The last to speak about it openly has been Elon Musk. The billionaire creator of companies like Tesla and Space X announced last Saturday during a monologue on the hit show Saturday Night Live who suffered from Asperger’s syndrome. “I know I’ve said or posted weird things, but it’s just the way my brain works. To anyone who has offended I simply want to say: I reinvented electric cars and I am sending people to Mars in a rocket, did you think I was going to be a relaxed and normal guy?
People with this disorder generally have problems relating to others, understanding and expressing emotions, or accepting changes. Despite these impediments, the Asperger does not have to be limiting. In fact, it can become an excellent driver for success as has been shown by some celebrities who have recognized that they live with this disorder and have succeeded in their careers.
One of them is award-winning actor Anthony Hopkins, 83. In 2017, in an interview, he explained that he lives with Asperger syndrome. To the protagonist of The silence of the lambs it was diagnosed at a late age. And he said that made him understand why he was a loner who never fit in anywhere, who used to have problems and cause them to others, especially in childhood. She had to deal with anger and difficulties in connecting with others. But the actor has assured that having this neurological disorder has been in part an advantage, since it has given him a portentous memory.
Another actor, Dan Aykroyd, known, among other films, for Ghostbusters , has told on occasion that when he was just 12 years old, doctors determined that he suffered from this syndrome and Tourette’s, so he had nervous tics and even grunted. In her own words, “One of my symptoms included my obsession with ghosts and the police. And that’s where the idea for the movie was born Ghostbusters ”.
Environmental activist Greta Thunberg, 18, was diagnosed at age 11. Three years earlier, at 8, was when he first heard about climate change. He couldn’t understand why so little was done about it. And from that moment he became depressed, stopped talking and eating. Consider that being different is a super power. In her case, her passion for the environment led her to drop out of school to combat global warming.
With the “a little weird” sign, actress Daryl Hannah walked through the clumps of Hollywood. The protagonist of 1, 2, 3… Splash She denounced in 2010 that, for years, the film industry had her on a blacklist for suffering from this disorder, which prevented her from attending interviews and promotional events for films, so the heads of several studios decided to stop counting with her for her productions. “I never went to TV shows or premieres, going to the Oscars was very difficult for me, I almost fainted walking the red carpet. I had a lot of social phobia, I felt very uncomfortable ”, she explained.
Director Tim Burton always appears on the celebrity lists with Asperger, although the “diagnosis” was actually made by his partner of 13 years, actress Helena Bonham Carter, because of how “concentrated and obsessive” he is.
Singer Courtney Love, widow of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and mother of his only daughter, explains in her biography, Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love (2006), who were diagnosed at age 9. His youth was complicated, with family conflicts and expulsions from various schools. And in the nineties he triumphed as the lead singer of the group Hole.
The Asperger was not an impediment to the Japanese video game designer Satoshi Tajiri, who has managed to create an empire with the Pockemon universe, a structured world.
Director Steven Spielberg, actor Keanu Reeves, singer Susan Boyle, tennis player Marcelo Ríos, and Nobel laureate economist Vernon L. Smith are other achievers living with this disorder.