Have you ever wondered how great the connection is between genius and madman? Numerous examples in history show that mental illnesses are linked with greatness. Immense creativity and outstanding cleverness are often connected with schizophrenia or other diseases.
Among those suffering from bipolar disorder or schizophrenia are prominent writers, poets, painters and musicians. Of course, in the times when there were no drugs for these diseases and all were considered “fools,” an exact diagnosis was impossible. However, we can be pretty sure that people suffering from mental disorders formed the foundation of modern culture.
1. Edgar Allan Poe
Poe was a pioneer of horror and crime. He wrote dark horrors with elements of fantasy. His works “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” are considered classics of gothic horror. The writer suffered numerous disorders and anxiety; he was afraid of the dark, suffered melancholy and memory loss and also had a persecution mania and severe hallucinations. Raised without a mother, he learned to read at the cemetery tombstones, while his pre-existing medical conditions intensified because of an opium addiction and the death of his young wife. Subsequent attempts of marriage failed and friends who witnessed his alcoholism and drug addiction admitted him to a psychiatric hospital, where he died after five years.
2. Friedrich Nietzsche
His views and philosophy caused a lot of controversy. The concept of a supernatural man, moral skepticism and nihilism are known to this day. Everyone, even if they haven’t read it, at least knows the title “Thus Spoke Zarathustra.” He had manic depression, psychosis and was a megalomaniac. He considered himself an outstanding unit, which often led him to fall into mental breakdown. He screamed uncontrollably and jumped for no reason. During stays in a psychiatric hospital, he formed his work. At the end of his life, his condition deteriorated to a point where he was only able to put together simple sentences.
You’ll find more touching stories of masters on the next page.