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THE TORTURED ARTIST

ARE CREATIVE PEOPLE MORE PRONE TO MENTAL ILLNESS AND/OR DRUG ABUSE? HERE ARE SOME WHOSE CONDITIONS HAVE BEEN THOUGHT TO FUEL THEIR WORK:

(ADELINE) VIRGINIA WOOLF (left side), an English writer, was known as a prominent modernist and feminist. Throughout her life she fought episodes of depression, eventually leading to her suicide in 1941, when she filled her pockets with stones and drowned herself in the River Ouse.

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KURT COBAIN, the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of Nirvana, dealt with a heroin addiction and depression, leading to a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in 1994.

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VINCENT VAN GOGH, a Dutch painter, was the leading influence on 20th century art. Suffering from anxiety and multiple mental illnesses, he died in 1890 from a gunshot wound that was ruled self-inflicted, though no gun was ever found.

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JOHN BELUSHI, creator and one of the Blues Brothers, was an American comedian, actor and musician, gaining considerable fame as an original cast member of Saturday Night Live. In 1982, Belushi was found dead from a cocaine/heroin overdose. Catherine Smith served prison time for the injection.

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EDGAR ALLAN POE, American author and poet, was famous for his grim and dark tone. The disturbed writer was found in dire condition in 1849 and was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. The cause of death remains a mystery.

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SYLVIA PLATH, an American poet, wrote just one novel, The Bell Jar. She suffered from depression, which led to her suicide in 1963. She died from carbon monoxide poisoning after she placed her head in the oven with the gas on.

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