Celebrities Who Battled Schizophrenia

Written By Diyali Banerjee | Mumbai | Published:


  • In the past, several eminent personalities have battled Schizophrenia
  • The patients suffering might often visualise imaginary people and indulge in conversation with them

The growing awareness of mental health problems has brought in limelight several rare but serious mental illnesses like Schizophrenia. The disorder affects a person's ability to think, feel, and behave properly. People suffering from this condition, often start hallucinating things that have no existence along with disoriented speech and reflect an impaired ability to function. The patients suffering might often visualise imaginary people and indulge in conversation with them. Although the exact causes of Schizophrenia are still unknown, research suggests that it is triggered by a combination of physical, genetic, psychological and environmental factors like a stressful emotional life, drug abuse or alcoholism. In the past, several eminent personalities have battled the condition.

Here's the list of celebrities who fought Schizophrenia:

1. Parveen Babi

Bollywood actress Parveen Babi was reportedly a patient of Paranoid Schizophrenia. The actress is known for her roles in films like 'Deewaar', 'Amar Akbar Anthony', 'Namak Halaal', 'Suhaag' and 'Shaan'. She has acted alongside several eminent celebrities of the 1970s and early 1980s and reportedly shared a very close relationship with renowned filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt. The Bollywood diva who started her career as a model made her silver screen debut in 1973 with 'Charitra', opposite cricketer Salim Durrani. The veteran actress was found dead at her Mumbai residence on January 20, 2005, at the age of 55. 

(Source: Twitter)

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2. Tom Harrell

American jazz musician Tom Harrell was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. He fought the disease for a long time, and also dealt with the side-effects of the medicines he had to consume. The Grammy Award nominee is now 72 years old and is best known for his performance as a trumpet and flugelhorn player.

(Source: Twitter)

3. Syd Barrett 

English vocalist Syd Barrett was the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the famous 1965 rock band 'Pink Floyd'. He was also one of the founding members of the band and was known for his songs 'Baby Lemonade', 'Golden Hair', 'Gigolo Aunt' and 'Dominoes' to name a few. Although there are some controversies over what kind of mental illness he suffered from, sources close the vocalist reportedly revealed that he suffered from Schizophrenia and the condition was a result of high stress and significant drug abuse. 

(Source: Twitter)

4. Clara Bow

American actress Clara Gordon Bow also called The It Girl touched the heights of success with her film 'It'. She is described as the leading sex symbol of the century and an iconic figure of 1920s Hollywood. She appeared in over 40 Hollywood films and it was during the end of her career that she was allegedly diagnosed with Schizophrenia. However, the actress herself refused such claims but her odd behavior at public gatherings have often raised several eyebrows. However, Bow died in September 1965, suffering a heart attack at the age of 60.

(Source: Twitter)

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5. Veronica Lake

Famous Hollywood actress Veronica Lake was one of the leading names of the 1940s. She was known for her performances in movies like 'Sullivan's Travels', and 'This Gun for Hire', to name a few. Although she was a very talented actress, her flourishing career saw a sharp fall owing to her alcoholism and mental illness. She was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and passed away in July 1973 suffering from hepatitis and acute kidney injury at the age of 50.

(Source: Twitter)