While more famous people have been comfortable talking about their anxiety or depression, schizophrenia is still a mental health disorder people are afraid to talk about because of the troubling symptoms that follow. However, by learning about past historical figures and celebrities of today who have schizophrenia, you may feel less alone.
John Nash Jr.
You may have heard of Josh Nash Jr.’s story from the Academy Award-winning movie “A Beautiful Mind.” John Nash Jr. was a mathematician who made groundbreaking contributions to the field of math. In the late 1950s at the age of 30, Nash Jr. began experiencing paranoia and delusions. He was hospitalized multiple times over the next several decades and was on and off antipsychotic medications. In the 1980s when Nash Jr. was in his 50s, his condition began to improve. It could be because people who have a later onset of schizophrenia tend to do better than those who experience initial symptoms in their teens. Having a job, a supportive community, and a family can also improve the outcomes.
Tom Harrell is a jazz trumpeter who also has schizophrenia. When he played his music, he claimed the voices would go away. Without it, he felt like his sense of reality was threatened. Harrell’s symptoms started when he was 18 and in college. He thought he heard a voice tell him to go out the window after he was done drinking his orange juice. He broke through the window which cut him, but he did not go through the window and remained inside. Harrell currently takes three medications to reduce depression, panic attacks, and to sedate him. The medication has been proven effective as well as the support of his wife, Angela Harrell.
Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Lionel Aldridge started experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia in his early 30s in 1974 when he experienced hallucinations and voices echoed in his head. As an athlete, he felt like he had to be strong and not seek help. While he tried to ignore them, the voices would grow belittling and threatening. After being homeless for a while, Aldridge got the help he needed and served as a board member for the Mental Health Association of Milwaukee and a speaker for the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Schizophrenia can be a complicated mental illness to speak about in public as the symptoms of this mental illness can be intense and cause stigma in the uneducated masses. However, several men have struggled with schizophrenia and were able to get the help they needed with the support of their loved ones and the proper medication. At Alta Loma, we understand the struggles of having schizophrenia and we are here to help you. Located in Georgetown, Texas, we can offer you individualized treatment, medication management, a long-term continuum of care, and more. Give us a call at (866) 457-3843 for more information.