Schizophrenia cannot be understood without understanding despair.
—R. D. Laing (1927–89) Scottish Psychiatrist
If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I’m neurotic as hell. I’ll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.
—Sylvia Plath (1932–63) American Poet, Novelist
It is thus that the few rare lucid well-disposed people who have had to struggle on the earth find themselves at certain hours of the day or night in the depth of certain authentic and waking nightmare states, surrounded by the formidable suction, the formidable oppression of a kind of civic magic which will soon be seen appearing openly in social behavior.
—Antonin Artaud (1896–1948) French Actor, Drama Theorist
Everything great in the world comes from neurotics. They alone have founded our religions and composed our masterpieces.
—Marcel Proust (1871–1922) French Novelist
The anguish of the neurotic individual is the same as that of the saint. The neurotic, the saint are engaged in the same battle. Their blood flows from similar wounds. But the first one gasps and the other one gives.
—Georges Bataille (1897–1962) French Essayist, Intellectual