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Famous Depressed People Throughout History



Since time began, some of the most important and influential people in history have been struck with crippling depression. Please enjoy (or, more appropriately, don't enjoy) this exhaustive and authoritative compendium, which has been painstakingly compiled from over 15 minutes' worth of arduous Google and Wikipedia searches.

King Solomon (like 1000 B.C.-925 B.C.)—According to some creepy Catholic website, the Bible's Ecclesiastes contains a story about King Solomon, who sounds pretty fucking depressed: "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity and chasing of the wind. There is nothing good under the sun, save for a man to be content in his work and to die." And he must've meant it—the Bible says the dude had 700 wives and 300 concubines, and if that didn't cheer the lucky bastard up, nothing would.

Jesus (Born on the first Christmas-didn't die on the first Easter)—Sure, he was all sunshine and rainbows when he was runnin' around curing people and herding sheep and whatever. Then he got fucking nailed to a motherfucking cross, and, much like a Mercury editor after an hour or two at Club 21, began to show his true colors, demanding to know why his god had forsaken him. Prozac would have helped, probably. Not with the pain of getting crucified, but at least in terms of looking on the bright side of things, you know? Like, all those hot Christian chicks who're totally into him now.

Baudelaire, Edvard Munch, Vincent Van Gogh, John Keats, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Allen Poe, Leo Tolstoy, Beethoven, Lord Byron, Charles Dickens, S.T. Coleridge, and Pretty Much Everyone Else Who Has Ever Created Pretty Much Anything Worth Listening To/Reading/Seeing (I'm not looking up all those dates, so you'll just have to guess, but maybe some of them were between Jesus and John Adams, because there seems to be a bit of a gap in my timeline?)

John Adams (1735-1826)—America's second president apparently suffered from either bi-polar disorder (which is kind of like depression, except whoever has it likes both chicks and dudes) or just flat-out depression. Another celebrated leader who was less than cheery: Winston Churchill (1874-1965). Maybe there's something to be said for intelligent, world-weary political leaders. As opposed to, say, happy go-lucky wannabe-cowboy daddy's boy jackasses. Just an idea.

Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809)—Hey, if you spent your life trekking across the country only to have Vancouver, Gresham, and Beaverton be the fruits of your labor, you'd try to kill yourself too.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)—Lincoln had his fiancée die, also had three of his four sons die before they reached adulthood, and then he got shot. That'd depress anybody.

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)—One of America's finest writers, Hemingway later traded off writing short stories and novels for paranoia, infamous alcoholism, and occasionally trying to kill himself. He succeeded with a shotgun blast to the head in '61. (Weirdly, his father, sister, brother, and granddaughter all committed suicide too. I bet the Hemingways' Christmas dinners were a whole lot of fun.)

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)—Pretty much everybody who writes poetry is depressed. Or lame. Usually both. Realizing this, Plath locked herself in her kitchen, set out milk and cookies for her kids, and then stuck her head in her oven. As a side note, this half-assed paragraph is roughly 50 times as profound as any one of Ms. Plath's poems.

Kurt Cobain (1967-1994)—The Gen-X Mascot for Depression™, Cobain's searing grunge compositions and bittersweet, abstract lyrics led to his suicide in 1994. It was really sad, but no one was shocked about it—except for Courtney Love, who soon realized she now had to maintain her fame on her own deeds rather than her husband's. That's worked out well for her.

Marshall the Puggle (2004-present [grudgingly])—This dog makes me want to start popping my expired Wellbutrin pills like Smarties every time I see his face. His pleading eyes, his apathetic frown, his shuffling, listless stumble as he half-heartedly roams from cubicle to cubicle. Does he ever wag his tail, or pant, or roll around adorably, or sit, or show any emotion besides bitter, lethargic sadness? No. All he does is mope around—and then if you're really lucky, he'll morosely stare at you while you eat. I give him another six months before he "accidentally" wanders in front of a semi to end his pain.

Me (1980-present [even more grudgingly])— Shut up, you nosy prick. You want details about it? Fuck you. It's personal, all right? Back the fuck off, asshole. Leave me alone, or I don't know what I'm going to do. Shut up! Shut up! My suicide is going to be on your hands. YOUR HANDS!


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