Is James Taylor, as in the singer, schizophrenic?

I don’t want to violate the man’s confidentiality or anything but I recently heard that James Taylor was schizophrenic. I find this hard to believe, just because he is so “high functioning” to use a term. Anyone know?

Him, His family and his doctors do.

What makes you think that anyone here would have more info than that or would be more accurate than that already found on the interweb? And if anyone here did have personal info, that he would tell you?

If you don’t want to ‘violate his confidentiality’ - why ask the question to begin with?

AFAIK, no…but he did spend some time in an institution due to a heroin addiction.

I don’t believe that is the case. He has a history of drug and alcohol addiction but I believe he is clean now. He was hospitalized at the McLean Hospital (a prestigious Harvard affiliated psychiatric hospital) but he has always been quite open about that and everything I have heard indicates that was for chronic substance abuse treatment rather than schizophrenia. He may have been diagnosed as schizophrenic before but those types of diagnoses are notoriously unreliable especially when there are underlying substance abuse issues that can cause similar symptoms.,%202002&author=ALEX%20BEAM&pub=Boston%20Globe&edition=&startpage=10&desc=

Moderator Note

simster, this is General Questions. If you don’t have information about the subject, there’s no need to reply, especially merely to interject your personal opinions on the matter. No warning issued, but let’s not threadshit.

General Questions Moderator

Actually, I always heard he had been in the psych hospital due to a bad bout of depression.

Of course, that can lead to or stem from substance abuse, or schizophrenia, or a lot of other things.

The guy had a problem. He did something about it. He’s mostly been better since. That’s really all I feel a need to know.

The backstory for Fire and Rain is shrouded in Songwriters’ Mysterious Origins, but there’s plenty of reference to psychiatric problems. Here’s a tiny bit of discussion from the song’s Wiki page:

His main wiki page has more on related issues.

Great singer-songwriter; can’t wait to see him at Bethel Woods in a few months.

His well meaning friends kept the news of her death from him as they were worried what it would do to him in his (then) fragile mental state.

Hence the song is not just about mourning her death but also the anguish of the realisation that while through all the bad times he has taken comfort from their friendship she has, in fact, been gone.

Who, us?

I think the OP is not asking if we know personally, but if we have found documentation that he has the disorder, like interviews we have read or articles and so forth.

Depression does not “lead to” schizophrenia. They are quite unrelated mental illnesses.

But depressive symptoms are very common in people with schizophrenia. Which is what I think **Broomstick **meant. Basically, knowing that he has had depressive symptoms gives us no information as to whether or not a person is schizophrenic. It neither proves nor disproves schizophrenia.

^ Yes, that.

Schizophrenia does share common “comorbidities” with depression, but most depressed people are not schizophrenic. That said, I don’t know anything about Mr. Taylor’s medical history.

“I like to hear them best that way.
It doesn’t much matter what they mean.
She says them mostly just to calm me down.”

Yes, that is what “unrelated” means, which is why I used the word. As for “comorbidity”, yes, schizophrenia, being a very unpleasant thing to live with, can lead to depression. However, depression, as such, does not lead to schizophrenia, which was the claim that Broomstick made that I was objecting to.

Ranking on Wiki is always easy fun, and here “the” cold showers–or any at all–is particularly easy.

When you’re so depressed you’re undergoing electroconvulsive therapy (note: it’s the convulsions, not the shocks, that are therapeutic, which it’s why it’s called ECT and not EST), until you get better you’re not taking any showers, washing your face, brushing your teeth, and have to be talked into coming out from under the blankets all day.

The original reference to Taylor’s schizophrenia comes from a 1971 *Life * article by Albert Goldman which was mocking the idea that people could identify mental abnormalities of singers from their lyrics. Here it is.


No, I want NOT claiming depression causes schizophrenia. I also mentioned drug abuse as being common in schizophrenics (largely due to attempting to self-medicate) but no one jumped on THAT bandwagon.

Just to clarify, while neither depression nor drug abuse cause schizophrenia, schizophrenics have much higher rates of both than the normal population.

Want a parallel? Amputation doesn’t cause diabetes, and not all diabetics wind up with amputations, but diabetics are at much higher risk of amputation than people without diabetes.

Sheesh, rub it in, why don’t you? :slight_smile:

Co-morbid here. FTR, bad sugar control in diabetes fucks up your anti-depressant medication, so things can get worse from that direction too.