50 Famous Celebrities That Suffer From Mental Disorders

Luke Chase July 19th 2016 Entertainment
With 25 percent of American adults living with a diagnosable mental disorder, it's no wonder mental health is an increasing priority for the average person. But what about the celebrities or famous people we've come to follow so closely? They aren't exempt from mental health issues, either. Even people who seem to have everything - money, fame, power - experience bouts of anxiety and depression at some point in their lives. This slide show includes some of Hollywood and history's most well-known names.
Britney Spears
Depression and Bipolar Disorder
Britney Spears has "suffered from a psychological disease for years," says a source close to the singer. Two separate sources who are acquaintances of the family believe the singer has never been formally diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but "there is no question she is bipolar ... she's had manic episodes for years." According to Dr. Diana Kirschner, who has not treated Spears but is an expert on the subject, "people who show patterns of behavior like Britney are suffering from a dual diagnosis. They have both a substance abuse problem and a bipolar disorder or manic disorder."
PEOPLE magazine has learned from multiple sources that the singer also suffered from depression after both her pregnancies. "She had postpartum depression after Preston was born," says a source who was close to the family during her marriage to Kevin Federline. "She didn't want anyone's help ... It got worse after Jayden was born."
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Robin Williams
Dementia
Robin William’s widow Susan has revealed the beloved actor was struggling with dementia with Lewy Bodies. This may help to explain his tragic actions, as despite being relatively unfamiliar, it is a deeply serious and unpleasant condition. Dementia with Lewy Bodies is not as common or well known as depression, or the more familiar forms of dementia, most obviously Alzheimer’s disease. However, even among the grim spectrum of neurological disorders and mental illnesses, dementia with Lewy Bodies is a particularly nasty condition.
A severe case of dementia with Lewy Bodies means you potentially can’t think, can’t sleep, can’t stay awake, can’t trust what you see, can’t move, can’t understand what’s going and can’t be happy. Judging by her Susan Williams’ comments about the speed of progression of his symptoms, it sounds like Robin Williams had a severe case of dementia with Lewy Bodies.
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Demi Lovato
Bulimia
Demi said to ABC News: "I've spoken openly about being bullied throughout the past few years, but one thing that I've never been able to feel comfortable talking about was the effects that it had on my life, afterwards," she said. "I literally didn't know why they were being so mean to me. And when I would ask them why, they would just say, 'Well, you're fat."
Her torment turned into a dangerous habit. "I developed an eating disorder, and that's kind of what I've been dealing with ever since," she said. Lovato began a lifelong struggle with bulimia and alternately, severely restricting her eating. "I was compulsively overeating when I was eight years old," she said. "So, I guess, for the past 10 years I've had a really unhealthy relationship with food." Her family helped her find professional help for her food issues. But there was a secret battle she fought alone, something she desperately hid from everyone: At age 11, Lovato began cutting herself -- intentionally self-mutilating her wrists as a way of coping with emotions.
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Gwyneth Paltrow
Postpartum Depression
Gwyneth Paltrow had a blissful time during daughter Apple's first few months of life in summer 2004. Two years later, when son Moses was born, things couldn't have been more different. The actress found herself living a nightmare. "I felt like a zombie. I couldn't access my heart. I couldn't access my emotions. I couldn't connect," Paltrow said in an issue of Good Housekeeping magazine. "It was terrible, it was the exact opposite of what had happened when Apple was born. With her, I was on cloud nine. I couldn't believe it wasn't the same. I just thought it meant I was a terrible mother and a terrible person."
It was Paltrow's husband, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, who first thought she might be suffering from postpartum depression. Paltrow says the hardest part was acknowledging the problem. "I thought postpartum depression meant you were sobbing every single day and incapable of looking after a child," she explains. "But there are different shades of it and depths of it, which is why I think it's so important for women to talk about it. It was a trying time. I felt like a failure."
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Catherine Zeta-Jones
Bipolar II Disorder
In April of 2012, Zeta-Jones was admitted to a US rehabilitation clinic where doctors concluded she was suffering from bipolar II disorder, a form of manic depression. Her husband, fellow actor Michael Douglas, was recovering from treatment for throat cancer at the time. “I’m not the kind of person who likes to shout out my personal issues from the rooftops but, with my bipolar becoming public, I hope fellow sufferers will know it is completely controllable,” Zeta-Jones told US InStyle magazine.
“I hope I can help remove any stigma attached to it, and that those who don’t have it under control will seek help with all that is available to treat it.” Describing the past 18 months as “an intense time in good ways and bad”, the Welsh actress said: “You find out who you really are and who are you are married to. You find things inside yourself you never imagined were there. “I’ve gained an appreciation for little things, like tea outside on a terrace.” Zeta-Jones admitted that, at the height of her illness, she Googled her name to find negative comments about herself. “The smartest thing I did was to stop going online,” she said.
Amanda Bynes
Bipolar Disorder
Rumors have swirled for months about what caused former child star Amanda Bynes to have a breakdown, which eventually led to her being hospitalized and placed into a psychiatric facility. The 28-year-old star shared some information about her mental health with her followers online: "I was diagnosed bi - polar and manic depressive so I'm on medication and I'm seeing my psychologist and pyshchiatrist weekly so I'm fine :D"
Amanda posted tweets alleging her father had verbally, physically and sexually abused her. She quickly retracted her claims and deleted the tweets. "My dad never did any of those things," she wrote. "The microchip in my brain made me say those things but he's the one that ordered them to microchip me." She deleted that tweet, too. Shortly after, Amanda was hospitalized on an involuntary emergency psychiatric hold.
Mel Gibson
Bipolar Disorder
In a 2008 documentary, Gibson himself said that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Some of his rage-filled behavior is consistent with that of a person who has bipolar disorder, says Douglas Bey Jr., MD, a psychiatrist in Normal, Ill., and author of the upcoming book Loving a Depressed Man. In summer 2010, the actor Mel Gibson was front-page news, and not because of a new movie role. Two audiotapes, purportedly of the Hollywood star threatening his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, were made public. In them, Gibson can be heard using profane language, insulting Grigorieva, and threatening her life.
This isn’t the first time Gibson’s reputation has come under fire. In 2006, he made headlines after he launched an anti-Semitic tirade toward a police officer arresting him on a charge of drunken driving. Given Gibson’s stormy past, there has been much media speculation on whether a mental health condition could be behind his behavior. “Irritability is a primary symptom in bipolar disorder,” says Dr. Bey, who has not examined or treated Gibson. “If Mel Gibson was off his [bipolar] medicine or wasn’t being controlled by his medicine — his mood stabilizer — then he’s likely to be quite irritable.”
Charlie Sheen
Bipolar Disorder
Sheen revealed that he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Talking to Dr. Oz, Sheen said: "I've been described or diagnosed by enough people that I guess at some point you have to take a look at it. Manic behavior is usually in the throes of departing substance abuse and drinking, It doesn't really happen when I'm not doing that."
Also known as manic-depression, bipolar disorder causes suffers to alternate between periods of mania and depression. During manic episodes, symptoms include an overly happy "high", irritability, and acting impulsively. On the flip side, the depressive stage consists of feelings of sadness and hopelessness, a loss of interest in activity as well as suicidal thoughts. We hope that Charlie keeps his cool and fights this horrible disease.
Carrie Fisher
Bipolar Disorder
Many famous figures have come forward about their mental illness struggles, but Fisher has been open about her battle with bipolar disorder and addiction for many years. Given how hard it can be to talk about mental illness, which remains a taboo subject matter in our culture, this is praise-worthy. More than a decade ago, Fisher divulged her bipolar disorder struggle to ABC News' Diane Sawyer.
“I have a chemical imbalance that, in its most extreme state, will lead me to a mental hospital,” Fisher said, adding that her bipolar disorder caused her to stay up all night, experience racing thoughts, and have mood swings. "I used to think I was a drug addict, pure and simple — just someone who could not stop taking drugs willfully. And I was that. But it turns out that I am severely manic depressive.” She added that she has two dueling moods, which she named Roy and Pam. “One is Roy, rollicking Roy, the wild ride of a mood," she said. "And Pam, sediment Pam, who stands on the shore and sobs … Sometimes the tide is in, sometimes it’s out."
Heath Ledger
Insomnia
His brilliant performance as the joker in "The Dark Night" was his best role yet, but it would be his last memorable role. Ledger died in January 2008 from an overdose of sleeping pills, painkillers, and anxiety drugs. In a New York Times interview, he stated that his movie role in "The Dark Night" had taken a toll on his ability to sleep: "Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night. ... I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going." At that time, he told the New York Times that he had taken two Ambien pills, after taking just one had not sufficed, and those left him in "a stupor, only to wake up an hour later, his mind still racing."
On 22 January 2008, Ledger was found dead in his bed by his housekeeper, Teresa Solomon. The toxicology report concluded, in part, "Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine." It states definitively: "We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescribed medications."
Angelina Jolie
Depression
Angelina Jolie rarely cracks a smile on the red carpet and for a while Jolie felt she had little to smile about. The actress battled with depression in her teens and early 20’s. When Jolie’s mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, passed away in 2007, the "Tomb Raider " star once again fell into a dark period. Jolie agreed to star in the movie "Wanted" as a means of coping with the depression. “My mother had just passed away, and I wanted to do something physical to get it out of my head for a while,” she said in July 2008. “I felt I was going into a very dark place, and I wasn’t capable of getting up in the morning, so I signed up for something that would force me to be active.”
Success at a young age only made her feel guilty. "I was raised in a place where if you have fame and money and you’re decent-looking and have the ability to work in this industry, you have everything in the world. "Then you attain those things and realise you still couldn’t be more empty. I didn’t know where to put myself."
Miley Cyrus
Depression
Miley Cyrus opened up some more old wounds in a recent interview with Elle Magazine, confessing her 'anxiety' over breaking up with former fiance Liam Hemsworth and admitting that she has struggled with 'depression'. She once felt so bad that she locked herself away in her bedroom only for her father, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, to break the door down to get her out. She told the publication: 'I went through a time where I was really depressed. 'I locked myself in my room and my dad had to break my door down.'
The 21-year-old star was sure to keep it sexy and expensive for the May issue's photoshoot, stripping down to a tiny skin-colour bodice, plus an array of sequins and leather, which shows she has come a long way with her image after revealing her depression was triggered by body insecurities. She added: 'I had really bad skin, and I felt really bullied because of that. But I never was depressed because of the way someone else made me feel, I just was depressed.'
