credits: On the Road, Big Sur, Pull My Daisy, Kerouac, the Movie
- Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
Although he was never diagnosed, many historians believe that Vincent van Gogh suffered from schizophrenia.(Source)
- Age: Dec. at 37 (1853-1890)
- Birthplace: Zundert, Kingdom of the Netherlands
- Profession: Painter, Artist
- Cause Of Death: Ballistic trauma, Suicide
- Photo: Metaweb (FB)
Pink Floyd co-founder Syd Barrett was thought to have had schizophrenia by medical experts and people close to him. Pink Floyd member Roger Waters wrote "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" as a tribute to Barrett.(Source)
- Age: Dec. at 60 (1946-2006)
- Birthplace: Cambridge, United Kingdom
- Profession: Guitarist, Songwriter, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Singer
- Cause Of Death: Cancer, Pancreatic cancer
- Credits: Mysterious Skin,Something in the Air,Off the Black,Tonite Let's All Make Love in London