Tag Archives: everyday health

8 Famous Authors with Depression

ImageFrom everydayhealth.com

Mark Twain

“Everyone is a moon and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.”

This eccentric author (Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn) also suffered from a form of narcolepsy later in life, and would often fall asleep while in the middle of speaking.

Stephen King

“Monsters are real. Ghosts, too. They live inside us and sometimes, they win.”

Prolific horror writer King has written about his lifelong struggles with depression, alcoholism, and drug abuse.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

“In a real dark night of the soul, it always three o’clock in the morning, day after day.”

Fitzgerald led a party-hard lifestyle for most of his life, which ended at the young age of 44. He was also an alcoholic and had a complex relationship with his wife Zelda, who he ultimately separated from.

Sylvia Plath

“The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.”

This poet is just as famous for her depression as she is for her writing. At 19, she made her first suicide attempt, and at age 30, she succeeded in taking her own life. Her only novel The Bell Jar is a semi-autobiographical story of a young woman who goes through electric shock therapy for her depression.

Tennessee Williams

“I’ve had a wonderful and terrible life and I wouldn’t cry for myself.”

Williams is famous as the writer of the plays “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Night of the Iguana,” but was also dangerously addicted to various drugs and alcohol as a way to deal with his anxiety. He got hooked on prescription pills and was once committed to a mental hospital for three months.

Anne Rice

“The world changes. We do not. Therein lies the irony that kills us.”

Mostly known for her vampire novels and now writing religiously-themed books, Anne Rice began her career after the death of her 5-year old daughter and a difficult bout with depression.

Emily Dickinson

“This is my letter to the world
That never wrote to me.”

Since not much is known about this poet’s personal life, it is possible that she may have had depression, bipolar disorder, and/or anxiety. Though her poetry was never famous during her lifetime, the discovery of hundreds of poems after her death have ensured her legacy.

J.K. Rowling

“Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced. . . . It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope.” 

J.K. Rowling was struggling with depression when she began to write the famous Harry Potter series and has continued to deal with the complications that arise from the mental illness. The Dementors from her books serve as a metaphor for depression, as they suck the life force from their victims.