History’s greatest minds and their greatest struggles

Sometimes, it appears that it’s the case that genius is often accompanied by tragic events, illness, and premature deaths. Be it the result of betrayal or delusion, a struggle with mental health issues, or having concepts that were simply that were too revolutionary for the times Some thought leaders of the past simply couldn’t get a break!

Alexander the Great

Perhaps the most formidable military thinker in history, Alexander the Great was the King of Macedonia and spent the bulk of his time expanding his empire and conquering different regions within West Asia and North Africa. Alexander was also known to be a hyper-vigilant megalomaniac who was paranoid.

Alexander the Great believed from a very young age that his lineage was direct descendent to Zeus himself. Alexander also was not able to respond well to criticism. After drinking a bit many glasses of wine at a celebration dinner, Alexander started to quarrel with his closest friend and adviser Cleitus the Black who was adamant about the recent decisions of the military. Alexander was able to respond with a javelin thrown through Cleitus his heart.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven, considered by many to be the most important classical composer ever had a number of physical ailments, the most notable being deafness total as well as Paget’s disease of bone. According to some psychologists of the present it is very likely that this genius was afflicted by bipolar disorder.

Beethoven was known for writing music in a frantic rate during manic episodes which would last for weeks with no sleep, refusing food, and alarming his colleagues. In the wake of these frenzies of creativity Beethoven would fall into lengthy bouts of depression and write not one note for months.

Vincent van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh, the famous Post-Impressionist painter, unfortunately didn’t get his talents acknowledged until after he had died. He was a poor man in France and suffered from extreme depression, and hardly ever sold any of his paintings in his life.

Modern psychiatrists and physicians have issued posthumous diagnoses throughout the years. Doctors generally are of the opinion that the artist was suffering from bipolar disorder. other doctors have mentioned schizophrenia and anxiety disorders as potential ailments.

Winston Churchill

The former premier of the United Kingdom, eternally famous for his involvement during World War II, also had to deal with personal issues as the world was in war.

Churchill was susceptible to intense long-term periods of depression, which Churchill referred to as the “black dog.” He consumed a lot of alcohol throughout his life in order to cope his depression, and made it a habit to avoid areas with high ledges, as he was afraid about the possibility that “a second’s action would end everything.”

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway, the brilliant novelist who wrote classics such as The Old Man and The Sea’ as well as “A Farewell to Arms,” was known for his battle with anxiety and addiction throughout his lifetime. His connection with family members as well as being a driver for ambulances in World War I certainly took its psychological toll.

Near the final stages of his life Hemingway began to develop anxious and believed that he was under the surveillance of the FBI. He started to withdraw himself as his health declined and he eventually committed suicide in the year 61.

Virginia Woolf

A major voice in the feminist movement of the early years and one of the most influential writers of all time, Virginia Woolf had a long history of mental illnesses in her family. Her half-sister and grandfather were both locked up in asylums.

Woolf herself was admitted to a hospital several times during her lifetime. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and repeatedly attempting the suicide route, she was destined to suffer through a period of time in which there was a lack of support provided to people suffering from mental health issues.

Charles Darwin

“The “Father of Evolution,” Charles Darwin was known to suffer from numerous physical ailments throughout his lifetime that included chronic stomachaches and heart-pilpitations. He also displayed numerous signs of an anxiety disorder that was severe and most likely suffered from frequent anxiety attacks.

Despite all these challenges, Darwin still managed to live a full and significant life, travelling all across the globe, and also inventing an important theory of science. influential theories in science of all time.


The man who came up with known for introducing the Pythagorean theorem Pythagoras was also a prolific writer of theories and concepts that were a little more wild. In addition to being a groundbreaking mathematician Pythagoras was also a fan of the world of cult leadership.

The group, also known as Pythagoreans were believed to worship the number 10, and even offered a prayer to the number 10. Also, they believed Pythagoras was a god that was born from either Hermes or Apollo. One of Pythagoras’s most bizarre belief systems was the notion that it is illegal to eat fava bean, because they were the home of souls of the deceased. He eventually gave his life to protect the fava bean field.


Although he is now regarded as one of the most influential and most influential thinkers of the history of thought, Socrates was not always popular and he certainly did not get it all easy. Socrates was shunned by many people during his time, mostly because of his nonconformist beliefs , which were considered to be a scourge in the ancient Greece.

Socrates was also said as having a voice inside the back of his mind on daily period of time, which he refers to as his “deamon.” While this voice did not steer Socrates’s famous philosopher to violence but it did provide some advice at times. Socrates himself stated that his friend warned him against becoming an politician.

Charles Dickens

As ascribed by many to be the best English writer of all time, Charles Dickens, like many other great writers, struggled with depression throughout his life. According to some, the writer suffered long bouts of insomnia each time he started an entirely new book.

To ease his insomnia, Dickens would wander aimlessly through London and even covered 30 miles (48 kilometers) in just one night. The bright side is that it was stated that his mood were lifted gradually as he made greater progress with his stories.

Hannibal Barca

Hannibal was among the most powerful generals and military strategists of Hellenistic time. Hannibal is most well-known for his trek across over the Alps with an elephant army.

It was the Carthaginian general, who was wildly successful during the early part in his life, ultimately was thrown off the pedestal after failing to conquer Rome. After years of defying the authorities and effectively ejecting his own self, Hannibal ended his life drinking poison that he kept in a capsule that was hidden in his band.

Seneca the younger

Seneca the Younger born in 4 BC was not just an important Stoic philosopher and the chief advisor to the notoriously cruel Roman Emperor Nero. He embraced his ideas, Seneca tried to influence Nero positively however, to no avail. Then, Seneca was tangled up in a plot to overthrow the Emperor.

When Nero discovered this deceit, he sentenced several former friends to exile, and many more to execution. Nero sent soldiers to Seneca’s residence in Rome and ordered the senator to take his own life in retribution for his deeds. Seneca was a typical warrior, executed these instructions quietly and calmly and without disturbance.

Paul Lafargue

Paul Lafargue, a famous political activist and Marxist thinker was born in Cuba and lived the majority of his time in France. Famous for his work in organizing as well as his anti-labor manifesto entitled ‘The Right To be lazy,’ which that brought his life to an abrupt and dramatic conclusion.

In 1911 in 1911, aged 69, the couple of LaFargue wife Laura were injected with cyanide and left a note saying that this was the goal for many years. The note reads: LaFargue stated that he never imagined living beyond 70 and he would rather die before his body began to become unfit. The note also stated nine years ago that he planned to end his own life when his savings began to be exhausted.

Abbie Hoffman

Abbie Hoffman, the famous comedian, politician and a part of the Chicago Seven, battled depression and bipolar disorder for the bulk all of his existence. His medical issues, combined by his dismay at the current state of affairs in the world, brought Hoffman to die young at the age of 52.

On the 12th of April 1989 Hoffman had been found dead at his home, having taken the fatal dose of barbiturate. The people who knew Hoffman believed that he could not accept the signs to old age and not experiencing the transformation in the world was always his dream and struggled for.

Gilles Deleuze

Gilles Deleuze, the prolific French philosopher, was adored and admired by a large number of people throughout his entire life. Michel Foucault called him “the only philosophical mind in France.” The concepts that he formulated in his books like ‘Anti-Oedipus’ had an impact on people from the 1950s.

When Deleuze lived for over 70 years, he had respiratory issues since childhood and was able to have a lung removed in the year 1968 because of tuberculosis. In the early 1990s, even simple daily tasks became extremely tiring and in the year 1995, the philosopher was thrown out of the window of his apartment.

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