Abnormal Psychology: Mental Health and Mental Illness

Major Mental Illnesses

Who are some famous people who suffered from mental illnesses?

Listed below are eight famous people, all highly accomplished, who have suffered from mental illness. Many organizations serving individuals with psychiatric conditions compile similar lists as a way to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), which is an advocacy group for people with mental illness, publishes one such list on its website. Note that some of these diagnoses are controversial as many were made after the person in question died.

  1. Abraham Lincoln (U.S. president): Major Depressive Disorder
  2. King George III (British monarch): Psychotic Disorder Due to Porphyria
  3. Howard Hughes (industrialist and aviator): Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  4. William Styron (author): Major Depressive Disorder
  5. Vivian Leigh (actress): Bipolar Disorder
  6. Vincent van Gogh (artist): Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
  7. John Nash (mathematician and economist): Schizophrenia
  8. Winston Churchill (British prime minister): Major Depressive Disorder

Many famous people throughout history have suffered from a mental illness or disability. For instance, President Abraham Lincoln endured major depressive disorder (iStock).


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