Winogrand had quite a stash of undeveloped film after his death, thousands rather than tens of thousands. But when you're less sure of your talent - as I suggested of Maier - the pile she had doesn't surprise me. It doesn't necessarily mean she was psychotic. She wasn't getting feedback about her pictures, she was going solely off her intuition and her intuition was probably telling her 'the best picture is around the next corner'. I'm guessing there's a lot of corners in Chicago/New York.
Nothing surprises me when it comes to photography/art and excess. I think ultimately the question is; do you have to be mad to be a prolific artist?
We are talking about an intense creative here, not a sunday photographer. And you did get into photography for the right reasons - your own.