Famous human being rarely showcase your mental illness to the world. Although that is true that they might use your platform and also voice in a advantageous way, the stigma neighboring this subject is still very much alive, even now in the 21st century. Among the lesser discussed cases due come this an extremely reason is that of Henry J. Deutschendorf, who likewise went by “Hank” to those close come him.

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Hank Deutschendorf. (Image: household photo courtesy of will certainly Deutschendorf)

Henry J. Deutschendorf was born on April 29, 1988. He is best known because that his duty as infant Oscar in 1988’s Ghostbusters II, a component which the played together with his twin brother William. Together, the twins portrayed the infant boy of Dana Barrett, play by Sigourney Weaver. In the film, she is the previous girlfriend of bill Murray’s Peter Venkman.

However, Oscar no Venkman’s organic son. Nevertheless, when the mother and also child space in distress, the Ghostbusters save the day together always. Back the film has actually been appreciated by critics and audiences alike, it was both the beginning and also the end of Hank’s insignificant on the large screen. Like countless child stars prior to him, he only had actually the one role.

Besides later participating in the Clean increase the Town: psychic Ghostbusters documentary in 2017, Deutschendorf never ever pursued acting as a career previous that defining role. However, he did state the he would have actually liked to take exhilaration up once more if the ideal occasion appeared. Unfortunately, the time never came because that Hank.

The former child star is likewise the nephew the acclaimed individual singer man Denver. In fact, Hank was called after Denver and also his father prior to him. John Denver’s real name was Henry man Deutschendorf Jr. His father, Henry john Deutschendorf Sr, to be a retired Air force pilot (and among America’s foremost check pilots) who passed away in in march 1982 in ~ the period of 61 in ~ Aurora Presbyterian Hospital because of a enormous heart attack.

Denver’s mother died in 2010 in Aurora together well, in ~ the period of 87. Denver himself common his father’s passion for flying. Unfortunately, his life to be taken in 1997, when his speculative aircraft crashed close to Monterey Bay, California. He to be 53 years old. Sadly, it appears that all 3 Henry Deutschendorfs to be met v untimely deaths.

Even today, the cultural influence of Denver’s songs resides on. In fact, his signature track Take Me Home, country Roads has been recently featured in 2017’s Alien: Covenant. Funnily enough, this is the second prequel in Ridley Scott’s acclaimed extraterrestrial franchise who lugged to call the really same Sigourney Weaver that played Hank’s mommy in Ghostbusters II.

Hank and Will’s dad was john Denver’s brother, Ron Deutschendorf. Amongst others, Ron was likewise the president of the acclaimed singer’s Windstar Foundation. The sudden sale in 2012 left the blindsided and hurt, as reported by the brand-new York time in an write-up at the time. No details on his reaction to Hank’s passing is available.

But regardless of these facts, Hank has lived his life much from the spotlight. In addition to his pair yet again, he ended up being an instructor because that the dependable West coast Martial arts Academy in san Diego, California. He loved his job really much and worked difficult every work to be the ideal teacher, mentor and role model because that his students that he perhaps could.

Hank and also Will took end the Academy in 2007 as soon as they were both simply 19 year old. However in despite the of their young age, they controlled to form the center into one of the many successful facilities of its type in the area. The is where Hank met his far-ranging other and also love of his life, Keemia Ranjbaran.

According come Keemia, WCMAA was the place where she learned come push past her reservations and become a better, stronger person. Although over there isn’t an main statement ~ above this, the general assumption would be that this is how Hank and also she met and fell deep in love. Indigenous the outside, his life seemed perfect. Yet behind the scenes, a dire battle was gift fought.


In respectable 2008, at the age of 20, Henry J. Deutschendorf was diagnosed through schizoaffective disorder. Follow to the national Alliance on psychological Illness, (NAMI), this problem is identified by a combination of schizophrenia symptoms, choose delusions and also hallucinations, through those pertaining come mood disorders, such as depression or mania.

