April 4, 2016

EP. 116 — Famous Historical Figures Who Were Probably Mentally Ill

In the grand scheme of human history, awareness of mental health issues is a relatively recent development. It wasn’t even until the 60s and 70s that therapy, medication and other modern treatments became mainstream. Before that we would just throw people in the looney bin, give them electro-shock therapy or pull out all their teeth if they were schizophrenic or suffering from depression. So it goes without saying that there were multitudes of people throughout history who were suffering from autism, addiction, bipolar disorder, ADHD and so on who were never treated. Many of these people went on to do great things– sometimes because of and sometimes in spite of their mental conditions. They were our Beethovens, our Lincolns, our Jeffersons and our Einsteins. This week we’re taking a look into the past and shining a light on the famous historical figures you may not know were suffering from major mental illnesses. Cracked editor-in-chief Jack O’Brien first speaks with Claudia Kalb, a medical and science journalist who literally wrote the book on the subject, about Abraham Lincoln, Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe and whether modern treatments are medicating away the next generation of greats like these. Jack then speaks with Cracked editor Robert Evans about how many of these diseases may have evolved and benefitted prehistoric society, and the surprising way Syphilis ties into all of this.


Claudia Kalb’s ‘Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder’: http://goo.gl/ROcX2E

5 Insane Celebrity Conspiracies That Make Sense (#3 Thomas Jefferson Had Asperger’s):  http://goo.gl/u2BwC

Michel Foucault’s ‘Madness and Civilization’: https://goo.gl/AqBts4

Robert Sapolsky’s Lecture on OCD and Religion: https://goo.gl/UJl7So

‘Eating Christmas in the Kalihari’: http://goo.gl/ZZAW5R

Buy tickets to our next live episode taping on April 9th at 7pm at the UCB Sunset Theatre in Los Angeles: https://goo.gl/VeEDmF

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