Ellen DeGeneres
Depression
Ellen DeGeneres has spoken out about the anger and depression that she faced following her decision to come out publicly as gay. Speaking to the Mail, the 58-year old Finding Dory star revealed that when she went public about her sexuality on her sitcom Ellen in 1997, her career "came to a screeching halt". "There were jokes at my expense and I couldn't turn on the TV at night without some comedian or talk-show host making fun of me. Not for a minute did I regret doing what I did, but it was hard."
"I look on that period of losing it all as a gift. It forced me to do something that I probably wouldn't have done if I'd been skating along on the sitcom. Plus, I was way too insecure and sensitive [before coming out on the show] and I'm glad I lost that because that's a heavy weight to carry around."
Halle Berry
Depression
Halle Berry, an Academy Award-winning actress, model and former beauty queen, has the career many could only hope to dream of. Her personal life, especially her relationships, live a lot to be desired for. Though she is known for her quiet nature, this true talent of ‘Monster’s Ball’ fame discussed her failed marriage and her post-partum depression in an interview to ‘Parade’ magazine.
On her suicide attempt after her failed marriages, Halle said: “I was sitting in my car, and I knew the gas was coming when I had an image of my mother finding me. She sacrificed so much for her children, and to end my life would be an incredibly selfish thing to do. My sense of worth was so low. I had to reprogram myself to see the good in me. Because someone didn’t love me didn’t mean I was unlovable. I promised myself I would never be a coward again.”
Elton John
Substance Abuse and Bulimia
Rock legend Elton John is among the many celebrities who have entered a rehabilitation facility to seek treatment for his issues. He is one of few, however, who sought treatment for two separate issues simultaneously. Elton said: "This is how bleak it was, I'd stay up, I'd smoke joints, I'd drink a bottle of Johnnie Walker and then I'd stay up for three days and then I'd go to sleep for a day and a half, get up, and because I was so hungry, because I hadn't eaten anything, I'd binge and have like three bacon sandwiches, a pot of ice cream and then I'd throw it up, because I became bulimic and then go and do the whole thing all over again. That is how tragic my life was."
Interviewer Piers Morgan asked him: 'How close did drugs come to killing you, do you think?' The pop star says: 'Very close. I mean, I would have an epileptic seizure and turn blue, and people would find me on the floor and put me to bed, and then 40 minutes later I'd be snorting another line.'
Owen Wilson
Depression
Known for Hit Comedies Like Wedding Crashers, the Star Struggled with Drugs and Kept His Dark Side Hidden—Until His Shocking Suicide Attempt on Aug. 26 2007. As stunning as the news was, others close to Wilson, 38, were not surprised to hear of the latest dark chapter in the life of a man who they say has battled his share of demons, which have included drug addiction. According to the Santa Monica Police Department, the 911 call that brought an emergency crew to his home shortly after noon on Sunday was classified as an "attempt suicide." The following day Wilson issued a statement saying, "I respectfully ask that the media allow me to receive care and heal in private during this difficult time."
His immediate well-being was the primary concern of friends such as Woody Harrelson, Wes Anderson, Samuel L. Jackson and Brad Garrett, who visited Wilson at the hospital, and the actor's close-knit family. Brothers Luke, 35, who initially found Owen, and Andrew, 43, were by his side in the hours and days after the incident; his parents, Robert, 66, and Laura, 67, fought past anguish and exhaustion as they kept a revolving vigil.
Princess Diana
Depression and Bulemia
Princess Diana admitted that she began to follow a strict diet after people made comments on TV and in magazines about her “pudgy” appearance. Once she started dieting, she couldn’t stop. Her eating problems were further exacerbated when her marriage underwent great upheaval, and food became the answer to the emptiness she felt. Overeating, or bingeing, can provide comfort when a person feels alone or helpless. The ensuing guilt and shame then often causes the person to try to get rid of the extra calories through vomiting, using laxatives or water pills, or excessive exercise.
A book published by author Penny Junor claimed that Diana suffered from several mental illnesses. These mental illnesses like depression were hidden from the royal family. It was too late the problems came to limelight. The book stated that within days after her engagement with Prince Charles, Diana changed from a happy teenager into a volatile stranger. Junor stated that Diana suffered from mood swings which often a times were violent and unnerving. She was unpredictable in her mood, with her behaviour changing within a blink of an eye. She would go on to become furiously angry and screaming from being cheerful and funny.
Kurt Cobain
ADHD and Bipolar Disorder
Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of the grunge band Nirvana, was found dead at his home, located at 171 Lake Washington Boulevard East in Seattle, Washington, on April 8, 1994. Forensic analysis determined that he had committed suicide three days prior on April 5. The Seattle Police Department incident report states: "Kurt Cobain was found with a shotgun across his body, had a visible head wound and there was a suicide note discovered nearby."
Advocates of the verdict of death by self-inflicted gunshot wound cite Cobain's persistent drug addiction, clinical depression, and handwritten suicide note as conclusive proof. Members of Cobain's family also noted patterns of depression and instability in Cobain before he achieved fame. Cobain mentioned that the stomach pains from an undiagnosed stomach condition were so severe during Nirvana's 1991 European tour that he became suicidal and stated that taking heroin was "[his] choice"; saying, "This [heroin] is the only thing that's saving me from blowing my head off right now."
Amanda Beard
Depression and Bulimia
Olympic gold medalist and model Amanda Beard confessed to self-mutilation, bulimia and depression in a harrowing book. In her book, In the Water They Can't See You Cry, the 30-year old Olympic swimmer describes how her parents' divorce and the pressure from world swimming drove Beard to abuse herself.
During her teens and 20's the clinically depressed Beard became bulimic (an eating disorder characterized by binge eating, then purging), abused drugs and alcohol and began cutting herself with a razor. The self-mutilation continued -- even as the the 7-time Olympic medalist became a sex symbol, posing naked for Playboy and PETA. Beard went through therapy and medication. She's now happily married to Brown and the couple have a 2-year old son. She hopes to make her 5th Olympic team in London this summer.
Brooke Shields
Postpartum Depression
Brooke Shields seemingly has it all -- happy marriage, celebrated beauty, critical applause, world fame. Yet, after her child was born, she fought the "mother lode" of emotional battles: a crippling bout with postpartum depression. "I really didn't want to live anymore," she admits frankly. She says that, during this time, simply seeing a window was enough to prompt her to think, "'I just want to leap out of my life,' but then the rational side of me [would say], 'You're only on the fourth floor. You'll get broken to bits and then you will be even worse.'"
Princeton-educated and seemingly savvy about all sorts of things, she still never knew that feelings of shame, secrecy, helplessness, and despair -- the classic signs of postpartum depression -- may affect as many as one in 10 new mothers within six months of delivery, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. More incapacitating than the "baby blues," postpartum depression is marked by severe sadness or emptiness, withdrawal from family and friends, a strong sense of failure, and even thoughts of suicide. These emotions can begin two or three weeks after birth and can last up to a year or longer if untreated.
Kendra Wilkinson
Depression
Kendra Wilkinson has another shocking revelation: As a teen she tried to kill herself, overdosed on drugs and was institutionalized. "When I was a teenager, I battled some severe depression," Wilkinson, 30, tells her therapist, Dr. Monica Shahbaznia in an episode of her popular reality show 'Kendra on Top' "I attempted suicide a couple times. I went to a mental institution ... drugs, overdosing, slitting wrists, all that stuff."
"I was left on my own," she says, pushing back tears. "I was a young f------ girl. All I wanted was for my mom to say, 'I love you, and I'm here for you.' I never got that." Wilkinson recently disclosed the emotional abuse she has endured at the hands of her "sadistic" mother, Patti: "I feel like I'm being raped every minute with my mom," she told her aunt on Kendra on Top.
Jim Carrey
Depression
It’s pretty safe to say that Jim Carrey is considered elite when it comes to acting, especially in the genre of comedy. Although you may not know it, Jim Carrey has dealt with major depression for a significant portion of his life. In fact, at one point, his depression became so debilitating, that he didn’t know how he would overcome it. Like many people, he sought out help from a doctor and was prescribed Prozac.
When Carrey was 15, he dropped out of high school so that he could work to help support his family. This meant he was not getting an education like most other kids, but he wasn’t getting as much interaction with other kids his age. He ended up growing up faster than usual, having to get a job as a janitor. When he got the job, he was quoted as saying, “I’d have a baseball bat on my janitor cart because I was so angry I just wanted to beat the heck out of something.”
Michael Phelps
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
When former gold medal Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was in the sixth grade, he was fidgety and had trouble paying attention in the classroom. His pediatrician diagnosed him with ADHD and prescribed Ritalin. Michael took the medication for several years, and it seemed to help. At age 13, however, he decided that he was using the drug as a crutch, even though it did help make him less "jumpy" at school.
Michael weaned himself off the medication with his doctor's support, and learned to use the power of his mind to focus on his school work and control himself in the classroom. At this point, his teacher told his mother that her son would never succeed at anything because he couldn't focus on anything for a long enough time. His mother, too, was skeptical that her son could do well without the Ritalin. Defying his teacher's and his mother's grim predictions, Michael Phelps went on to become the most decorated athlete in the history of the Olympics.
Craig Ferguson
Alcoholism
Craig Ferguson is a Scottish-American television host, stand-up comedian, writer, actor, director, producer and voice artist. He is the host of the syndicated game show Celebrity Name Game, and the host of Join or Die with Craig Ferguson on History. He was also the host of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, an Emmy Award-nominated, Peabody Award-winning late-night talk show that aired on CBS from 2005 to 2014.
Ferguson is a recovering alcoholic, and has been sober since 18 February 1992. Ferguson said he had considered committing suicide on Christmas Day 1991, but when offered a glass of sherry by a friend for celebrating the holiday, he was distracted from jumping off Tower Bridge in London as he had planned.
Jon Hamm
Depression
This Mad Men star was 20 years old when he experienced depression, following the death of his father. On his father’s death: “I was... unmoored by that. But I was very fortunate to have really good friends in my life whose parents sort of rallied: ‘We’re gonna help this kid out, because otherwise there’s going to be trouble...’ I struggled with chronic depression. I was in bad shape. I knew I had to get back in school and back in some kind of structured environment and... continue.”
