Beethoven and Bipolar Disorder

Ludwig van Beethoven was a composer and pianist who was thought to have suffered from bipolar disorder. He was born in Germany during the 1700s. There is suspicion that he may have contemplated suicide in 1813 when he disappeared for three days.

Fast Facts:

  • Recent tests performed on Beethoven's hair showed high lead content which could have played a key role in his mental illness.
  • He started to lose his hearing in the late 1700s and was almost totally deaf by 1814.
  • It has been suggested that he used opium and alcohol to self medicate his illness.
  • Beethoven died on March 26, 1827.
  • Our OrganizedWisdom quiz on bipolar disorder can help identify symptoms and help you determine if you may also have this condition.
  • Beethoven is one of many celebrities that lived with a mental illness. Check out OrganizedWisdom's slideshow Celebrities with Mental Illness.