In a statement given by william T. Deutschendorf following Hank’s untimely death in the hands of mental illness, he defined his brother’s condition as manifesting exactly in this manner. Before the diagnosis, Hank was an upbeat and also motivated individual that was always kind come others and ready to help. But schizo-affective disorder adjusted his life drastically.

Schizo-affective disorder has tendency to manifest itself severely, which is why that is recommended that patients it is in monitored closely. The exact causes behind the onset room still not correctly understood. Specialists argue the genetics, improper mind chemistry, stressful occasions or drug use all can be potential causes. Nevertheless, it is uncertain what the situation was in Hank’s case.

Hank was a rather private person. The vast majority of the info pertaining to his disorder has not been mutual with the general public by his enduring relatives. His known household does not have a history of schizophrenia, nor did Hank seem to be using any street drugs. The situation is a possibly a bit much more nuanced, but we cannot understand for sure.


Will’s main statement defined his brother’s make the efforts at managing schizoaffective disorder and also alleviating that symptoms. Hank tried medication, which assisted curb his delusions but had little effect on the voices gnawing away at his mind. Furthermore, their side impacts left him lethargic.During his lifetime, Hank struggled with the medical community’s i can not qualify to carry out him through a viable treatment alternative that would certainly have valuable effects ~ above his mental health. The brain is the most facility organ the the body and it adheres to that its disorders room equally complex. Schizo-affective disorder is a relatively brand-new diagnosis and also psychiatric field of expertise in dealing with it is still, some would say, in the infancy. The is tho not totally understood by the medical community and prescribing protocols because that medication in this problem are still very much evolving.

Hank ended up sleeping for twelve hrs a day, and even lifting a cup that water come drink became exhausting. In Will’s words, Hank’s medication was like being given “a band-aid because that a gunshot wound”. Yet despite these hardships, that never gave up. That tried to minimize his symptoms an ext and an ext every day.

Treating schizophrenia, and also mental condition in general, is partly a procedure of trial and error. There are a selection of different medications accessible which work-related to different extents in different people. Recognize the right medicine for the separation, personal, instance patient have the right to take time. In enhancement it needs to be stated that medicine does not work for everyone. About 30% of civilization with schizo-affective disorder will acquire no benefits at all from medication. The does appear that medication was no the magic cartridge for Hank that it is for part people however nevertheless Hank had the ability to harness inner resources which permitted him to usage self-help approaches to to fill the gaps left by the medications.

Hank involved in daily meditation and exercise sessions, he closely controlled his diet and also he tried supplements together well. That did whatever he can to regain control of his body and mind. In fact, according to his brother, the sometimes even went to unimaginable lengths come treat himself, trying whatever from herbs and homeopathic remedies to prayer, voodoo, and spells.

Unfortunately, this was every to no avail at some point for Hank. But he battled as much as he could. He took very few sick days throughout this period of his life, and also their martial arts college thrived. Shortly enough, because of his careful and also calculated guidance, your student counting passed 100 and doubled.Hank walk all that he might to maintain as healthy of a personal and skilled life together he could. That earned his third and fourth-degree black belt in Kempo, he came to be a homeowner and also he also had the perfect companion to re-superstructure life v alongside him. From the outside, he was thriving. But his poor days acquired a host sooner or later.


On June 14th, 2017, Henry J. Deutschendorf lost his nine-year-long fight with schizoaffective disorder. He to be 29 years old. His brother wilhelm is at this time an advocate for mental wellness awareness and suicide prevention to honor Hank’s memory and also battle. Because that this, the kickstarted the Hank’s Hope because that a Cure project with the mind & behavior Research Foundation.

In fact, wilhelm was the one who discovered Hank’s body. Hank hung self in the closet of the residence he common with his brothers in Escondido, California. Ever because the occasions of the date, will certainly is fighting come raise awareness and end the stigma surrounding schizophrenia, and mental illnesses in general. Due to his efforts, Hank will certainly live on and also his pain i will not ~ be in vain.

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Alex Moore is a psychology undergraduate and also blogger who proponents for mental wellness awareness in general and also a much better understanding of schizophrenia in particular. You’ll frequently find the contributing to Schizlife.