“I did do therapy and antidepressants for a brief period, which helped me. Which is what therapy does: it gives you another perspective when you are so lost in your own spiral, your own bull***. It helps. And honestly? Antidepressants help! If you can change your brain chemistry enough to think: ‘I want to get up in the morning; I don’t want to sleep until four in the afternoon. I want to get up and go do my sh*t and go to work and...’ Reset the auto-meter, kick-start the engine!”
Winona Ryder
Depression
Best known for her roles in 'Girl Interrupted' as an executive producer and starring in 'Edward Scissorhands', Ryder seemed to have it all. When her relationship with Johnny Depp ended, she began to spiral out of control with abusing alcohol, to having anxiety attacks, and going into a depression. Winona suffered in silence for a while. She then admitted all this to the San Francisco Chronicle in January 2000. She eventually sought treatment in metal institution and soon after with a therapist.
“There was a time when I was 19 when I really, really, really thought I was going crazy,” she has said about her own brief stay at a psychiatric clinic. “I was exhausted and going through a terrible depression. I had had panic attacks from the age of 12 – probably from the pressure of working and then going through adolescence onscreen.”
Emma Thompson
Depression
Emma Thompson is an award-winning British actress. She’s won an Oscar and BAFTA, and was married to fellow British actor and director Kenneth Branagh. She’s also battled severe depression for most of her life that has at times crippled her. Her first encounter with depression was when she was acting in Me and My Girl: "I think my first bout of that was when I was doing Me and My Girl, funnily enough. I really didn’t change my clothes or answer the phone, but went into the theatre every night and was cheerful and sang the Lambeth Walk. That’s what actors do. But I think that was my first bout with an actual clinical depression."
She did what many people do when they go through their first bout of clinical depression: put the masks on and try to push through the depression. After a public and painful divorce with Branagh, she suffered another period of severe clinical depression. Going through a painful separation is often a catalyst for depression, manifesting in periods of grief. Thompson credits writing on the computer as an aid to her recovery.
Linda Hamilton
Bipolar Disorder
Linda Hamilton, in her most famous role, fought her way out of a psychiatric ward. She’s known to play uncompromising characters who are tough and rugged. On the other side of the screen, she’s a fighter and always will be a fighter. The biggest battle she’s ever faced has been her mood disorder, bipolar. Linda was diagnosed in her 40s and calls the years between 20 and 40 as the “lost years”. From the age of 23 to 30 she desperately tried to understand the nature of her mood swings.
Linda Hamilton never really knew her father, he was killed in a car accident when Linda was young. Linda’s father also had a suspected mood disorder. Her behavioural problems began at a young age. Her parents remember her beating a dog with a stick when she was five years old. She was an identical twin, and didn’t like resembling someone else, resulting in rebellion and attention-seeking behaviour. It was during this time she experienced excruciating aloneness.
Hugh Laurie
Depression
Hugh Laurie is best known for playing Doctor House; a walking-wounded medical genius whose brilliance and brokenness is deeply intertwined. Like his character, Laurie has wrestled with bouts of major depression. His depression, which he calls “heavyweight unhappiness” began in his late teens. He refuses to take medication for his condition but admits of a course of St John’s Wort.
Laurie concluded he had a problem with depression when driving in a demolition derby charity in 1996. In spite of explosions and crashing happening close to and around him he was not stimulated. Instead, he was bored. This lack of reaction made his flat mood noticeable to him. His reactions were not congruent or consistent with external stimuli and thought something was amiss into his head. "It affected everything – my family and friends. I was a pain in the arse to have around. I was miserable and self-absorbed. It’s actually selfish to be depressed and not try and do anything about it. "
Paula Deen
Panic Attacks and Agoraphobia
Married at 18, pregnant at 19, and orphaned at 23, Food Network's Paula Deen became depressed and then severely agoraphobic for the next two decades. For 20 years, she focused on cooking for her family because it was something she could do without leaving the house. “I could concentrate on what was in my pots and block out what was in my head,” she said. Shame and bewilderment prevented her from seeking help, she said, and no one except her husband knew the depth of her illness. Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by anxiety symptoms in reaction to situations where the sufferer perceives the environment to be dangerous, uncomfortable, or unsafe. These situations can include wide-open spaces, uncontrollable social situations, unfamiliar places, shopping malls, airports, and bridges.
Through sheer repetition, she mastered the Southern classics her grandmother Irene Paul had taught her: fried chicken and collard greens cooked with fatback or hog jowl, pickled green beans and okra, fried peach pies, sour cream pound cake. “It was real farmhouse cooking, the kind that takes all day,” she said. The process itself was therapeutic, providing structure and purpose to days that otherwise would have been overwhelmed by panic.
Ashley Judd
Depression
Actress and aspiring politician Ashley Judd, who once described herself as "absolutely certifiably crazy" and in need of a "psychological support" dog, suffers from mood-altering bipolar disorder. Deep in a friendly Huffington Post story which all but declared she was running against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, reporter Howard Fineman revealed: "She writes movingly and openly about the challenges she faces from her bipolar disorder."
She has often talked about her depression and troubled childhood, but the diagnosis of bipolar disorder is more blunt than the co-dependency Judd has talked about. She told ABC in 2012, "What I said was, 'I'm so tired of holding up all this pain, I'm so glad to come to treatment.'" In her biography "All That Is Bitter and Sweet" she blamed her depression on a turbulent childhood of abuse and loneliness.
David Arquette
Depression
David James Arquette born in September 8 1971, is an American actor, film director, producer, screenwriter, fashion designer, and former professional wrestler. A member of the Arquette acting family, he first became known during the late 1990s after starring in several Hollywood films, including the Scream trilogy.
After Arquette and wife Courteney Cox announced they were separating in late 2010, the actor was spotted dancing and behaving erratically at nightclubs. He told Howard Stern during a radio interview that he'd been drinking a lot and acting like a "maniac." Arquette soon checked himself into a rehab center to address his alcohol abuse and depression. In April 2011, Arquette acknowledged his strange behavior, saying he had been sober for more than 100 days and was now more in touch with his emotions.
Marissa Jaret Winokur
Depression
Postpartum depression isn't reserved for women who physically give birth to their children. After Tony-winning Broadway actress Winokur's son was born via surrogate in 2008, she felt stressed and overwhelmed. In fact, surrogacy can sometimes make postpartum anxiety or guilt even worse, Winokur's doctor told People in December 2010. "I didn't feel a connection with Zev," Winokur said. She visited a therapist, went back to work, and started exercising, and her depression began to lift when her son was about 10 months old.
During the early development stages of Hairspray, Winokur was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She underwent treatment for the disease, without revealing her condition to anyone except her immediate family out of fear that she would be replaced in the musical. Ultimately she made a full recovery and remained in the show.
Paulina Porizkova
Depression
At 18 years old, in 1984, Paulina Porizkova became the first woman from Central Europe to be on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. When she was voted off ABC's Dancing with the Stars in 2007, her feelings of rejection led to anxiety attacks. An antidepressant helped dull her anxiety, Porizkova wrote in a 2011 Huffington Post editorial, but also her personality.
She eventually stopped the medication, fighting withdrawal symptoms with exercise and willpower. While she's not an "anti-medicine crusader," she wrote that she is "starting to wonder whether antidepressants can often be the emotional equivalent of plastic surgery." Porizkova married Ric Ocasek, lead singer for the rock band The Cars.
Margot Kidder
Manic Depression and Paranoia
In the 1970s and early '80s, Margot Kidder was the Man of Steel's No. 1 lady, portraying Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve's Superman in the superhero film franchise. But by the 1996, manic depression and paranoia gripped the actress in a well-publicized nervous breakdown in which she cut her hair to avoid being recognized and went missing for days before being found hiding in a suburban California backyard.
After being discovered by police, Kidder was taken to a psychiatric center for observation. In the years that have followed, Kidder bounced back to land several TV and movie roles and to speak publicly about mental health and alternative treatments, like acupuncture. "I'm now ferociously healthy in body and mind," she told The Guardian in 2005. "You couldn't pay me to go near a psychiatrist again. Stopping seeing them was my first step to getting well."
Sinead O’Connor
Bipolar Disorder
Maybe you remember Sinead O'Connor from her 1990 "Nothing Compares 2 U" video, the close-up shot and somber blue lighting. Or perhaps your image of the Irish singer recalls her ripping a photo of Pope John Paul II on an episode of Saturday Night Live in 1992. To O'Connor, the notion that she always had to be controversial proved to be an artistic impediment, and she took a step back.
In a 2007 interview with The Times of London, the now 44-year-old singer and mother of four reveals how treatment for bipolar disorder helped mend what she calls a hole in the center of her being, with symptoms that included suicidal thoughts as far back as age 23.
Pete Wentz
Bipolar Disorder
Life wasn't always quite so picture perfect for Fall Out Boy bassist and soon-to-be-father Pete Wentz. Despite being a hugely successful rocker married to a sexy pop star, Wentz battled depression for a long time and came close to death twice, he says in a candid interview for Playboy's October issue. Wentz says his drinking and drugs led to dangerous activities. "I pulled a trigger on a gun aimed at myself" during a game of Russian Roulette, he says. "My friend and I did one pull each. We'd been drinking and had taken Ambien."
The musician, who says he has gone to therapists since he was 6, also says that "the list of drugs I've been prescribed would read like a grocery list." Recalling a drug overdose, "I took a handful of Ativan," he says. "It had more to do with being depressed. I wasn't thinking of killing myself. I've never really called it a suicide attempt. I just wanted my head to be completely turned off."
Brian Wilson
Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Type
By 1968, Brian Wilson began having a diminished creative role in The Beach Boys. Until then, he had been the groups principal songwriter, but he began spending the majority of his time in bed, sleeping, doing drugs and overeating. Eventually he was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type which supposedly caused him to hear voices in his head.
But after various medication treatments and therapies, Wilson finally found a regimen that has allowed for him to continue recording and performing. He even managed to finish Smile, the legendary unfinished Beach Boys project that fell apart at the beginning of Wilson’s mental health problems.
Abraham Lincoln
Depression
The Great Emancipator managed to lead the country through one of its more trying times, despite suffering from severe depression most of his life. According to one Lincoln biographer, letters left by the president’s friends referred to him as “the most depressed person they've ever seen.” On at least one occasion, he was so overcome with “melancholy” that he collapsed.
