Schizophrenia, literally translated from the Greek, means "split mind." People often mistake schizophrenia with multiple personality disorder. Multiple personality disorder manifests itself in a person who has multiple unique personalities lying under the surface of their "dominant" self. These personalities surface periodically and they each have a distinct identity, though the physical body is the same. Schizophrenics, on the other hand, have delusions and hallucinations that are manifested outside of the schizophrenic's body. These delusions and hallucinations are only observable by the schizophrenic himself and can take on many forms from a feeling of paranoia ("people are trying to kill me") to seeing people that other people cannot see. It is a wide and varied disease. There are a few people you might be familiar with who have suffered from this disorder. This article will tell you about a few famous people with schizophrenia.
The most famous case of schizophrenia, thanks to a biopic starring Russell Crowe, belongs to John Nash. John Nash is a mathematician who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994 for his work in game theory as a student at Princeton. He works primarily with partial differential equations, differential geometry and game theory. He currently is serving as the Senior Research Mathematician at Princeton University. He was admitted to a mental hospital in 1959 and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He had begun showing signs of the disease a year earlier. He was given insulin shock therapy and antipsychotic medications to treat the disease but in 1970 quit all treatments for the disease and began to recover from the disease over the passage of time.
Another huge name in the list of famous people with schizophrenia is Jack Kerouac, the famous "beat generation" author whose famous works include On the Road and The Dharma Bums. According to some of Kerouac's books and a few of the biographies that have been written about him, he faked mental illness because he wanted to be discharged from the army. Whether or not he faked it or actually had the disease is up for debate. He was diagnosed with either "Dementia Praecox" or "indifferent disposition" while in the Navy, dementia praecox being an older term for schizophrenia, and this diagnoses earned him his honourable discharge.
Another of the famous people with schizophrenia is Brian Wilson, of the Beach Boys. Brian Wilson is famous for creating the album Pet Sounds almost entirely by himself and for struggling with his mental illness. For years it was not known that he suffered from schizophrenia. He spent some time in the care of Eugene Landy (a very controversial therapist) and Landy is credited with much of his recovery from a prolonged period of severe depression and was eventually diagnosed with "schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type" which is a disorder that made him hear voices.
Other famous people with schizophrenia include Mary Todd Lincoln (wife of Abraham Lincoln), Joe Meek, Buddy Bolden, Antoin Artaud, Skip Spence and Bob Mosley and, quite possibly, Picas
Signs of Schizophrenia Tip #1
Schizophrenia is not the same thing as having multiple personality disorder. In multiple personality disorder a person has a number of independent identities that all share one host body. Typically one of the personalities is dominant and the others exist under the surface. With Schizophrenia, there could be independent personalities but the person suffering from the disease believes that these identities exist outside of him or herself.
Signs of Schizophrenia Tip #2
There are different types of schizophrenia. The most widely known is that of paranoid schizophrenia in which the schizophrenic believes that there are people who are out to "get" him (or her). Commonly the patient associates himself with an elite group and believes that it is his membership with that group that has made him a target of others.
Signs of Schizophrenia Tip #3
Schizophrenia is normally treated with anti-psychotic drugs. There are new drugs being developed all the time. Other treatments include Electro Convulsive Therapy in which the patient is driven to convulsions by receiving a series of shocks to the brain. This treatment is thought to fix the electrochemical balance of the brain.