Have you got a celerity/scholar/historical figure you admire or are in absolute awe of? It’s so easy to think of them having “perfect lives” following on from their awesome achievements, but that’s often not the case.
I’ll admit – this is a bit of a “feel good” post! Check out the following celebrities who battled with dyslexia (a learning disability resulting in difficulties in language, reading and writing), depression or other mental illnesses when younger, only to rise above and totally dominate in their respective fields!
1. Mel Gibson
With all of Mel’s on-screen success it’s crazy to find out he’s been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. In 2002 he admitted to having “really good highs but some very low lows.” Interestingly though, studies have shown that Bipolar Disorder has been linked to Artistry and enhanced creativity.”
2. Elton John
Elton John revealed his uphill battle with both substance abuse and bulimia (binge eating then expelling the food through vomiting or laxatives so as not to gain weight). He states that admitting he needed help was the “best thing (he) ever did.”
3. Leonardo Da Vinci
Leonardo Da Vinci was an Italian painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer (whew, that’s a long CV!). Despite this, he suffered from Dyslexia – his notes are said to be written backwards. Constantly mocked for his vivid distinctions and style of writing, Leonardo was a lonely child. But how he utilized his differences is to be noted – he went from the ‘weird kid’ to the man of modern inventions. His caricatures and sketches are still a source of inspiration to modern researchers and comfort inventors.
4. Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was expelled from his primary school due to memory issues. He kept failing constantly in subjects such as history, and was only inclined towards mathematics and science. It is said that he also found it difficult to tie his own shoe lace, a common trait of dyslexic people. But all these did not keep Einstein from succeeding in what he always wanted to study, Mathematics.
5. Michael Phelps
After being diagnosed with ADHD at age 9, the Olympic gold medalist started swimming as a distraction. But this actually turned out the best treatment for him – his mother said in an interview that the sport helped him “develop good time management” and helped him focus on one thing – just swimming up and down in the pool. Apparently “the water itself has a calming, soothing effect.”
6. Thomas Edison
Thomas Alva Edison, the man who invented the electric bulb, attended only 3 months of official schooling. He could not focus on any subject and always had difficulty with speech and words. He was dyslexic and was said to be very mischievous! He was also deaf. He kept working on what attracted most of his attention and this invention is considered one of the most important inventions of all time.
7. Agatha Christie
You’ve read at least one of her books right? But can you believe that a writer as good as her was dyslexic? It find it quite inspirational that someone with Dyslexia became such a wide-read author.
8. Tom Cruise
Cruise states that he suffered from abuse as a child, partially due to his dyslexia. He stated that when something went wrong, his father came down hard on him. Having gone through fifteen schools in twelve years, Cruise was also a victim of bullying at school. Good work pulling through!
Well, that’s just a short list of some high profile cases. Lesson to learn – just a little bit more perseverance and determination can get us to where we really want to be ☺
What are your thoughts?