Both his mother and numerous members of his father’s family exhibited similar symptoms of severe depression, indicating he was probably biologically susceptible to the illness. Lincoln is even assumed to be the author of a poem published in 1838, "The Suicide’s Soliloquy,” which contains the lines: "Hell! What is hell to one like me, Who pleasures never knew; By friends consigned to misery,By hope deserted too?".
Vincent Van Gogh
Depression
You’ve seen the work of this famous artist. You also know him as cutting off his ear and sending it to his girlfriend. He was an unstable man who often had moods. He was discovered to suffer from depression and manic episodes. When he was 37 years old, he committed suicide. His painting are still hung in many art galleries today, inspiring many aspiring painters to follow their dreams.
His self-portraits were a window to see the depression in his eyes. Gogh painted 2,100 painting over his 10 year career, but there were times when he couldn't paint because of his depression. At the same time he had instants where he couldn't stop painting. He was also thought to have other disorders besides depression like bipolar disorder, temporal lobe epilepsy, meniere's disease, schizophrenia, thujone poisoning, and lead poisoning. Gogh had no relief because mood stabilizers and antidepressants didn't exist back then. He embraced his disease, wanted to find out more about it, and checked himself into a mental hospital because he realized he needed help.
John Nash
Schizophrenia
Many people hail John Nash as an economic and math genius, especially after he won the Nobel Prize for economic sciences in 1994. But what many people didn't know at the time was that Nash lived with paranoid schizophrenia, a mental health disorder in which people have difficulties telling what's real and what's not, affecting their social responses and ability to think logically at times.
During an interview with the Public Broadcasting Service, Nash said his periods of paranoia (during which he heard voices) reflected his wishes to have a more influential role in studies and the world. "People are always selling the idea that people who have mental illness are suffering," he said, proposing that mental health disorders are often misunderstood. Nash said he has made adjustments to live with schizophrenia, which allowed him to continue his life work. His struggle with the mental disorder also inspired the award-winning film "A Beautiful Mind" in 2001.
Herschel Walker
Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
Herschel Walker is a retired professional football player and a former college football player, bobsledder, sprinter and mixed martial artist. He played college football for the University of Georgia, earned consensus All-American honors three times and won the 1982 Heisman Trophy. Walker began his professional football career with the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League (USFL), before joining the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). In the NFL, he also played for the Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
In recent years, Herschel Walker, has gone public about his troubles with dissociative identity disorder, a complex mental health disorder. People with DID are influenced by two or more distinct personalities, or identities, which prevent them from acting like themselves. Walker has received treatment for the disorder and wrote a book about his experiences. "I feel the greatest achievement of my life will be to tell the world my truth," he said in an interview with ESPN..
Howard Hughes
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Howard Hughes -- known for his wealth, movie production and aviation skills in the early and mid 1900s -- was always in the spotlight for one thing or another. But, ultimately, he is also remembered for his struggle with obsessive compulsive disorder, a condition that causes a combination of unnatural obsessions, anxiety and compulsions, which usually are acted out in repetitive behaviors.
Unfortunately, Hughes' OCD led to isolation, increased drug use and his own death, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation. Notably, his obsession with cleanliness and reputation as a "germaphobe" were evident in his daily life and interactions with his employees. In one repetitive routine, he made his workers use several facial tissues and rounds of hand-washing just to fetch his hearing-aid cord. His career and personal battle with the disorder inspired the 2004 Oscar-winning film "The Aviator." Anxiety is also no stranger to this next celebrity.
Andrew Koenig
Depression
The actor best known for his role as "Boner" on the 1990s sitcom "Growing Pains" battled depression for most of his life. That's what Koenig's father told reporters in February 2010, shortly after Koenig took his own life. According to Koenig's sister, he had recently stopped taking his medication. Koenig's parents have been outspoken about their son's depression, hoping that their message may be able to reach others who are also considering suicide.
In February 2010, Koenig was reported missing by friends and family. He was last seen near a bakery in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on February 14, and missed a scheduled flight back to the United States on February 16, which was the last day he used his cell phone or conducted any banking. On February 25, 2010, a group of 11 of his friends and family members found his body hanging from a tree in Stanley Park in downtown Vancouver. Koenig's father told reporters that his son "took his own life".
Paige Hemmis
Depression
As host of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" from 2004 to 2009, Hemmis was bubbly, compassionate, and always smiling for the camera. But in September 2009, the carpenter and entrepreneur opened up to People about her ongoing struggle with depression that had caused crying fits, eating binges, and insomnia early on in the show's run.
While working on a show like "Extreme Makeover"—which restores and refurbishes damaged or destroyed homes for families in need—is both rewarding and fulfilling, it was also emotionally draining at times, Hemmis said. Both her mother and grandmother also suffered from depression. Hemmis was honored by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance with the 2009 Rebecca Lynn Cutler Legacy of Life Award and has served as DBSA's celebrity spokesperson.
Tipper Gore
Depression
Mary Elizabeth "Tipper" Gore is an author, photographer, and social issues advocate who was Second Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001, and the wife of Al Gore, the 45th Vice President of the United States, from whom she is currently separated. She has advocated for mental health, homelessness, women and children. Gore has also been an LGBT rights activist since her husband was in office, which was rare for a second lady and against her husband's beliefs at the time.
"I know how important good mental health care can be because I personally benefited from it," wrote Gore, the now-estranged wife of Al Gore, in a 1999 USA Today opinion piece. In the article, Gore revealed that she had sought depression treatment years before, after her son had a near-fatal accident. She took medication for some time. "When you get to this point," she said in an interview, "you just can't will your way out of that or pray your way out of that or pull yourself up by the bootstraps out of that. You really have to go and get help, and I did."
Jeret "Speedy" Peterson
Depression
Jeret "Speedy" Peterson was an American World Cup aerial skier from Boise, Idaho, skiing out of Bogus Basin. A three-time Olympian, he won the silver medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Peterson was found dead in Lambs Canyon, Utah on July 25, 2011. The cause of death was determined to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Peterson won a silver medal at the 2010 Winter Games, but had fought depression and gambling, and had struggled to stay sober for years, reported People. He discovered skiing during his troubled childhood, and used it as a way to burn off "ADD hellion" energy otherwise spent causing trouble, reported Men's Journal in a 2010 profile on Peterson.
J.K. Rowling
Depression
Harry Potter: one of the most recognisable names in the modern world. The boy wizard was largely developed during an episode of severe depression for author J.K. Rowling, who fought her own dementors by creating the magical world of Hogwarts in her tiny Scottish apartment. After a short and catastrophic marriage with Portuguese television journalist Jorge Arantes, J.K. Rowling experienced major clinical depression. After the marriage breakdown she returned to Scotland in the years 1993-1994. Rowling was in her late twenties with a young child to provide for whilst on unemployment benefits.
“I was very frightened of my father for a very long time and also tried desperately to get his approval and make him happy. We were as skint as you can be without being homeless and at that point I was definitely clinically depressed" she said. For Rowling rock bottom wasn’t the end; it opened up new possibilities and eventually led to her success. Her own personal failures gave her energy to work on her passions.
Winston Churchill
Depression
Winston Church and Abraham Lincoln are the two most significant political leaders to battle depression. Winston Churchill navigated his country though a radical period of change and was Prime Minister of England during World War II. Churchill had a very distant relationship with this father. Often people with depression don’t have a close relationship with their father, predisposing them to anger or anger turned inward – depression. His first major episode with depression was in 1910, aged 35. Some days he described himself as almost unable to get out of bed, a sign of deep clinical depression. He would also fantasize about jumping in front of an oncoming train when on a platform.
Winston Churchill drank a lot, numbing the pain and self-medicating his depression. He had recurrent bouts of depression but would also experienced periods of hard work which led some historians to speculate if he had bipolar and these bouts occurring in the manic phase. Churchill battled depression for most of his life in various degrees. Toward later stages he had a series of strokes and may have had Alzheimer’s disease which would have contributed to the deterioration of his mental faculties.
Kay Redfield Jamison
Bipolar Disorder
Kay Redfield Jamison is aworld authority on mood disorders, a clinical psychologist, one of the most respected academics in mental health and called a “hero of medicine” by TIME magazine. But while Kay Redfield Jamison has hundreds of accolades, she has also battled bipolar all her life. Her intellect, career and experience with the condition gives her penetrating insight into bipolar, mental health and suicide and what needs to be done to improve awareness and treatment of these conditions.
When she was 28 she attempted suicide. She had stopped taking medication and was profoundly depressed. Kay Redfield Jamison was able to rebound when she was younger but in her late twenties her illness declined for about 18 months and it become intolerable. The problems culminated in taking an overdose of medication. Kay Redfield Jamison is also committed to the continuing destigmatisation of mental illness. She makes an excellent point about destigmatisation being inextricably linked to treatment and research.

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50 Extraordinary Women You Won't Believe Actually Exist

Luke Chase May 25th 2016 Entertainment
It's likely that the women in your day to day life are pretty "normal" in appearance. So when you see someone whose appearance differs from what you expect it to be, it can be kind of a shock. The ladies in the following slideshow are definitely far from average. Some of these women spent thousands of dollars on plastic surgery, tattoos, or body piercings. Others are born with strange birth defects such as excessive facial hair, a gigantic butt or even an 8 inch tongue. See for yourself!
Lauren Williams: 4 Foot Long Legs
Lauren Williams has the longest-known legs in the United States, with her eye-catching limbs measuring an incredible 49 inches from hip to heel. Lauren's height and long-legged genes can be attributed to her family as her father, mother and twin sisters are all 6ft or taller. She has US size 11 feet (UK size 10), and revealed that she can find it tricky to buy clothes that fit. When modelling, single Lauren - who has worked on campaigns for global brands such as Nike - does everything from sports and fitness to high fashion and swimwear.
Having played volleyball in college, as well as being extremely active, Lauren also enjoys shooting sporty campaigns. As well as modelling, Lauren works as an educator at a children's museum in Houston and enjoys travelling. When out and about, her striking looks and long limbs mean she gets comments about her legs on a daily basis.
Pixee Fox: Dangerously Small Waist
Swedish born Pixee Fox had already spent more than $80,000 on plastic surgery attempting to sculpt the perfect hourglass figure. But now she has taken her obsession even further by having 6 of her lower ribs removed - so she can shrink her waist to a record-breaking 14 inches. Pixee, from Sweden, said: "People often come up to me and say, "don't take this the wrong way, but you look like a cartoon" - but for me that's a compliment, that's what I want to achieve.
