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Burnout - Depression Curse or Blessing

Them too...

Knowing that many renowned figures also suffered from depression, self-doubt and states of anxiety may help us fellow sufferers to not feel profoundly ashamed of our symptoms and to feel like we are of no use. Not only is there no reason for this, but we should all be proud of ourselves “just the way we are”.
Here are just a few of these renowned figures of which there are so many all over the world!


Leonardo da Vinci 1452 – 1519

We can truly say that Leonardo da Vinci was an all-round genius. Da Vinci was not only at home in all artistic genres, such as sculpture, painting, architecture; he also engaged in research in science, engineering, medicine and ultimately in philosophy. „Mona Lisa“, „The Last Supper“, „Signorelli Luca“, „Vitruvian“ are only a few of his artistic masterpieces.
He suffered from severe depression.


Michelangelo 1475 - 1564

Painter, Sculptor, Architect.
His self-involved character always led to conflicts, even with the Pope and his successor. Nevertheless, Pope Julius II finally gave him the order to paint the Sistine Chapel, which Michelangelo finished in 1512. During the last two decades Michelangelo kept accepting architectural assignments. In 1547 he received the construction management for the St. Peter’s Basilica. No artist before Michelangelo had ever developed such artistic techniques of such artistic value. Still, we must not forget that Michelangelo is especially remembered because of his work as a sculpture. All his life he tried to find the perfect presentation of the human body and in his sculptures he was able to connect the classical beauty of the antiquity with an, up to then unknown, expression of sensibility.
He suffered from severe depression.


Vincent van Gogh 1853 – 1890

Vincent van Gogh, also known as the „great lonesome one“, was not only a genius as a painter, he was a genius on paper as well. For years his pictures have been among the most expensive ones in the world. Van Gogh only sold a half a dozen paintings during his lifetime, but today he belongs to one of the most important founders of the modern era. Thus, the myth of van Gogh still lives on today. His life, his self-doubt, his loneliness engages sympathy like no other. Van Gogh’s life was affected by his constant search. After his nervous breakdown in 1889, van Gogh went to the sanatorium in Saint-Remy-de-Provence.


Rainer Maria Rilke 1875 – 1906

The great German poet and writer suffered from depression and a sense of inferiority.

Hermann Hesse 1877 – 1962

Hermann Hesse is one of the greatest writers of all time. His parents tried very hard to stop him from following his heart, finding his vision and shaping his own life. In agony, Hesse detached himself to satisfy his parents. He then proceeded to pour all of his unhappiness into his novels. One of his greatest works is „Siddhartha“ („Siddhartha“ also helped me to find my new path during the many weeks I was in the clinic).


Ernest Hemingway 1899 - 1961        

One of the most popular and successful American authors of the 20th century; Nobel Prize winner. His most famous novel „The Old Man and the Sea” was published in 1953 and 5 million copies were sold within 2 days. He suffered from severe depression and paranoia.


Oskar Werner 1922 – 1984

He was one of the greatest actors ever. Some of his most famous movies are: “The Angel with the Trumpet“ (1948), „The Lives and Loves of Mozart“ (1955), „Ship of Fools“ (1964), „The Spy Who Came in from the Cold“ (1965), „Fahrenheit 451“ (1966).
During the last years of his life he suffered from alcohol problems and depression.


Elvis Presley 1935 – 1977

The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and one of the greatest entertainers of all time.
He suffered from depression and an addiction to pills.


James Dean 1931 - 1955

His three movie roles „Giant“, „Rebel Without a Cause“ and „East of Eden“ have made him an icon for millions of people.
He suffered from insomnia and severe depression.


Robbie Williams geb. 1975

He is one of the most successful English pop singers. He has sold more than 50 million albums. From 1990 until 1995 he was part of “Take That”, the most successful boy group of the 90’s. He left the group and launched a hugely successful solo career. In November 2005 Robbie Williams sold over 1.6 million concert tickets for his world tour in one day.
He suffers from depression and a state of exhaustion.


Sven Hannawald geb. 1974

The German ski jumper is a likeable and handsome man (he would have had good chances of being a model as well). In 2002 he won all four individual jumping titles at the Four Hills Tournament, the first person to do so.
He suffers from burnout and depression.


Sebastian Deisler geb. 1980

One of Germany’s best soccer players ever. He was a team national player and a model soccer player for FC Bayern Munich. Deisler retired from professional soccer at the age of 27.
He suffers from depression.


And, and, and...

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