While I have been heartened by the overwhelming compassion that people have shown for the late Robin Williams and his family, I have been a bit concerned by comments such as "I hope he is at peace now."
The romantic notion that mental illness and creativity are linked is so prominent in the public consciousness that it is rarely challenged. So before I continue, let me nip this in the bud: Mental illness is neither necessary nor sufficient for creativity.
There is no link between creativity and mental illness. Creative people are not more likely to be diagnosed with mental illness, and mentally ill people are not more likely to be creative than normal people.
No walk of life, level of education, or career path makes one immune to the potentially crippling effects of this illness. Here, we've collected the memoirs of a few who have shared their struggles in an effort to raise awareness.