Mental disorders are more common than we think. And a very touchy subject as well. Nearly every of us had, has or will have at least some symptons of some sort of psychological disorder. Even if it's only mild depression or anxiety. Some of us even have control issues, manias and other disorders, that we are not aware of. Mental disorders are a dramatic part of life, in a society that is unbalanced and unhelpful for the people affected by these problems. There is also much misundertanding of what is really a mental disorder. For instance, many genious suffered from mania and were bipolar. Perhaps people suffering from this would do better to explore their psyche. Perhaps to understand what would they need to explore in order to be better express themselves. Do we live in a society that encourage us to explore our full potential? My answer is a no.
I am against conventional treatment for "mental disorders". Everyone has "mental disorders" because everyone has unintegrated and unbalanced portions of the psyche. I consider the concept of bipolar disease to be ridicule, psychologists don't understand the creative right-brain part of the brain. They want to medicate everyone suffering from depressive or stimulated states, when in fact these states serve a function. Isn't it normal a high-energy Aries and Gemini, or a meditative contemplative Scorpio or Pisces? Psychologist don't paint, psychologists don't meditate! However i agree when such behavior crosses the link and becomes a risk to close ones and to the life of the individual. But clinical psychologists don't do well with just medicating. We are all given drugs to become "normal" people, similar to each other.
But there is hope. I see a damaging psychological disorder as a misuse of specific aspects of our psyche. We all have different elements within our personality, sometimes they are very contradictory and difficult to express and this can lead to trouble, when we cannot find outlets for them. Astrology helps us understand what is going on, and how to better express those inner dramas, it help us to recognize what are those elements and which outlets they need.
Linking psychological disorders to Astrology
My initial thoughts concerning psychological problems would be to link severe melancholy and depression to Saturn (perhaps in hard aspects to the Moon, Sun and Mercury), bipolar disease linked to Gemini, while mania and madness linked to uncontrolled Uranus and (possibly unexpressed) Mars. Nervous breakdowns can be linked either to Uranus, Mars or Mercury. Eccentricity and genious to Uranus. Speech disorders to Mercury. Unbalanced Mars can also lead to neurotic behavior, as well as hard aspects to Pluto, Aries or Libra. This could also lead to criminal activities, rage or rape. Pluto can lead to psychological breakdowns, uncontrolled emotions and control issues. Hard aspects between Saturn and Mars can lead also to sexual frustation. Unbalanced Neptune energy can lead to schizophenia, hallucinations, delirium, religious cults, strange beliefs, delusional behavior and drug abuse. Unbalanced Jupiter can also lead to maniac, fanatism and delusional behavior. Hard aspects to Saturn and Venus can also lead to lack of self-confidence.
Let's look at different famous people who had nervous disorders:
Newton was a bipolar, having often rage periods and nervous breakdowns, besides being a great genious. He had Uranus in ascendant, and Mars in DSC. Both are very strong energies, very "maniac", and need to be expressed under a very dynamic and experimental lifestyle. His Uranus in Scorpio ASC relates to very intense deep underlying emotional currents. In contrast, he was also a Capricorn and with a tight Saturn square Mercury, both of which give strong inclination for melancholy. So, in his case we have a personality under deep contradiction between the uncontrolled excess of both Uranus and Mars, and the other melancholy energies. Furthermore, he was a Gemini (bipolar) Moon (moods), and the Sun on his third house increase even more his mental energies. He was one of greatest physicians of our history, but also an alchemist and teologian, dwelling in strange biblical end of the world theories and occultism. On his final years he became an eccentric, while having Uranus transiting his ascendant. He die when he had the Uranus return, and other outer planets transited all water houses: Saturn transited his IC, Neptune the 8th house and Pluto his 12th house.
Beethoven was a bipolar, maniac, suffering from melancholy and being a great musical genious. Again, we find the maniac signatures: Beethoven had an opposition between his Sun/Mercury and Mars, in 8th house and in Gemini. Like Newton, he was a Scorpio ascendant, with his Sun in the cusp of the third house. Once again, strong Gemini and third house influence, and a difficult Mars aspect. His Uranus was also close to DSC, and Saturn in MC. Both were in strong angles and in square. Beethoven had a Moon in Sagittarius square to Neptune. This might give another musical signature, creativity and also his psychotic delusions.
