Throughout history, there have been quite a few recorded cases of famous people with schizophrenia.
I ain’t a doctor so I don’t know much about the nature of schizophrenia apart from what I see on films and some literature here and there.
The stories of these celebrities, however, give us a glimpse of what the disorder is all about.
Read on… pretty interesting stories.
10. Lionel Aldridge
Aldridge played for the Green Bay Packers in the 1960’s and actually had two Super Bowl titles.
After retirement he became a sportscaster until he showed signs of Paranoia Schizophrenia. One colleague recalled that, while on broadcast, he asked Aldridge a question. Aldridge stared at the 50-yard line for the next three and a half hours and never said another word. He also froze at a typewriter once. His friends had to physically remove him away from it.
Matters got worse when his wife divorced him. He began to hallucinate. He left town and lived as a homeless man. He once fell asleep in his car near the Great Salt Lake, not knowing how he got there.
His teammates and coaches said that even as a player, he had extreme mood swings. A teddy bear one moment and a monster to everyone at another.
He passed away in 1998. He was 56.
9. Veronica Lake
Lake was commercially and critically acclaimed for her femme fatale roles in film noir with Alan Ladd during the 1940s. Her success didn’t last. She had a string of broken marriages that contributed to her long battle with mental illness.
She married songwriter, Joseph McCarthy in 1955 but divorced in four years later. She started drifting between cheap hotels in New York and has been arrested for charges related to alcohol several times.
A reporter found her working as a barmaid and printed her story. She regained her fame but that also didn’t last long. Her health declined steadily and by the 60s, she claimed she was being stalked by the FBI. She became immobile and paranoid. She abused her first child and had promiscuous behavior with random men.
She died in 1973 of hepatitis.
8. Clara Bow
Bow is often referred to as the greatest silent actress of all time. She retired on 1933.
By 1944, while running for the U.S. House of Representatives, she tried to commit suicide. She was treated for her chronic insomnia and shock treatment were performed. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia, despite experiencing no hallucinations or psychosis.
A rumor that she had group sex with the entire football team of the University of Southern California spread but all the players denied such a thing happened.
Other stuff about her sex life have been said but none were proven true such as exhibitionism, incest, lesbianism, bestiality, drug addiction, alcoholism, and having contracted venereal disease.
7. Peter Green
Guitarist of Fleetwood Mac
Success brought Green closer to drugs. He binged on LSD while touring Europe. He began exhibiting weird behavior such as wearing of robe, growing his beard and wearing a crucifix on his chest.
By the ’70s, he was diagnosed of schizophrenia. He often went into a lethargic, trancelike state. He also threatened his accountant with a rifle. That forced him to go into a psychiatric institution in London.
6. Syd Barrett
Barrett is the founder of Pink Floyd.
Syd experimented with LSD. There was a story of his roommate spiking everything in the house with acid that resulted to Syd being on a 24 hour high. Eventually he would be unable to play on gigs. He usually stand there and stare at nothingness or play something totally different.
Syd also kept his girlfriend under lock and key for three days, occasionally shoving a ration of biscuits under the door. He also became a victim of cruelty himself when some groupies put him on a linen cupboard.
His erratic behavior lead to the band’s decision to “not pick him up on their way to a gig”. Eventually, he started showing up at the band’s gig and stared at David (the vocalist). It was probably his way of saying “That’s my band.”
Roger, the bassist, was Syd’s childhood friend. Being concerned and missing Syd, he wrote the song Wish You Were Here. Oddly enough, Syd showed up in the recording but no one recognized him. He was balding and fat. Eventually, they realized the man was Syd so they said hi and that was the last time they saw him. It is said that Syd got depressed when he hears or sees Pink Floyd so the band avoided him.
Syd lived in Cambridge, tended to his garden and painted in his last days. He never got involved in any musical project again. If approached and called “Syd”, he said, “Syd is no longer here.” He went by the name Roger.
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