Schizophrenia is a widely researched though relatively poorly understood mental disorder. It causes a general breakdown of the normal processes of thought, skewing the emotional responses of the individual who has it. Other common symptoms of schizophrenia include hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, and a marked social and occupational deficit.
Because schizophrenia is a brain disorder that most commonly afflicts people when they are between the ages of 17 and 28, not very many notable – meaning famous in this case – people have had it. People at that age are generally not very far along into their professional years and are altogether too young to be well-known in the public eye. Furthermore, the longer schizophrenia progresses, the more difficult it is for someone with it to have a normal role in society.
Though not many notable people have had schizophrenia, there have been a few. Two of the most well-known are discussed briefly below.
One of the most widely renowned trumpeters of all time, Tom Harrell dominated the jazz world for years while struggling with schizophrenia. In the face of everything he was also able to become one of the most beloved composers of our age.
John Forbes Nash Jr. is another notable figure who suffered from a lifetime of Schizophrenia. He was a Nobel Laureate in Economics and a top of the line mathematician and is actually doing very well now, despite the disorder. The popular film titled ‘A Beautiful Mind’ is loosely based on Nash’s life, primarily his mathematical genius and schizophrenia.
Indeed there have been a good many more well-known people who have been suspected of having schizophrenia but with whom it can’t be conclusively proven. These include most notably Mary Todd Lincoln, President Abraham Lincoln’s long-time wife. In the end, schizophrenia affects people from all walks of life.