Van Gogh, was a maniac painter, strongly bipolar, suffering delusional behavior, epiletic episodes, self-mutilation and drug abuse. Mars in Pisces, a strong emotional energy, was in square to his conjuntion Moon/Jupiter in Sagittarius. This a difficult combination of emotions, which probably explain his delusional behavior and extreme anxiety. In addition, his Sun in Aries and the Moon/Jupiter in Sagittarius further explain the maniac behavior. His Sagittarius Moon/Jupiter shows well his tendency to travel and wander, and paint landscapes. This contrast to his Cancer rising. The stark contrast between water and fire explain his strong bipolar disorder. Van Gogh only became an artist in 1880 and committed suicide in 1890. During these periods, he was having important transits at 5º Virgo (Uranus - when he became an artist), and 5º Virgo (Saturn) and 5º Gemini (Pluto/Neptune when he committed suicide). This seems to be a sensitive degree for his chart. In most of his life were marker by Uranus transiting his 1st, 2nd and 3rd houses, and Neptune and Pluto transiting his tenth house. This shows well the confusing path he took. Uranus squared his Moon and opposed his Sun, during some of its difficult moments, and when he emerged as an artist. When Uranus transited his IC, he began suffering from delirium and having his psychological breakdown.
Other people suffering from bipolar disease include Linda Hamilton, a famous actress: she has a T-square between Jupiter, Mars in Pisces, and Moon in Gemini. Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, a clinical psychologist: he has a T-square between Sun in Gemini, Moon in Pisces, and Neptune; and a Saturn-Mercury conjunction. Maurice Bernard, an actor, has Sun in Pisces opposed by Uranus, and a T-square between his Moon, Neptune and a Saturn-Mercury conjunction. Thom Yorke, from Radiohead, has an opposition between his Libra Sun and a Moon/Saturn conjuntion. Iggy Pop, has a Mars/Mercury Aries conjunction, opposed by Neptune,and also Sun/Moon in Aries in square to Saturn!
Our examples seem to show that bipolar disorders are linked to a strong contrast between unbalanced Fire/Air and Water/Earth elements. This could be a conflict between a strong Uranus and Saturn, a strong and badly aspected Mars and Sun, or a badly aspected Moon in Sagitarius and Gemini.
John Nash was a mathematical genious suffering from schizophrenia. His difficult natal charts placements relate a Gemini Sun located in his 12th house, with a conjuntion of Pluto and Mercury in his Cancer rising, which is square to his MC Uranus! He also had a Mars-Moon conjunction in Aries. Lionel Aldridge, a football player, also suffered from schizophrenia. He had a square between Mars in Sagittarius and a conjunction Moon/Neptune. Once again, we find all these contrasting elements in psychosis behavior.
Lincoln and Churchill
Both suffered form severe depressions. Lincoln had a Capricorn rising, with a Capricorn Moon, this is enough for a character prone to melancholy. Depression comes when two other difficult aspects add to the chart. He also a Saturn/Neptune conjunction in square to his Mercury. And his Mars in square to his Capricorn Moon! As a curious fact, Lincoln was assassinated when Saturn conjuncted his MC and natal Mars.
Churchill had a Moon in 12th house, this can give unexpressed emotions. He had a Virgo rising and a sextile between Sun and Saturn which add seriousness and melancholy. This is difficult for a Sagittarius. Furthermore, he had Uranus in square to Mercury (nervous tension), and Pluto opposed Mercury (heavy thought). Interestingly, he was having Neptune transiting his rising, when he was a president during WWII (. Both Lincoln and Churchill had Mars in angular houses, which relate to their millitant and political occupations.
Shawn Colvin is a songwritter that suffered a major long depression. She is a Capricorn, with a major Saturn/Mars conjunction squared by Pluto and Jupiter. Kurt Cobain, from Nirvana, has Sun in Pisces square to Neptune (drug abuse and confusion), square between Moon and Saturn (depression) and Uranus and Pluto opposite to Mercury (nervous tension and suicidal tendency). He also has a Mars in square to Jupiter (he also suffered bipolar disease).
Our examples seem to link depression to difficult positions of the Moon, a strong Saturn and Capricorn, difficult aspects of Saturn and Neptune, and natal Mercury forming hard aspects to outer planets. Mania is linked to unbalanced Uranus, Jupiter and Mars. It is very interesting to see that artists seem more prone to mania and psychosis, while politics to depression.
I do recommend for people looking for answers to their problems, to look further to Astrology and also for Anthrosophy communities. I also encourage people to exercise different outlets in life (Arts, Meditation, Yoga and Spirituality, Travel and Adventure, Writting, Theatre, Sports, Volunteer Work).
Please feel free to share your histories of people with psychological problems.
My email is segurelha (at) gmail (dot) com