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Academic Concerns
98
GEORGIA O’KEEFE
Georgia O’Keefe was so afraid of being unoriginal
as an artist that she destroyed all of her paintings
right before her 30th birthday. She was briefly
hospitalized for depression, but emerged feeling
reborn. She wrote to her husband, “I am not sick
anymore. Everything in me begins to move.”
Shortly after this, she found inspiration in the
Southwest, and subsequently created many of her
haunting landscapes.
JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME
Actor Jean-Claude Van Damme says he worked
out his teenage depression in physical endeavors
such as karate and ballet. He says he was “. . .
compensating for [then undiagnosed] manic-
depressive disease. When I didn’t train for a
couple of days, I felt so low and nothing could
make me happy.” He was formally diagnosed with
rapid cycling bipolar disorder and placed on
sodium valproate. He says, “In one week, I felt it
kick in. All the commotion around me, all the
water around me, moving left and right around
me, became like a lake.”