With 6 of her lower ribs removed, Pixee's lower internal organs, including the liver, have lost some of their natural protection - but she isn't worried. She said: "Before if I was in a car crash I would normally break my ribs. If that happened now I'm probably going to break my spleen instead. In total she has had four rhinoplasties costing $14,000; four breast augmentations of 200cc, 525cc, 800cc and 1400cc costing $28,500; two rounds of liposuction at $5,000; two upper eyelid surgeries at $6,000; a labiaplasty costing $4,000; a Brazilian butt lift at $9,000 and cool-sculpting, cheek injections, and lip injections at about $12,000.
Bethany Hamilton: One Armed Pro Surfer
Bethany Meilani Hamilton-Dirks is an American professional surfer who survived a 2003 shark attack in which her left arm was bitten off, but ultimately returned to-and was victorious in-professional surfing. On October 31, 2003 Hamilton, aged 13 at the time, went for a morning surf along Tunnels Beach, Kauai, with best friend Alana Blanchard, Alana's father, Holt, and brother Byron. Around 7:30 a.m., with numerous turtles in the area, she was lying on her surfboard with her left arm dangling in the water, when a 14-foot tiger shark attacked her, severing her left arm just below the shoulder.
Despite the trauma of the incident, Hamilton was determined to return to surfing. Three weeks after the incident, she returned to her board. Initially, she adopted a custom-made board that was longer and slightly thicker than standard and had a handle for her right arm, making it easier to paddle, and she learned to kick more to make up for the loss of her left arm. After teaching herself to surf with one arm, on January 10, 2004, she entered a major competition. She now uses standard competitive performance short-boards. The broken surfboard that Hamilton was riding during the attack is on display at the California Surf Museum
Mayra Hills: World's Largest Fake Breasts
Mayra Hills - also known as Beshine - measures at 59-28-36 and says she's the proud owner of the world's largest fake breasts. And it's not hard to believe her claim to fame, considering each of her breasts have 10,000 cc of saline implants and weigh 20 pounds a piece! As you can imagine, it's difficult for Beshine, who wears a size 32Z bra, to find clothes that fit, so the German-born woman has a lot of her items custom-made.
But bra shopping isn't her only woe. She can no longer tie her own shoes and has run into trouble when she's knocked things over with her chest - but it appears she's satisfied with her body, troubles and all. "Some people maybe think the sheer size of my t-ts bring too many handicaps in my everyday life, but hey, having big boob problems is amazing," she wrote on her blog.
Anastasiya Shpagina: Real Life Anime Girl
It's official, this real-life anime trend has gotten completely out of hand. Hardly a day goes by that we don't stumble upon some photos of girls going to any lengths in order to look like real live anime characters. Today's example, Anastasiya Shpagina, an Ukrainian girl who has even taken a Japanese name - Fukkacumi. 19-year-old Anastasiya (Nastya) Shpagina has been called "the new Barbie" by national news outlets, but she later revealed she's striving to become a real-life Japanese anime character, not a doll. She even posted "I am not like a doll, a doll is like me."
Apparently, Nastya has been passionate about makeup even as a young child, always experimenting with it in the mirror. Over time she also developed a thing for Japanese cartoons and it was only a matter of time before she started using her make-up artist skills to transform herself into a real-life anime girl. But just putting on makeup wasn't enough to attain that coveted look, so she decided to lose weight in order to seem more genuine. At 1.58-meters-tall, Anastasiya weighs just 39 kilos and is trying to lose one more in order to look just right.
Chanel Tapper: World's Longest Tongue
The longest female tongue measures 9.75 cm (3.8 in) from the tip to the middle of lip and was achieved by Chanel Tappe on 29 September 2010. Chanel, from Houston, US, shot to fame aged 13 when she was spotted sticking out her monster tongue in a YouTube video. In September Guinness invited Chanel to Los Angeles where they measured her tongue and she narrowly beat two other female contenders to the record.
She said: "I have always been silly and goofy. I love sticking my tongue out at people. I started doing that back in school. I've never had a problem with having a long tongue, it's just fun." Chanel now has set her sights set on Hollywood after finishing her studies. She said: "I'd love to be in a movie. I'm certainly pretty dramatic, so I think I could have the acting gift. "Really, I'd love to meet Adam Sandler, he's my favorite."
Sarah Massey: World's Largest Butt
Sarah Massey would be just another 33-year-old mother-of-two from Chicago - if it weren't for the fact that she also happens to have the world's biggest butt. Though not officially recognized by the prudes at Guinness, Massey's massive 7-foot wide keister requires a pair of 10XL trousers that would comfortably fit all of the Kardashian sisters combined.
Massey insists the condition that resulted in her museum-sized bubble butt is hereditary - "there's nothing I can do about it," she says - but that her love of ice cream certainly contributed to its maintenance. Massey would still like to lose some weight, but says she now has a new-found appreciation for her natural assets, and fervently defends them against anyone who calls them fake. "Some people can't believe one person can have this much butt," she told Barcroft. "Because I've got a relatively small frame on top they say, 'that can't be real.' I carry this weight with me all the time, everywhere I go, it's definitely not fake. Big booties are just in my blood."
Zlata: Extreme Flexibility
Russian-born former gymnast Zlata, 29, posed in leather and lingerie to adopt a series of poses that seem to defy every law of biology. Zlata, who now lives in Germany, is able to create astounding shapes with her body and is so flexible she can cram herself into a 50cm square box. One of her favorite acts is to bend backwards at a 90 degree angle, so the back half of her hands touch her feet and she can also peer through her own legs from behind.
Zlata's gift of flexibility was discovered when she was four years old and by six she was training as a contortionist at a circus school. She has a rare condition which makes all her tendons extremely pliable, which helps in her profession. The former gymnast now spends most of her day working out and training for shows around the world. In 2011 she set the Guinness World Record for the most beer bottles opened in a minute using only your feet.
Kim Goodman: Eyeball Protrusion
Kim Goodman is a woman who is able to pop her eyes out of her eye sockets by 12 millimeters (0.47 inches). She holds the world record for the farthest eyeball protrusion. She lives in Chicago, Illinois. She discovered her eyeball popping talent one day when she was hit on the head with a hockey mask. Her eyeballs popped out much further than usual and ever since that day she could pop them out on cue, as well as when she yawns.
She has appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman. In 2004, Goodman was included by Guinness World Records in their 50th anniversary list of top ten "feats" of all time. Kim originally had the record for being able to extend her eye balls beyond her eye sockets by 10mm. This was matched a few years by a new contender, but when Kim was re-measured she found she could now reach 12mm - breaking her own record and keeping the title.
Natalia Partyka: One Armed Table Tennis Champ
Natalia Partyka (born 27 July 1989) is a Polish table tennis player. Born without a right hand and forearm, she participates in competitions for able-bodied athletes as well as in competitions for athletes with disabilities. Partyka reached the last 32 of the London 2012 Olympic women's table tennis. Partyka began playing table tennis at the age of seven. She won her first international table tennis medal in 1999 at the disabled World Championships. At the age of 11, she competed at the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, becoming the world's youngest ever Paralympian. In 2004, she won a gold medal in the singles event and silver in the team event at the Athens Paralympics.
Partyka competed for Poland both the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing - one of only two athletes to do so, the other being Natalie du Toit in swimming. They were her third Paralympic Games, and her first Olympics. Competing in class 10 at the Beijing Paralympics, she won gold by defeating China's Fan Lei by three sets to nil. In 2008, she won a gold medal in the singles event and a silver in the team event at the Beijing Paralympics, repeating her Athens Paralympics result.
Supatra Sasuphan: World's Hairiest Girl
Her nicknames may include "wolf girl" and "monkey face". But 11-year-old Thai girl Supatra Sasuphan today insisted that she was after being officially recognised as the world's hairiest girl. Although the schoolgirl from Bangkok has faced merciless teasing at school, Supatra says being given a Guinness World Record for her hair has helped her become extremely popular. "I'm very happy to be in the Guinness World Records! A lot of people have to do a lot to get in," she said. "All I did was answer a few questions and then they gave it to me."
Supatra is one of just 50 known sufferers of Ambras Syndrome - caused by a faulty chromosome - to be documented since the Middle Ages. Before the disease was understood, sufferers were branded "werewolves." She has thick hair growing over her face, ears, arms, legs and back. Even laser treatment has failed to stop the hair growth. But while most sufferers have been shunned, Supatra has gradually been embraced by her community, and became a popular and outgoing child.
Jasmine Tridevil: Woman With 3 Breasts
There's really no other way to put this so we're just going to dive in: Meet Jasmine Tridevil. She has three breasts. Tridevil (no that's not her real name, but that's what she wants to go by) is a 21-year-old licensed massage therapist and die-hard Criss Angel fan from Florida who decided to undergo a shocking and controversial $20,000 surgery to add a third breast to her chest.
Tridevil also stated that she's hoping to bank a reality show from this, and has already put the wheels in motion to make something happen. "I was making really good money [being a licensed massage therapist] but now I'm trying to star in a reality show instead. I don't like that job," she shared, and later added, "My whole dream is to get this show on MTV. I hired a camera crew individually, so I'm the producer of this show right now."
Lyudmila Titchenkova: World's Longest Neck
Lyudmila Titchenkova is a 16-year-old living in the city of Nikolaev, Ukraine. After she turned 10, Lyudmila's parents noticed that their daughter's body began developing at an accelerated growth rate. She was taller and had longer arms than other children her age, but of particular concern was the length of her neck and abnormal curvature of her spine.
As it got to the point where Lyudmila began feeling embarrassed to go out because of her appearance, her parents took her to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder of the connective tissue that can affect many parts of the body, most often the heart, blood vessels, bones, joints and eyes. In Lyudmila's case, the disorder affected the connective tissue in her spine, causing it to curve at an angle of 30 degrees. This seems to be a rather uncommon symptom of the disorder, which usually affect people's arms, legs and fingers. After undergoing corrective surgery and extensive rehabilitation to straighten her spine, Lyudmila can now live normally and says she wants to study for her future without letting herself be affected by her disorder.
