10 Famous People Who Have Battled Bipolar Disorder
Feb 26, 2019 10:28
Bipolar disorder is characterized by severe mood swings. Those affected spend a period of time in a depressive, or low, state followed by a period of time in a manic, or high, state or vice versa. Each mood swing can last from days to weeks.
The disorder is not an obscure form of mental illness – over five million people in the U.S. suffer from it, including those who have celebrity status. Unfortunately, bipolar disorder is often coupled with different forms of substance abuse, which often results in overdoses or even death. Find out which famous celebrities have struggled with bipolar disorder.
Even though Mel Gibson has had what most people would call a successful acting career, as well as having a career directing and producing films, that doesn’t mean he’s immune to bipolar disorder. He admitted to the disorder in 2008 and has made headlines for both an altercation with a police officer during a drunken driving arrest and alleged domestic abuse against his then- girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.
2. Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato got her start on the Disney Channel and soon blossomed into a full-fledged singer. But the road hasn’t been smooth for her. In 2010, she spent time in a clinic for addiction and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Since then, Lovato has had additional struggles with addiction — even to the point of a non-fatal overdose in 2018.
3. Carrie Fisher
Best known for playing Princess Leia in the various Star Wars movies, Fisher passed away from a heart attack in 2016. But unlike some other celebrities, Fisher knew early on that she had bipolar disorder — she was diagnosed before she turned 25. During her life, whenever Fisher had a platform, she was known for calling attention to the disorder and advocating for more bipolar research. According to Comprehensive MedPsych Systems, a psychologist and psychiatrist Fort Myers Florida based practice, about 60 percent of patients with bipolar disorder are initially misdiagnosed with depression and can go up to 10 years without proper treatment.
4. Mariah Carey
Although Mariah Carey was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder close to two decades ago, she didn’t publicly announce it until her April 2018 interview with People magazine. During the interview, she stated that she got treatment and surrounded herself with positivity to help her deal with the disorder because she knew she wasn’t able to carry the burden on her own.
5. Kanye West
Although Kanye West has admitted publicly that he has bipolar disorder and even gone so far to write songs about it, he doesn’t look it as something that hinders him in any way. In a radio interview, West said that he views the disorder as his superpower and says that it puts him in a creative state of mind. West wasn’t diagnosed until he was 39.
6. Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones is an accomplished actress who has won an Academy Award and Tony for her work. After a tumultuous period in her life, when her famous husband Michael Douglas was suffering from and battling throat cancer, Zeta-Jones was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In 2013, she made a public statement that she was seeking treatment.
7. Amy Winehouse
In 2011, Amy Winehouse — a British singer and songwriter — died from alcohol poisoning. She was suffering from bipolar disorder coupled with substance abuse, and there’s no report that she had sought treatment at any time. Hailed as an amazing talent, Winehouse was 27 when she tragically died.
8. Brian Wilson
As the former frontman for the decades-old original Beach Boys band, Brian Wilson has had a long-spanning career, but that doesn’t mean it’s been a bed of roses. At one point, his bipolar disorder caused him so much distress that he was unable to write songs or tour with the band. Now in his 70s, however, Wilson is still headlining musical events and touring.
9. Sinead O’ Connor
Best known for her worldwide chart-topping hit “Nothing Compares 2 U,” Sinead O’Connor has enjoyed much success, even being named Artist of the Year by Rolling Stone magazine in the 90s. It was just over a decade ago, however, that Irish-born O’ Connor received her bipolar disorder diagnosis after struggling for years with it. In 2017, she posted a Facebook video where she admitted to living a motel and feeling suicidal as she pleaded for her family to help her.
10. Jane Pauley
Pauley first found fame when she was given Barbara Walters spot on the Today Show in the 70s. Her next big break was when she served as the co-anchor of Dateline for 10 years during the early 90s and into the 2000s. In her 2004, when Pauley’s autobiography was released, people found out about her struggles with bipolar disorder. Pauley currently serves as the anchor of CBS’s Sunday Morning.
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