Celebrities are most times considered to be superhumans who don’t go through what other humans go through. The irony is that they also go through what the average man goes through, including illnesses and one of such commonalities is bipolar disorder – yes, there are famous people with bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is a mental condition that is majorly categorized by unusual shifts in activity levels, energy, mood and the ability to carry out daily activities. Studies have shown that there are basically four types of bipolar disorder – Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, Cyclothymic Disorder, and Unspecified Bipolar.
In the US alone, about 5.7 million adults suffer from this disorder. There is no known cure for this condition, however, it can be managed. There are a lot of celebrities with this manic-depressive disorder. Let us take a look at 10 famous people with bipolar disorder. Keep reading.
Celebrities and Famous People With Bipolar Disorder
1. Mariah Carey
Pop diva, Mariah Carey admitted that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2001 but disclosed it years later due to a strong fear that she would lose all she has worked for in her career. Apparently, people with this ailment are often stigmatized. She was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder and has since been receiving treatments.
Mariah Carey is a two time Grammy award winner. She was born on March 27, 1970, and officially began her career in 1970 and has been a hot sensation since then. She is the only female artist to have the most No 1 spot debut in the history of Billboard Hot 100 chats. Some of her most successful hits include Vision of Love and I Don’t Wanna Cry.
About her condition, she disclosed her condition in an exclusive interview with a correspondent from People Magazine. This was the first time she opened up after years of leaving in fear that someone might discover and expose it. Her courage came as a result of other celebrities like Selena Gomez, coming out to talk about their own mental health issues.
2. Carrie Fisher
Carrie Fisher was bold and fearless about her condition and also come out to speak on behalf of those suffering from bipolar disorder. She was not ashamed of it and eventually became a beacon of hope for those faced with stigma and prejudice because of the disorder. In addition to suffering from bipolar, she also battled with addiction. Fisher was addicted to drugs and alcohol and went to rehab for help. She was diagnosed with the condition at 24 but denied it for about four years. She blamed the denial on her addictions, but while she was sober, she accepted her condition.
Carrie was born on October 21, 1956, and died on December 23, 2016, after having a cardiovascular failure while on an airplane from London to Los Angeles, her birth town. She later died in her home from what doctors termed a heart attack. It is not certain the cause of her heart attack, however, there are two schools of theories.
One is of the opinion that her former addiction to drugs especially cocaine, may have been the cause whereas others say that her mental condition may have led to her eventual death. Experts say those with bipolar disorder have a greater risk of having a heart attack. In her lifetime, she was best known as an actress and writer. She wrote a book while in rehab titled Postcards From the Edge and is most popular for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise.
3. Demi Lovato
Popular singer and actress, Demi Lovato was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2011. She initially struggled with addiction to drugs and had an overdose one fateful day in 2011 which landed her at a hospital and there, she was diagnosed with the ailment. Unlike some people, she never went into denial, rather accepted it and became an advocate for people challenged with mental illness, encouraging them to speak out. She is also of the opinion that people who have bipolar can live a happy and healthy life.
Demi Lovato was born on August 22, 1992, she began acting in 2002 and is popular for her role in the Disney movie, Camp Rock. Demi began singing soon after and released her debut album in 2008. The pop-rock star is best known for her songs This Is Me, Here We Go Again, Skyscraper, Give Your Heart a Break, and Heart Attack.
4. Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway was popular for the pen. He was a writer who won the Nobel Prize For Literature and also Pulitzer Prize For Fiction. Sadly, the prolific writer took his life on July 2, 1961, in his home in Ketchum, Idaho. He struggled with alcohol abuse and symptoms of psychosis, due to a brain injury. He was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This ailment ran in his family as it was suffered by his parents, his son and now his granddaughter.
Hemingway fought his illness and “demons” by engaging in life-threatening sports, aggressive behaviors and self-medication through alcohol. He seemed to have it all – a successful writer, handsome and had many beautiful women at his beck and call. It was hard to imagine that he suffered from depression and paranoia that would lead to the events on the day – July 2, 1961.
5. Russell Brand
Russell Brand is a popular British stand-up comedian who is renown for his outrageous jokes. In addition, he is an actor, presenter, and writer. His book titled Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions centered around his long fight with addiction. He has published other works and is still writing.
Like most people who struggle with bipolar disorder, Russell Brand also had problems with drug abuse. He was diagnosed with bipolar while he was an adolescent and soon began abusing alcohol and other substances. Russell was able to put a stop to his drug abuse in 2002 and has remained sober ever since. He has also been receiving treatments for his mental illness.
6. Jean-Claude Van Damme
Van Damme was diagnosed with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. He experienced a lot of challenges due to this condition. He had 4 failed marriages, cocaine addiction, alcohol abuse, and physical abuse, allegedly due to his condition. According to the superstar actor, he dealt with the disorder through intense training. Fortunately, he quit the drugs in 1999 and remarried.
Jean-Claude Van Damme is an actor, martial artist, and film director. He is of Belgian descent and was born on October 18, 1960. He is well known for his roles in movies like Hard Target, Nowhere To Run, The Expendables 2 and so on.
7. Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones is known as a silver-screen actress who knows her onions and has proved it through her several movie roles. She has won several awards such as Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, BAFTA Award and so on.
She came out publicly in 2011 to admit that she was one of the millions of people suffering from bipolar disorder. She was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder when she began having crises due to her husband’s stage 4 throat cancer saga. Her husband’s condition served as a trigger to her own condition, so she sought help and found it.
Zeta-Jones is currently on treatment and continually advises those with the disease not to be ashamed but to come out of their shells and seek for help. In an interview, she advised those with the disease to seek treatment as the condition is manageable.
8. Patty Duke
Academy Award Winning actor, Patty Duke was one of the first celebrities to publicly disclose her mental condition. In 1984, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after a lifetime of suffering from the illness. She spoke about her condition in her 1987 book, Call Me Anne. She also released another book A Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depression Illness that was centered on her life with the disorder. She has since become a committed activist for those living with mental disorder and aiding them in any way she can.
Patty Duke is an American actress who has appeared on stage, film and television series. She won her first Academy Award at the age of 16, for her role in the 1962 movie Miracle Worker.
9. Ted Turner
Ted Turner is the popular founder of Turner Network Television, CNN and Cartoon Network. Amazingly, part of his success is hinged on his bipolar disorder. Where others would be afraid to take risks, Ted would take it due to his maniac or euphoric periods as a bipolar patient. This periods of high-highs can be very productive and so it was. He was able to build one of the biggest news networks in the United States, and by extension, the world.
He has obviously been able to control and master the beast called bipolar disorder. Reports show that the disease was generical for Ted as his father suffered it and ended up committing suicide as a result.
10. Vivien Leigh
Vivien Leigh is a legendary screen and stage goddess. She was an actress with so much beauty that she was argued one of the most beautiful women of her time. She won two Oscars in her career, one in 1939 for her role as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind and another 12 years later. Despite her success, she suffered from bipolar disorder.
At that time, mental illnesses were seen differently. It was often regarded as a weakness, while the doctors were uncertain of what to do with the diagnosis. Symptoms of Vivien’s bipolar disorder didn’t start when he began her acting career. It began while she was in high school as her mates would recall. They observed that she could be very excited for weeks and all of a sudden become rude, hysterical, silent among other depressive traits.
Although she was very successful, she starred in only 20 movies, due to her deteriorating mental health. She was said to be difficult to work with, basically due to her condition. Instead of being treated with lithium as is the case now, she was treated with electro-shock therapy (ECT).