Abigail and Brittany Hensel: Girl With Two Heads
Abigail Loraine "Abby" Hensel and Brittany Lee Hensel (born March 7, 1990) are dicephalic parapagus twins, meaning that they are conjoined twins, each of whom has a separate head, but whose bodies are joined. They are highly symmetric for conjoined twins, giving the appearance of having just a single body without marked variation from normal proportion. In fact, several vital organs are doubled up; each twin has a separate heart, stomach, spine, lungs, and spinal cord.
In conversation, the twins are clearly distinct persons, with distinct likes and dislikes. Their preferences in food, clothing color, etc., differ. Some of their clothes are altered by their seamstress so that they have two separate necklines in order to emphasize their individuality. They will usually have separate meals, but sometimes will share a single meal for the sake of convenience (e.g. each taking a bite of the same hamburger). Abby is better at mathematics, and Brittany is better at writing. For tasks such as responding to email, they type and respond as one, anticipating each other's feelings with little verbal communication between them.
Natasha Veruschka: Sword Swallower
Natasha Veruschka has the world record for most swords swallowed simultaneously by a female. She swallowed 13 swords, each at least 38.1 cm (15 in) long, at the 3rd Annual Sideshow Gathering and Sword Swallowers Convention in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA, on 3 September 2004. Natasha was born in India of white russian and british heritage. She has lived, studied, and performed her art around the world and also speaks several different languages.
Natasha now lives in New York City. She is an amazing performer who uses many different types of swords in her act or as she likes to say "Swords On The Menu." The swords on the menu are - "The Red devil" 29 inches long, "The Big Sword" 27 1/2 inches long, "The Bradshaw Sword" 25 inches long, "The Sai Weapons" two 24 inch long eight-sided weapons of steel. Natasha trained with a "Sai Master" in order to use them in her act. Also on the menu is the unbelieveable "Sword Sandwich" where she swallows 13-22 inch long swords simultaneously.
Elaine Davidson: Most Body Piercings
Elaine Davidson is the "Most Pierced Woman" according to the Guinness World Records. Since first receiving a skin piercing in January 1997, Elaine Davidson has been pierced a total of 4,225 times as of 8 June 2006. The former restaurant owner is constantly adding and replacing jewelery, mostly in her face. She enhances her exotic looks with tattoos and brightly coloured make-up, and often wears feathers and streamers in her hair.
She has more piercings in her genitalia than in any other part of the body - 500 in all, externally and internally. The total weight of her internal piercings is estimated to be about 3 kilograms. As of May 2008, Davidson's piercings total 5,920. As of Feb. 2009 her piercings total 6,005. In March 2010, Davidson reported a total of 6,725 piercings. As of March 2012, she has over 9,000. As of may 2016, she has 9,800. She was born in Brazil and is a former nurse. She does not drink or use drugs. She now resides in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Jyoti Amge: World's Shortest Woman
Jyoti Amge (born 16 December 1993) is an Indian actress notable for being the world's smallest living woman according to Guinness World Records. Jyoti Amg hails from Nagpur, India. She weighs 11 pounds and stands at 23 inches, according to Guinness World Records. Jyoti Amg has a "form of dwarfism called achondroplasia," Guinness says.
On her fame, Jyoti Amg says, "I don't like it if I am being held like a baby," but that she will let some people and fans pick her up. She also gets "mad when someone annoys me by touching my hair or keeps touching me without permission." "I love acting in this show," she says. "My biggest dream is that I go to Hollywood and become an actress."
Cara Anaya: Chronic Orgasms Disorder
The 30-year-old Arizona mother lives with Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD), a condition that can leave her feeling sexually aroused for up to six hours a day. "The one day that I decided to count how many orgasms I had in one sitting, I counted 180 in two hours," she told Barcroft TV. "Pretty much, with that type of number, you're having two or three in a minute." Anaya has seen a number of health specialists but has not been able to find treatment.
The condition has created difficulties in her relationship with husband Tony Carlisi, who initially thought she was crazy when he first learned about it. "I would say the most difficult thing is seeing my wife in pain and knowing there's nothing I can do to help her," he said. As a result of the condition, Cara has to avoid being out in public or open spaces like parks. She said: "It is ruining my life, because it messes with your head. Your body is running on a high, on an up and down, so it really affects your moods."
Aevin Dugas: World's Largest Afro
The largest afro measures 18.5 cm (7.3 in) high, 19.6 cm (7.7 in) wide and 132.1 cm (4 ft 4 in) in circumference and was achieved by Aevin Dugas, in New Orleans, USA on 4 October 2010. Proud of her record-breaking afro, Aevin Dugas says her hair is inspiring legions of women to ditch chemical straighteners and "go natural". The 37-year-old, whose hair entered the Guinness Book of Records at 4ft 4ins around, says everyone from toddlers to grandmothers are following in her footsteps.
Aevin said: "At one time I strived to get hair that was bone straight and now all I want is it big and poofy". She believes her voluminous hair may have grown even bigger, but she cannot reveal its size until Guinness take an official measurement. "When my hair is stretched out to its complete length and pressed, it goes down to my butt. But I don't wear it like that because it looks weird."
Aimee Mullins: Amputee Athlete
Aimee Mullins (born July 20, 1976 in Allentown, Pennsylvania) is an American athlete, actress, and fashion model who first became famous for her athletic accomplishments. She was born with a medical condition that resulted in the amputation of both of her lower legs. Mullins was born with fibular hemimelia (missing fibula bones) and as a result, had both of her legs amputated below knee when she was one year old. A graduate of Parkland High School in Allentown and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., she took up sports and acting at an early stage.
As a young softball player, she once held the youth league record for stolen bases in softball. She also raced in downhill skiing while in high school. While attending Georgetown University on a full academic scholarship to the prestigious School of Foreign Service there, she competed against able-bodied athletes in NCAA Division I track and field events, and is the first amputee in history, male or female, to compete in the NCAA. Honoring her achievement and cultural contribution to sport, Mullins is included as one of the "Greatest Women of the 20th Century" in the Women's Museum in Dallas, Texas.
Julia Gnuse: Most Tattooed Woman
Julia Gnuse, commonly known by the nickname "The Illustrated Lady," born in 1959, has 95% of her body (including her face) covered in tattoos and holds the Guinness Record for being the most tattooed woman in the world. In her mid 30s, Gnuse developed porphyria, a condition in which sunlight results in blistering of the skin. As the blisters often result in scarring, she began getting tattoos as a way to cover up the scars, which can get as deep as third degree burns. A friend of Gnuse's who was a plastic surgeon had suggested she get her skin tattooed in a pale skin tone color, similar to the color of her scars. This was attempted but didn't turn out the way they had hoped.
The tattoos do not prevent the skin from blistering as they are purely aesthetic. Instead she decided to try colorful tattoos, consisting of a variety of themes including: her favorite cartoons, her favorite actors and even a self portrait. Gnuse has appeared on the tv show Ripley's Believe it or Not. She also had a small role in Aerosmith's music video for their song Pink.
Valeria Lukyanova: Real Life Barbie Doll
Valeria Valeryevna Lukyanova is a Moldovan-born Ukrainian model and entertainer, notable for her resemblance to a Barbie doll, with several sources describing her as, among other handles, a "real-life Barbie doll" and "human Barbie". To enhance the effect Lukyanova uses makeup and contact lenses over her naturally green eyes. She has stated that she has had breast implants, but that the rest of her body is completely natural and slender due to daily gym workouts and a special diet.
She asserts that her slender figure is a result of a good diet involving small amounts of raw fish and fresh fruit juice, and a punishing exercise regimen. It's no wonder that Lukyanova has drawn comparisons to Mattel's iconic figurine - but she insists she finds this insulting. Lukyanova does not drink or smoke, and claims that she is working towards a state of being which will be able to survive on no food at all.
Annie Hawkins-Turner: World's Largest Natural Breasts
The largest breasts belongs to Annie Hawkins-Turner (aka Norma Stitz) (USA) who has an under breast measurement of 109.22 cm (43 in) and an around chest-over-nipple measurement of 177.8 cm (70 in). She currently wears a US size 52I bra, the largest made, but by American bra estimation, these measurements would put her in a 48V bra, which is not manufactured.
Annie says that her record-breaking bust began developing at the age of nine "I just started growing, and kept right on. I started wearing a bra when I was in third grade, and it was a regular grown-up woman's bra. I don't remember ever weaing a training bra." Annie was awarded her Guinness World Records title in 2000. "It made me feel like a million bucks. It's such an honour. This will go down in history. It's something I will always cherish."
Emma Morano: World's Oldest Person
Guinness World Records confirmed that Ms. Emma Martina Luigia Morano of Vercelli, Italy, is now the world's Oldest living person. Born on 29 November 1899, Ms. Morano is 116 years old, as of May 2016. Ms. Morano is believed to be the last person living born in the 19th century. Raised in Vercelli, she moved to Verbania on the shores of Lake Maggiore, Italy. She married in 1926 and has lived there, in the same small apartment, ever since. She loves her home, her collection of watches and her big bed.
Emma married in 1926 and gave birth to a child who tragically passed away when he was only 6 months old. It was a loss of unimaginable pain for Emma. Her marriage was not working and in 1938, she took the difficult decision to leave her husband, and did not marry again. Extraordinarily, Emma followed the same diet for around 90 years - three eggs per day (two raw, one cooked), fresh Italian pasta and a dish of raw meat.
Erika Ervin: World's Tallest Model
Erika Ervin known professionally as Amazon Eve, is an American transgender model, fitness trainer, and actress. She has appeared on the cover of Australian magazine Zoo Weekly and played a recurring character on American Horror Story: Freak Show. At 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m) tall, news stories have called her "the world's tallest model".
Ervin ventured to obtain roles as an actress but gave up on the idea when she was constantly offered roles as an alien or monster. Later she studied law and exercise physiology. Tired of the office life that she had pursued and unhappy with her weight, she joined a gym but strived for an unrealistic size 0 physique that almost resulted in ending her life. Eventually she developed a healthier body image and began to view herself as a super-sized version of Super Woman and became a personal trainer devoted to instilling realistic expectations for herself and her clients. She tours the world participating in height comparison photo shoots and regular modeling jobs and posts her tour on her website.
