b'LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Ludwig van Beethoven, one of the most influential composers of all time, is believed to have had schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Some say his manic episodes seemed to fuel his creativity and allowed him to break the mold for classical music forever. He wrote his most famous works during times of torment, loneliness, and psychotic delusions. The only drugs available then to bring some relief were opium and alcohol. When his deafness became apparent, he wrote, I joyfully hasten to meet death . . . for will it not deliver me from endless suffering? In a letter to a friend, he referred to a two-year-long depression. The next year he begged Providence for but one more day of pure joy.General Concerns136'