Often when we talk about schizophrenia, we imagine someone who is not able to integrate back to society however, there are a list of people living with schizophrenia who are also musicians, economist, scientists, archaeologists or mathematicians. Here are 4 inspiring individuals that are diagnosed with schizophrenia but still able to strive regardless of having the illness.
An American mathematician that made notable contributions in differential geometry, game theory and partial differential equations. With his contributions to the game theory, John Nash was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994. He was then awarded with the Abel Prize in 2015 for his work on nonlinear partial differential equations. The Oscar nominated movie, “A Beautiful Mind” was based on his mathematical genius and his struggles with schizophrenia.
Cecilia McGough is an astronomer and activist. She has been participating in pulsar research continuously since December of 2009, where she co-discovered pulsar J1930-1852 with the widest orbit ever observed around another neutron star. She founded a non-profit called Students with Schizophrenia, that aims to empower college students with schizophrenia. Hoping to implement similar programs for other Universities in the United States, such as Yale, but also have accepted offers from other universities abroad. She blogs about her personal experience with schizophrenia and help educate the public, in hopes to shatter the negative stigma surrounding mental health.
Read her interview with The Daily Collegian at:
Watch her inspiring TED Talk here:
Darrell Hammond is a former cast member of the famous American late-night live television variety show, Saturday Night Live (SNL), a hilarious stand-up comedian, actor and famous for his impressions, including President Bill Clinton and President Donald Trump. He grew up with an abusive mother and talked about how his childhood trauma have led to self-harm and hospitalizations.
Elyn Saks is an associate Dean and Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioural Sciences at the prestigious University of Southern California. First experienced her symptoms at a very young age, only diagnosed after she was hospitalised after experiencing a full-blown episode when she was in Oxford University. She writes about her experience through her books to show and hope that people know that a diagnosis does not lead to a ‘oblique’ life. In 2009, she received a grant to establish the Institue for Mental Health Law, Policy and Ethics.
To read her interview with USCGould:
Watch her inspiring TedTalk here:
To wrap this article up, I just hope that these examples gives you an idea that with the right management, people who has schizophrenia can lead lives outside mental health wards. Elyn Saks sums it up perfectly in her 2019 Aljazeera interview, that she is not claiming that anyone with schizophrenia can accomplish the same exact things she has but she believes that with the right treatment, supportive environment and resources, a person with schizophrenia can meet their full potential.
'SNL's' Darrell Hammond Reveals Cutting, Abuse. (2011). Retrieved 7 April 2019, from https://www.npr.org/2011/11/07/141990958/snls-darrell-hammond-reveals-cutting-abuse
Edgers, G. (2019). How Darrell Hammond, SNL’s best impressionist ever, found life after Trump. Retrieved 7 April 2019, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/style/2017/09/27/darrell-hammond-was-snls-best-donald-trump-and-its-best-impressionist-ever-so-what-went-wrong
Elyn Saks - MacArthur Foundation. (2019). Retrieved 7 May 2019, from https://www.macfound.org/fellows/62/
Ernst, A. (2014). Brilliant, successful and living with schizophrenia. Retrieved 7 May 2019, from http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/america-tonight-blog/2014/2/13/brilliant-successfulandlivingwithschizophrenia.html
Fox, L. (2018). ‘Not just the stereotype’: One student shares her story of schizophrenia diagnosis. Retrieved 7 May 2018, from https://www.collegian.psu.edu/news/campus/article_8d95ff52-d58e-11e8-955c-d7938b62235d.html
Goode, E. (2019). John F. Nash Jr., Math Genius Defined by a ‘Beautiful Mind,’ Dies at 86. Retrieved 7 April 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/25/science/john-nash-a-beautiful-mind-subject-and-nobel-winner-dies-at-86.html
John F. Nash, Jr. and Louis Nirenberg share the Abel Prize. (2015). Retrieved 7 May 2019, from https://www.abelprize.no/nyheter/vis.html?tid=63589
Kelly, M. (2015). A 'long awaited recognition': Nash receives Abel Prize for revered work in mathematics. Retrieved 7 April 2019, from https://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S42/72/29C63/
McGough, C. (2019). Cecilia McGough | LinkedIn. Retrieved 4 May 2019, from https://www.linkedin.com/in/cecilia-mcgough-97a9a784/
Saks, E. (2011). Law professor, mental health patient and advocate. Retrieved 6 May 2019, from https://weblaw.usc.edu/about/news/?id=3773
SNL Archives | Cast. (2013). Retrieved 7 May 2019, from https://web.archive.org/web/20131009185334/http://snl.jt.org/cast.php?i=DaHa
USATODAY.com - Academy Award Winners. (2002). Retrieved 7 March 2019, from https://usatoday30.usatoday.com/life/movies/oscar2002/2002-03-24-winners.htm