Becca Meyers: Athlete Born Deaf
Becca Meyers, 20, who attends Franklin & Marshall, was born deaf and was diagnosed with Usher syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes gradual balance and vision loss. She broke a world record in swimming and won the ESPY Award for the Best Female Athlete with a Disability. In 2014, Meyers set two world records (400 freestyle and 200 IM) and earned six medals (four gold, two silver) at the Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships.
"It's amazing how being nominated and winning for Paralympics brings a lot of awareness to the sport [of swimming]," she said. "That's one of the reasons I do this is to raise awareness and give back. If you asked me five years ago, I wouldn't have believed I'd be in this position [to win an ESPY and give back]. It's a roller coaster and I'm still on the ride enjoying it."
Mikel Ruffinelli: World's Largest Hips
Mikel Ruffinelli (born 1972) is an American woman who currently holds the record of widest hips in the world, according to the World Record Academy. Her weight is more than 420 pounds (190 kg) and her hips measures an unusual 8 feet (2.4 m) in circumference, although her waist is only 3 feet 4 inches (102 cm). She is 5 feet 4 inches tall.
Mikel was a normal-sized young woman and in her early 20s weighed an above average 180 pounds. But at 22, she put on 56 pounds after having first child Andrew. After daughters Destynee, Autumn, and Justyce, followed, her weight and hips ballooned further. She eats an average 5,000 calories a day. Possibly this extraordinary fat tissue accumulation turns out to be an advanced stage of a medical condition called Lipedema.
Aneta Florczyk: World's Strongest Woman
Aneta Florczyk began her strength sports career when she was young. At 16 years old she began competing in powerlifting, where she quickly found success. At 19 years old she was the junior Polish champion in the bench press. She repeated this feat again at 23, as well as becoming the junior European record holder in the deadlift. She found further success winning gold in the Polish Cup and getting the Polish record in the 82.5kg class with a total of over 500kg. She has deadlifted 250kg (550lb) for a single repetition and 220kg (485lb) for 6 reps.
Here she transitioned from the world of powerlifting to strongwoman, where her greatest victories would be found. She first competed in strongwoman in 2002. Shortly afterwards she entered the 2003 World's Strongest Woman competition and shockingly took first place. She won 3 more times consecutively in 2005, 2006 and 2008 (the competition was unfortunately not held in 2004, 2007, 2009 or 2010) to total 4 World's Strongest Woman records.
Ann and Claire Recht: World's Tallest Twins
Identical twins Ann and Claire Recht born in the United States of America on February 9th 1988, were measured both horizontally and vertically, three times during 10 January 2007 in Oregon, USA and found to have an average overall height of 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) and 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) respectively. They hold the Guinness World Record for Tallest Female Twins . The American twin sisters are volleyball players.
Claire and Ann measured 22 inches at birth, and as toddlers their pediatrician predicted they'd grow well past 6 feet. They were a head taller than preschool classmates. By midway through elementary school, they were complaining about the lack of "fun colors" in their women's-size shoes and looking their teacher in the eye. Soon, adults told them they looked too old for trick-or-treating. By middle school, they were struggling to find khakis for their school uniforms.
Berliner Kobke: Ultra Small Waist
Berliner Michele Kobke, 24, has worn a corset continuously for three years, dropping nine inches off her waistline in her quest for a slim, hourglass figure. Kobke tells the Daily News she started with a waist of about 25 inches. Her three years of wearing a corset, which she wears eating, sleeping and even swimming, has left her with a 16- or 17- inch waist. "My dream waist is 15 inches," she said.
Even as she closes in on her "dream" waist, Kobke admits there are health concerns with such a passion. A doctor already diagnosed her with some muscle atrophy from wearing the fashion piece 24 hours a day. But aside even from the medical risks, Kobke has had a falling out with family members, who disagree with the extreme measures she takes for beauty.
Asha Zulu Mandela: World's Longest Dreadlocks
50-year-old Asha Zulu Mandela started growing her lovely dreadlocks 25 years ago, after moving from Trinidad Tobago to New York. Today she is known as "The Black Rapunzel" and holds the record for the world's longest locks, which measure 19 feet, 6 inches long. Eight years after she started growing her locks, Asha had a series of medical problems, including 13 surgeries, two mild heart-attacks and two mild strokes, so she spent 14 years in and out of hospitals.
Asha says that after 25 years of growing her hair naturally, cutting it would be like taking away her life. Still, her pride and joy can be a little problematic at times. She uses six bottles of shampoo at a time, and the hair needs to days to dry. When wet, the locks weigh 25 pounds, which puts an extra strain on her neck. Doctors have told her she has a curvature of the spine, most likely caused by the extra weight of her incredibly-long hair.
Charity Pierce: World's Fattest Woman
An Iowa mother who weighs 765lb is trying to get on a reality TV show because she believes it is the only way to save her life. Charity Pierce finds moving around so difficult that she is almost house bound, but doctors near her Cedar Rapids home say she must slim down to 500lb before they can give her a gastric band. Because Ms Pierce, who is the fattest woman in the world, has developed a medical condition called lymphedema, which has caused a huge swelling on her left leg, she no longer fits easily into a regular car.
"The one thing that's going to save my life is gastric bypass. But I'm a single mother on disability with no one to count on besides myself," she added. She hopes to be able to lose enough weight to be able to watch her daughter grow up, and also so she can have a dream wedding to her 22-year-old boyfriend, Tony Sauer.
Mandy Sellars: World's Biggest Legs
Mandy Sellars (born 20 February 1975 in Lancashire, United Kingdom) is a woman with a rare genetic mutation that has resulted in extraordinary growth in both of her legs. In 2006, some doctors diagnosed Sellars as having Proteus syndrome, a very rare condition thought to afflict only 120 people worldwide, but Sellars herself has disputed the diagnosis. Sellars' condition has been covered in several television programs, leading Sellars to jokingly describe herself as a "part-time TV star".
Sellars was born with abnormally large and misshapen legs and feet, which continued to grow at a disproportionate rate. Doctors were unable to provide a diagnosis for many years, until some doctors decided on Proteus syndrome in May 2006, though Sellar's condition is atypical in many respects. The most famous person with Proteus syndrome may be Joseph Merrick, the "Elephant Man". There is no known cure.
Kristina Rei: World's Biggest Lips
A woman desperate to look like Jessica Rabbit has won the dubious honour of being in possession of the world's biggest lips after having 100 silicone injections. Kristina Rei, 22, was convinced her thin lips made her ugly so she opted to have them enlarged in the style of her favorite cartoon character, at a cost of more than £4,000. She said: "I think I look fantastic and it makes me happy. Sometimes strangers shout names at me in the street - like big lips - but I don't care. "
At school Kristina was bullied because of her looks. She said: "My classmates called me "ugly". They didn't tease me because of my lips specifically - but I believed big, full lips would make me beautiful. My big lips have helped boost my confidence. Even my parents are happy for me. They really don't care about my appearance. Some of my friends have told me I shouldn't go any bigger but I'm not satisfied yet."
Lizzie Velasquez: World's Skinniest Woman
Elizabeth Ann "Lizzie" Velásquez is an American motivational speaker and author. She has a rare congenital disease which, among other symptoms, impedes her from accumulating body fat. This condition resulted in bullying during her childhood and early youth and ultimately inspired her to take up motivational speaking. She has gained many supporters and speaks out against bullying. Lizzie was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome by the Baylor College of Medicine.
Velásquez has zero percent body fat and is medically unable to gain weight. She has never weighed more than 29 kg (64 pounds), and is required to eat many small meals and snacks throughout the day. Additionally, she is blind in her right eye, which began to cloud over when she was four years of age, and vision-impaired in her left eye. Ever since Lizzie was dubbed the "World's Ugliest Woman" in a video posted on YouTube, Lizzie has spoken out against bullying. She has spoken at TED, where she talked about the topic of "How Do YOU Define Yourself" and has garnered 40 million views on her YouTube Channel. Lizzie is known for her optimism.
Xie Qiuping: World's Longest Hair
The world's longest documented hair belongs to Xie Qiuping (China) at 5.627 m (18 ft 5.54 in) when measured on 8 May 2004. She has been growing her hair since 1973 from the age of 13 and now she needs an assistant to carry her crowning glory, as it's too long for her to manage alone.
Xie has been growing her hair out since she was a child. She says that her last haircut was in 1973. "It's no trouble at all. I'm used to it. But you need patience and you need to hold yourself straight when you have hair like this," she said. While Xie has a strong lock on the title of world's longest hair, there is a challenger, Cheng Shiqiong, who has been growing out her hair since 1996. But Ms. Qiuping doesn't need to be worried - Cheng's hair is only half the length of hers, at nearly 8 feet long.
Svetlana Pankratova: World's Longest Legs
Svetlana Pankratova (born April 29, 1971) has, according to Guinness World Records, the longest legs of any woman in the world. While she is not the world's tallest woman, her legs are 132 centimeters long. Because her upper body is of much more typical dimensions, she is 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in) tall. She has also very large feet, size 13 (US) / 46 (EU).
Pankratova was born in Volgograd, Russian SFSR, USSR. She played women's basketball at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, USA, from 1992 to 1995. She was an impact player, setting two school records which are still unbroken. Along with her native Russian, Pankratova speaks English and some Spanish. She lived in Torremolinos, Spain. On March 11, 2013 it was reported that Pankratova returned to Virginia after marrying local resident Jack Gosnell. She accepted a position as an assistant coach for the George Mason High girls' basketball team.
Emily Schlenker: World's Widest Tongue
The widest female tongue measures 7.33 cm (2.89 in) at its widest point and belongs to Emily Schlenker, as measured in Syracuse, New York, USA, on 2 November 2014. The record holder for the widest tongue (male) is Emily's dad Byron Schlenker. Amazingly Byron and Emily discovered their tonguey talents quite by accident, when Emily took a copy of the Guinness Book of World Records out of the library for a school project, and Byron instinctively turned to the page featuring the man who at that time held the record for world's widest tongue.
But while dad has been happy to embrace the celebrity, 14-year-old Emily was initially less keen to enter the limelight. She explained: "I had to think about submitting for the record for a while, but after seeing how much fun my dad has had with it, I decided I would do it." She went on: "After all, how many people have an opportunity to be in the Guinness Book of World Records?"
