About 1.5 million people in the USA are diagnosed with schizophrenia annually. It is a mental condition that affects behavior and the brain. This debilitating disease is inherited and affects people from all backgrounds. Some of the symptoms of this condition include seeing unreal things, hearing voices, and delusional thoughts. People with schizophrenia become agitated or withdrawn if they don’t receive treatment.
Schizophrenia might cause suffering throughout your life including to you and those around you. There is medication to treat the condition although it can’t be cured. The disease affects people regardless of whether they have fame and money or not. Read on to see people in Hollywood who had schizophrenia despite fortune and fame.
Diagnosed with schizophrenia during childhood, Veronica Lake was a renowned film noir actress during the 1940s. She was also famous for her trademark blonde, wavy hair. Her life was full of violent and dramatic outbursts in adulthood. She became famous for her role in Sullivan’s Travels and her trademark “peek-a-boo” hairstyle. Her career started to decline of her struggles with alcoholism and mental problems.
Getting the most effective treatment for schizophrenia would have been the best solution at this time. During the 1950s, she did only one film although she had various guest-starring roles on TV. She attempted to revive her career with a role in the 1966 movie Footsteps in the Snow. But, this didn’t work out well for her. The Hollywood icon passed on at 50 years in July 1973 from acute kidney injury and hepatitis.
In the 1920s, Clara Bow gained fame for her glittering lifestyle and fashionable look. Unknown to many, she was struggling with schizophrenia just like her mother. But, this didn’t stop her from having a successful career in Hollywood. She starred in the movies such as Down to the Sea in Ships, Silent films, The Daring Years, and Dancing Mothers. Later, she portrayed signs of psychiatric illness and withdrawal from social interaction with her husband. She attempted to commit suicide in 1944.
She was admitted to receive treatment for diffuse abdominal pains and chronic insomnia in the Institute of Living in 1949. After various psychological tests, she tested positive for schizophrenia despite not having visual or auditory hallucinations. After leaving the Institute, she lived in solicitude in a bungalow she rarely left until she died on September 27, 1965.
This film and stage actress became a household name in the film industry in a short period. Apart from her great beauty, Gene Eliza Tierney was famous for her role in the 1944 movie, Laura. In 1945, her portrayal of Ellen Berent Harland in Leave Her to Heaven got her a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Her life was full of difficult events for years including various episodes of manic depression. While volunteering at the Hollywood canteen, an accident with a fan infected her pregnancy making her give birth to a dead and mentally disabled daughter in 1943.
By 1953, film appearances were significantly affected because of concentration problems. Upon consulting a psychiatrist, she was admitted to Harkness Pavilion, New York before going to The Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut. Here, she attempted to flee the facility before becoming a strong critic of shock treatment therapy for severe depression. Emphysema claimed Tierney’s life in 1991 in Houston.
Last on our list is this Saturday Night Live actor, impressionist, and standup comedian. Darrell Hammond was diagnosed in childhood with schizophrenia. He was one of the longest-standing members of Saturday Night Live, he starred on the show from 1995 to 2009. At 53 years, he left the show as the oldest actor in the history of the show. Some of his remarkable moments on the show include making the most appearances than any other member and impersonating more than 107 celebrities.
Bill Clinton was Hammond’s most frequent impression. A month after the death of Don Pardo, Hammond became the new announcer of the show on September 19, 2014. He revealed how he was brutalized by his mother during his childhood in an interview with CNN in 2011. This trauma led him to be admitted several times for psychiatric issues including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder.
Living a good life with schizophrenia
- Professional treatment and self-help help
- Manage symptoms by becoming active
- Get one-on-one support
- Avoid stress
- Adjust your lifestyle
- Appreciate the role of antipsychotic medication
Getting diagnosed with schizophrenia is not a death sentence. Just like those Hollywood stars you have seen above, you too can have a fulfilling life with schizophrenia. You have to accept the diagnosis and seek professional help. Making lifestyle changes, keeping away from stress, and appreciating that medication helps are the tricks to live a normal life with schizophrenia.