Hope you’re having a beautiful day and that the trend will continue for you this week. This is my second post on mental illness and I am happy to say that this one won’t be as heavy as the first. I got some good feedback, mostly in the form of kind words and supportive commentary, so I’d like to say a special thank you to all of those who reached out to me, and please help to spread the word… you never know who you might help. That said, please see below for some basic information about mental illnesses as well as a list of celebrities who suffer from them. I had some help from Zandra Levy with simplifying it into a clearer, more absorbent format so I hope you appreciate it as much as I do. As always, thank you for reading, and even more so for sharing.
Blessings and light,
…Are no different from any other chronic conditions. It is like any other illness such diabetes, asthma and hypertension, except that instead of the heart, lungs or blood being problematic, it is a medical condition that affects the brain, and for that reason it can sometimes result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life. There are a number of mental illnesses and much like other diseases, they affect persons of any age, race, religion, or income level and can either be hereditary, where you end up with it because it is in your genes, or a result of your lifestyle. E.g. poor eating habits/unbalanced diet can lead to obesity and diabetes or hypertension, in the same way that a series of traumatic events or a consistently high level of stress without proper management can damage you psychologically, thus leading to mental illnesses. Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT a result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses disrupt how a person usually thinks as well as their feelings, moods, ability to relate to others and daily functioning, since it affects the brain, and the brain controls everything else.
Types of mental illnesses (these are considered most serious)…
…Depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and borderline personality disorder (BPD)
Symptoms of mental illnesses…
(If several of the following are occurring, a serious condition may be developing)
• Recent social withdrawal and loss of interest in others.
• An unusual drop in functioning, especially at school or work, such as quitting sports, failing in school, or difficulty performing familiar tasks.
• Problems with concentration, memory, or logical thought and speech that are hard to explain.
• Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch; avoidance of over-stimulating situations.
• Loss of initiative or desire to participate in any activity; apathy.
• A vague feeling of being disconnected from oneself or one’s surroundings; a sense of unreality.
• Unusual or exaggerated beliefs about personal powers to understand meanings or influence events; illogical or “magical” thinking typical of childhood in an adult.
• Fear or suspiciousness of others, paranoia or a strong nervous feeling.
• Uncharacteristic, peculiar behavior.
• Dramatic sleep and appetite changes or deterioration in personal hygiene.
• Rapid or dramatic shifts in feelings or “mood swings
The good news…
…About mental illness is that relief can be had with proper treatment and a great support system, as is the case with most other illnesses, so many individuals who are afflicted live normal and even extraordinary lives, as some mentally ill persons are quite gifted. This is why it is important for us to understand these conditions and help to remove the stigma surrounding them.
And, as promised, mentally ill celebrities…
Rock star icon Kurt Cobain suffered from bipolar disorder and ADHD.
If you like to watch Food Network, you should know chef Paula Deen. She suffers from panic disorder.
Actress Cameron Diaz and footballer/model David Beckham are said to be OCD, while swimmer extraordinaire/Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps has ADHD.
Angelina Jolie and Adolf Hitler are said to have/have suffered from BPD.
Singer/songwriter Alanis Morrisette got PTSD due to the stress of becoming a celebrity early in her career.
Mathematician/Nobel Prize Winner John Nash, the man who inspired the movie A Beautiful Mind
Jazz great Tom Harrell
Jamaican singer/songwriter Junior Byles (I will speak more on him in future posts)
* Jamaican dj/artiste Terror Fabulous – apparently mentioned this in an interview, citing it as the reason for his frequent disappearances from the music scene despite being such a gifted artiste and his team has since done everything in their power to kill it. I’m still investigating.
Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green
Pink Floyd band member Syd Barrett
Lionel Aldridge of Green Bay Packers
Mel Gibson, actor/director
Jim Carrey, actor
Nina Simone, singer/songwriter
Amy Winehouse, singer/songwriter
Marilyn Monroe, actress/model
Catherine Zeta-Jones, actress
Sinead O Connor, singer/songwriter
Ben Stiller, actor
British comedian Russell Brand
Singer Macy Gray
Fall Out Boy band member Pete Wentz
Politician (USA) Jesse Jackson Jr
Jean Claude Van Damme, actor
Carrie Fischer (Princess Leia), actress
Frank Sinatra, famous singer/actor
Janet Jackson, singer/songwriter/dancer
Brooke Shields, actress
Sheryl Crow, country music singer/songwriter
Emma Thompson, British actress
Zach Braff, actor
World renowned authors Charles Dickens and Ernest Hemingway
Former presidents of the USA, Richard Nixon and Abraham Lincoln