Edith Connor: World's Oldest Bodybuilder
The oldest competitive female bodybuilder is Edish Wilma Conner (USA, born 09 May 1935). She last competed in the 2011 NPC Armbrust Pro Gym Warrior Classic Bodybuilding Championships in Loveland, Colorado, USA, on 20 August 2011. She entered her first bodybuilding competition (the Grand Masters in Las Vegas) on her 65th birthday, winning first place. She is also a personal trainer. She exercises at least three times a week and does not diet.
She began fitness training with her youngest son, taking it out "on the weights instead of the employees." She's 77 now, and though she is recovering from shoulder surgery, started lifting again in April, and plans to compete in the future, though not this year. Connor is also a certified personal trainer, specializing in "the mature body." Her clients are all over fifty. She sounds like exactly the kind of person who could get you motivated about getting into shape.
Adrianne Lewis: Excessively Long Tongue
Adrianne Lewis, 18, thinks she may have the world's longest tongue. The Michigan native's tongue is 4 inches long and can reach her eye. Although she has not been officially judged, Lewis believes she has what it takes to break the Guinness World Record. Lewis created a YouTube channel two years ago and since then her long licker has gone viral with thousands of people tuning in to watch her roll and twist her extraordinarily long tongue.
Lewis' tongue will appear in Ripley's Believe It or Not's annual book due out in May 2016, Edward Meyer, vice president of exhibits for Ripley's, told USA TODAY Network. "She's certainly not the first long tongue story we've ever done, but it's definitely a 'believe it or not,' " he said. "As an editor, I see that kind of story and it brings a smile to my face and I want the world to know about it."
Maria Jose Cristerna: Most Body Modifications
Most body modifications on a female is held by Maria Jose Cristerna (Mexico) who has a total of 49 body modifications, including significant tattoo coverage, a range of transdermal implants on her forehead, chest and arms, and multiple piercings in her eyebrows, lips, nose, tongue, ear lobes, belly button and nipples. Maria Cristerna is also referred to as "The Mexican Vampire lady." She had dental work to make her look like she has fangs and even has titanium horns inserted into her head making her the scariest looking woman ever.
The The 35-year-old mother-of-four gives talks to women suffering from domestic abuse. "At first people were interested in my looks because it was cool, because it attracts attention and because it's something different," Cristerna is quoted as saying in a Sky News article. "But I see it as something good among all the bad, because I'm giving a message. I won't be able to change the thinking of the entire world, but I'm always there to help the people that need it."
Jessica Long: Amputee Athlete
Jessica Tatiana Long (born February 29, 1992) is a Russian-born United States Paralympic swimmer from Baltimore, Maryland competing in S8 and SB7 category events. She has held world records in several events in her class and has won multiple gold medals over three Summer Paralympics. Long entered the international stage at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece, winning three gold medals in swimming. Aged twelve at the time, she was the youngest competitor on the U.S. Paralympic Team. One of her gold medals was the 100-meter freestyle.
Long was born Tatiana Olegovna Kirillova in Bratsk, Siberia and adopted at the age of 13 months. Because of fibular hemimelia, her lower legs were amputated when she was 18 months old. She learned to walk with prostheses. Long has been involved in many sports including gymnastics, cheerleading, ice skating, biking, trampoline, and rock climbing. She began swimming in her grandparents' pool before joining her first competitive team in 2002. The next year, Long was selected as Maryland Swimming's 2003 Female Swimmer of the Year with a Disability.
Cindy Jackson: Most Cosmetic Procedures
Cindy Jackson, born in 1956 in Hazard, Kentucky, United States is an American plastic surgery pioneer and best-selling author and television personality. In 2000 she was listed in the Guinness World record book for having had more cosmetic surgery procedures than anyone else. Since 1987 she has spent over $100,000 on 47 cosmetic procedures and has had 14 full scale operations including facelifts, two nose operations, eye lifts, knee, waist, abdomen and thigh liposuction, jaw surgery, lip and cheek implants, chemical peels and dozens of non-surgical procedures.
Jackson, 55, grew up in small town Ohio, with a short-tempered father and low self-esteem. She recalled a comment someone made to her when she was young: "One guy said when I was 14, 'You know Cindy, when you smile, from the side your nose and chin almost meet.'" She said: "It was like being in the wrong body and wrong face and I felt that very much and wanted to change it." When her father died, he left her some money, and she used it to start her transformation. She says she's been careful to take it slow, but also said she just wants to look beautiful and young. "I feel like a young spirit and I don't want to look in the mirror and see and old face. I feel this is me," she said. "This is the way I should look."
Christine Walton: World's Longest Fingernails
The longest fingernails in the world today belong to Christine Walton from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Originally measured as the new record holder in February 2011, Walton's nails at that time measured a combined 6.019 m (19 ft 1 in). After getting measured again in 2013, Walton's nails had grown to a combined 7.314 m (23 ft 11 in). The 45 year-old, who is also a talented singer going by the stage name "The Dutchess," hasn't cut her fingernails since 1990.
"I never made a conscious decision to grow the nails, but with all my children and the music commitments I guess it was easier to let the nails grow. Then one day I look down and they're like 9 inches long!" Walton insists the nails don't prevent her from living a normal life; she can still braid hair, cook and drive. To add some perspective, the length of The Dutchess' fingernails are the equivalent of: One killer whale, two mini coopers, five average adult arm spans, a president's nose on Mount Rushmore, the entire length of the average 12-year-old boy's intestines.
Sarah Paddy Jones: World's Oldest Acrobatic Salsa Dancer
The oldest female acrobatic salsa dancer is Sarah Paddy Jones (UK, born 1 July 1934) who won the first prize on the Spanish TV talent show "Tu Si Que Vales" in December 2009. Paddy was born in Stourbridge, England. She started dancing classical dance when she was 2 years old and at the age of fifteen began taking classes in more disciplines. However, she left dancing at the age of 22 when she married her husband, David. They moved to Gandia, Spain in 2001 when her husband retired, but David died of leukaemia just two years later.
After the death of her husband, Paddy decided to take flamenco classes at Nicolás "Nico" Espinosa's academy of dance, where she learned to dance salsa and formed the salsa dancing duo "Son del Timbal" with Nico (who is 40 years younger than her). In 2014, Paddy and Nico competed in the eighth series of Britain's Got Talent, where they finished ninth overall.
Karol Meyer: Breath Holder
The longest time to hold the breath underwater is 18 min 32.59 sec and was achieved by Karoline Mariechen Meyer (Brazil) at the Racer Academy swimming pool in Florianopolis, Brazil, on 10 July 2009. Karoline is a professional freediver who trained for four months to try and break the record. Prior to the attempt she inhaled oxygen for 24 minutes.
Meyer began diving during childhood. She became a competitive freediver in 1998. She has gone on to hold 8 world records, 2 Pan-American Records, 30 South American records, and 6 national records. She has also won several international competitions representing Brazil. Besides freediving, Meyer contributes toward fundraising for needy communities, public schools. She supports programmes against child labour, and advocated for children who live in front of the sea and have parents whose income depends directly on the sea.
Rumeysa Gelgi: World's Tallest Teenager
Guinness World Records presented Rumeysa Gelgi with the record title of Tallest Female Teenager in the world. The 17-year-old, who has a standing height of 213.6 cm (7ft 0.09 in), received the award in a special presentation in her hometown of Safranbolu, Karabük, in Turkey. Rumeysa is currently in the 11th grade at high school and lives at home with her parents and older siblings - who are all normal height.
Guinness World Records Official Seyda Subasi-Gemici said: "Guinness World Records celebrates diversity and recognises extraordinary people all over the world. Rumeysa Gelgi has shown tremendous courage in the way that she has dealt with her condition, and it is an honour to meet and award her with the record title of Tallest Teenager." Medical experts believe that Rumeysa's condition is caused by Weaver's syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes rapid growth. In addition to her exceptional height, Rumeysa's hands measure 24.5 cm and feet 30.5 cm.
Vivian Wheeler: World's Longest Beard
With the longest hair in her beard measuring 11 inches - 27.9 cm., Vivian Wheeler of Illinois is blessed with having the longest beard for a female. Her father insisted she start shaving at the age of 7, but since 1993 Vivian Wheeler has not, letting her beard grow. She said "I am in the Guinness Book of World Records and people tell me I am famous, that it's a history book but it doesn't comprehend in my head. I hope it never does because I don't want to be that kind of person that they think I could be or should be."
Wheeler has a medical condition called hermaphroditism. Meaning, she is 50 percent male and 50 percent female. She said she was born with facial hair but when she was about five that facial hair began to grow darker. When that happened, her father couldn't even look at her and sold her into a life on the road with the Ringling Brother's Circus. It's a life she said may seem bizarre to others but one that has a special purpose.
Duangjay Samaksamam: World's Largest Hands
Doctors believe that this woman has the "World's biggest hands" since each of her arms weighs 21 pounds. Duangjay Samaksamam is a shop owner from Surin province in Thailand. For over 50 years, she has suffered from a very painful and rare condition that has her limbs permanently swollen. She says that moving is painful for her even when handling simple tasks. "My hands are so heavy I can barely lift them to comb or shampoo my hair, it's very difficult. Getting dressed is also very difficult and painful," she says.
The 59-year-old was embarrassed by her condition and spent her first 20 years as a recluse. She was ashamed of her look and never even went to school. Circumstances forced her to stop hiding so that she could earn a living and take care of her parents. She took over the running of her family's grocery shop. Medics around the world have a keen interest in her and many of them have attempted to reduce the swelling through surgery. None to date however has succeeded. "Some doctors said the only solution was to cut off my hands if I wished to walk around freely. But I don't want to do that," she says.
Tatyana McFadden: Wheelchair Racer
Wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden of Clarksville was named Paralympic Female Athlete of the Year. McFadden captured her third straight marathon grand slam, won her first marathon world title and set three T54 world records this year. McFadden broke the New York City Marathon's women's wheelchair course record by 7 minutes, 20 seconds with a time of 1 hour, 43 minutes, 4 seconds.
McFadden was born in Leningrad, then Soviet Union, on 21 April 1989. She was born with spina bifida, a congenital disorder that paralyzed her from the waist down. After her birth mother abandoned her in an orphanage that was too poor to afford a wheelchair for her, she walked on her hands for the first six years of her life. The doctors told her she was so sick that she had very little time to live. While in the orphanage, she met Deborah McFadden, who was visiting Russia as a commissioner of disabilities for the U.S. Health Department. Deborah, a single mother, adopted Tatyana and took her to live in Baltimore.
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