Stars with mental disorders

I am reading a book about Syd Barrett of the early Pink Floyd, who suffered a life long mental breakdown.

I was wondering how many other artists had the same (or similar) problem.

I can think of Brian Wilson (Beach Boys), Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac), Skip Spence (Moby Grape) and Roky Ericson (13th Floor Elevators).

Are there any others?

Are you thinking about just musicians, or other people like actors? Margot Kidder had a breakdown where she was found hiding in bushes in a very disordered state of mind, I think it was determined to be untreated bipolar?

She’s better now, after treatment and with appropriate medication.

Crispin Glover can’t be right.

Joey Ramone, nee Jeff Hyman, was diagnosed with several disorders. In the documentary End of the Century, his brother describes how excited they were that Jeff could actually participate in life; they had been concerned he would have to be institutionalized or live a limited life at home.

Vivian Leigh suffered from depression and had several breakdowns, usually tied to anxieties over her career.

Patty Duke, Stephen Fry and Carrie Fisher are afflicted with bipolar disorder. All of them have written about their struggles with the condition, and Fry has made two documentaries on the subject.

Frances Farmer and Veronica Lake, two film stars of the '40’s, spent time in mental hospitals.

A recent biographer of Marilyn Monroe suggests that she had borderline personality disorder.

Jim Gordon, most notably the drummer for Derek and The Dominos, certainly has issues.

Sean Young struck me as a bit off kilter in her bid to be the next Catwoman in the early '90s.

Robert Blake?

I don’t know if he’s been diagnosed, but there’s clearly something wrong with Kanye West. Similarly, when Charlie Sheen was quitting a show for which he was being paid more than anyone else on television and babbling about tiger blood, he was clearly out of his gourd. (Of course, that could have been the drugs he was consuming.)

To that end, neither can Kanye West. I’m not saying that as a hater (although I’m no fan); I really feel his antics are rooted in mental illness.

Andy Partridge of *XTC *had a breakdown that effectively led to the breakup of the band.

I feel like I’ve read about a lot of old time movie stars who suffered but suddenly I’m drawing a blank, save for the ones already mentioned by RealityChuck and Waltzes with Cacti.

OP, I think I read the same book; very interesting stuff. There’s also a *Behind the Music * about PF that offers a lot about the Syd years and includes what I think is some of the last footage ever taken of him. Ima tell ya, I was crying my eyes out at the end of it.

Monroe, unfortunately, had a lot of problems. For example, I read in a biography of Billy Wilder that her car always had what looked like several years of clutter inside. Wilder quipped, “If they cleaned out that car, they’d probably find an old boyfriend or two.”

Also, Greta Garbo seemed to suffer from panic attacks which could explain why she withdrew from public life. According to the same biography of Billy Wilder, Garbo held up production of Ninotchka several times when she suddenly became terrified about having to get out of her car.

If we talk about stars who repeatedly went into rehab for addiction, this thread will probably drag on longer than anyone would like – but I figure Robert Downey Jr, who described it as it’s like I have a loaded gun in my mouth, and my finger’s on the trigger, and I like the taste of gunmetal, still deserves special mention.

The naked DUI? Passing out on someone else’s property? Busted for cocaine? Busted for heroin? Anyone ever had a bigger breakdown followed by a bigger comeback?

Leigh wasn’t merely depressed – she was fullout batshit crazee. David Niven wrote two first-rate volumes of memoirs, The Moon’s a Balloon and Bring on the Empty Horses. In one of them, Niven describes witnessing the truly frightening mental breakdown of an actress neighbor of his. His account of her paranoid ravings and bizarre behavior makes a harrowing read. Niven, too much the gentleman to name the lady, identifies her only as a Great Big Star but it’s clear he is writing about Leigh.

And then, of course, there’s Randy Quaid.

If by mental disorders you’re including major personality disorders as well as full-blown psychosis, then it seems likely that Brian Jones and probably Jim Morrison had more than enough to go around. For Jones, I would say borderline personality disorder at least. James Taylor underwent inpatient treatment for major depression.

Not a star by most people’s definition, but Wild Man Fischer was a discovery of Frank Zappa who put out a couple of albums. He was an outsider artist who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

Nick Drake was a British singer-songwriter who was plagued by depression.

I think she was bipolar. Certainly Laurence Olivier had to leave her, because he couldn’t handle her anymore.

Amanda Bynes has had a few public episodes of mental instability. Britney Spears did too in the early/mid aughts, although she seems better these days.

For some reason I read both of those books repeatedly as a teenager, but I never knew that character was Vivian Leigh.

I’ve never gone back as an adult to read them, I wonder if I did that now whether I’d be able to connect those stories back to real people.

I remember those chapters, but didn’t know it was Vivien Leigh. For some reason I thought he was talking about Marilyn Monroe.

What made it clear to you he was writing about Vivien Leigh?

What’s weird about his case is that his wife is not only just as crazy as he is but their craziness and delusions are apparently in perfect sync.
I miss Randy- such a great actor.

Lark Voorhies doesn’t participate in any of the Saved by the Bell reunions due to her severe mental illness. Check out her book title: she has others was well, punctuation just as interesting. (Dustin “Screech” Diamond doesn’t participate either, but that seems to be less mental illness than everybody hates him because he’s an asshole.)

Anne Heche has had a couple of psychotic episodes that went beyond the basic depressed or publicly stoned. Her father was mentally ill as well and she seems to have inherited his condition.