Thursday, December 19, 2013

In Honor of Us......

When I started my google+  group, The Mental Illness Experience, I would post a new famous person with mental  illness every week. Many times, especially when we are first diagnosed, we get scared. Negative thoughts and images rush to our minds. Will we be productive? Do we now, somehow lose the ability to stand and be counted?  Will we be able to be what we want to be? Does life stop for us now? Are we destined to live a life full of nothing but pain, sadness, and loneliness? Do we lose the ability to do great things with our lives?
The answer to these questions is a resounding NO!

We have and do matter and we can and have changed the world. I would like to share with you five of my old posts depicting famous, talented, and creative people that also suffered as we do now. In honor of creativity. In honor of truth. In honor of ending stigma and discrimination. In honor of us.

Adam Ant 1954-
(born Stuart Leslie Goddard; 3 November 1954)

Adam Ant is an English musician, and one of the seminal figures of post-punk new wave and alternative rock music. Ant has candidly talked about his experiences with severe depression.                                                                        

Florence Nightingale

was born in Florence, Italy on the 12th May 1820 and died on the 13th August 1910. So this year also marks the centenary of her death. A prolific writer and statistician, Nightingale accomplished her goals in spite of a lifelong illness that kept her bedridden for decades. She was thought to suffer from Bi-Polar disorder

Tom Harrell 

has been called the John Nash of jazz. Against considerable odds, including pronounced tardive dyskinesia, Harrell has successfully struggled with schizophrenia and become one of the most respected jazz trumpeters and composers of the past 30 years

Mary Ann Lincoln (née Todd)

 December 13, 1818 – July 16, 1882) was the wife of the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and was First Lady of the United States from 1861 to 1865. Is said to have suffered Depression and Delusions.

Tracey Gold

 is an actress, known for her work on the television series “Growing Pains,” who is now recovered from anorexia nervosa, with which she struggled during the late 80’s and early 90’s. 

Tennessee Williams was a Pultizer Prize-winning playwright, popularly known for The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Williams suffered from depression, which exacerbated after his schizophrenic sister underwent a lobotomy in the mid-1940s.

Stephen Fry 1957-

British actor Stephen Fry attempted suicide last year, he said during a podcast interview on Wednesday in which he talked openly about his ongoing battle with mental illness. He is Bi-Polar.

These are the faces of mental illness. Productive, intelligent, creative, and even famous people can suffer from mental illness. It does not discriminate. It does not judge. It does not care how much money you have or what religion you belong to. Mental Illness can strike anyone, anywhere in their lifetime. It is time to stand up and refuse to be told we are anything but worthy, productive, magnificent people and we deserve more than just bias and stigma. In honor of me, In honor of you, in honor of all of the silent sufferers. We are everywhere and we matter.

  You can read more of my old Famous Mental  Illness Sufferers posts here:

Neurotic Nelly


  1. I feel all the time the world has forgotten me and nothing I do will change that especially during the holiday's. It is always me and the creator; we will always find a way to make it through another day..always

  2. Steve, most of us aren't famous but we are never forgotten. Even though, sometimes it may feel that way. You will make it through because you are strong like so many of us are. We are so strong and we don't always know it. I know I used famous people for this list but in reality we all change the world. One sentence at a time, one word at a time, and one day at a time. We give all that we have being the people that we are and slowly we change the world around us. Just by speaking out and being who we are. It changes people's minds about mental illness and it corrects the negative bias that has plagued those that suffer from mental illness for so long. I know for some the holidays are not a great or happy time. It can be harder for us. Just know that you are not alone. You are not alone in this struggle and in this life. There are so many of us that feel the way you do. You are strong, and capable, and absolutely important. You are anything but forgotten, my friend. Hang in there and continue to be you because whether you know it or not, you are making a difference.