As we’ve learned in recent years, mental illnesses are certainly not something to be disregarded. If left unaddressed and untreated they can wreak worse havoc on a person by being incredibly disruptive to smooth cognitive function.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), almost 1 in 5 Americans suffer from some form of mental disorders. Research reports that 1 in every 25 adults across the country lives with serious mental health issues like schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, bipolar disorder, etc. So, if you are weighed under the burden of a mental illness you can take comfort from the fact that you are not alone.
Did you know that a lot of famous people, including celebrities you idolize, actually suffered from serious mental illnesses? In fact, there are many famous people with bipolar disorder.
Famous or not, this is a fight we all share. And, knowing more about Bipolar disorder, its effects, and scale can help us deal with them better whether it’s in ourselves or in those we love.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Ever feel like you’re on the cusp of joy one moment and then before you know it, you are overwhelmed with heart-wrenching sadness for no apparent reason? It might be a sign of Bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness marked by extreme mood shifts.
Every day is a challenge and a struggle.
The sad part is that like most other mental disorders, Bipolar too does not have a permanent cure. The only options are treatment and therapy which can reduce some of the symptoms.
Living with Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder can hit at various stages of life and it usually varies depending on sex. Women are usually diagnosed late, in their 20’s and 30’s. Men might be diagnosed sooner. There’s also a subtle difference in how the symptoms manifest in both sexes.
Women usually have milder episodes of mania although this is offset by several depressive episodes. They’re also more prone to experiencing other health conditions simultaneously such as obesity, anxiety disorders, and migraines as a result. Women are also more likely to be addicted to alcohol.
Men tend to experience more severe episodes of both depression and mania but particularly mania. Their episodes and outbursts are also louder by far, compared to women. What makes Bipolar a real tragedy for men is that they can’t help but act out on it, more often than women. It may also be why Bipolar Men are more prone to all forms of substance abuse.
Here’s a list of some famous people with bipolar disorder:
#1. Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey is a chart-topping American singer-songwriter who suffers from Bipolar disorder. Her diagnosis came out in 2001 and in her own words, she claims to have “lived in denial and isolation” for many years before finally seeking the help she needed.
She finally surrounded herself with positive people, got the treatment she needed, and is back to making her beloved music, many of them chartbusters.
#2. Kurt Cobain
If you’ve heard MTV’s most famous track you know Kurt Cobain, founder of Nirvana and its lead singer/songwriter. He’s often been seen as the poster boy for many mental illnesses especially since his suicide at the age of 27.
During his lifetime Kurt struggled strongly with substance abuse and also developed a heroin addiction in the years close to his demise. He found a way to channel the trauma and torment he’d experienced growing up in Washington into his music creating a genre of rock known as grunge. Sadly, he lost the battle with his mind in the prime of his youth leaving his fans bereft.
#3. Russell Brand
If you’re familiar with his comedic exploits often characterized by bursts of energy, you’ll be shocked to hear this might’ve been mania in action. Russell Brand is a globally famous English comedian, actor, and activist with a history of substance abuse.
He’s been quite open about his battle with Bipolar disorder, actually making it a feature of his persona which you might observe in his comedy routines.
#4. Carrie Fisher
You might know her as Princess Leia from the Star Wars franchise. Carrie Fisher was an award-winning American actress who also suffered from Bipolar disorder. She was diagnosed at the age of 24 and fell into crippling drug addiction.
During her time in rehab, Carrie wrote her famous 1987 novel, Postcards from the Edge, which many consider as the result of her near-death encounter when she almost overdosed on drugs.
#5. Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson is an American Actor, film director, producer, and screenwriter best known for his lead roles in action movies like Mad Max and Braveheart. Mel Gibson’s on-screen performances have always been brilliant but here’s a little-known fact. His colleagues were never too pleased with him and his character. Most felt he was difficult to work with.
In a 2008 documentary, he opened up about his struggle with Bipolar Disorder and its effect on his career and personal life.
#6. Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato is a beloved Disney star, actress, and singer known for her role in the Disney musical Camp Rock as well as its sequel. Very little was known about her personal life until MTV aired a documentary about her professional and personal struggles.
In 2010 she checked into a clinic to deal with her substance addiction as well as a proclivity for self-harm which was right after her Disney show ended.
#7. Jimi Hendrix
Arguably the greatest guitarist and rock-legend of all time Jimi Hendrix was no stranger to Bipolar disorder which in most cases and Jimi’s was combined with substance abuse. His personal life was overshadowed by his fame and talent but as a young adult, he was expelled from high school, was party to car theft, and later joined and was discharged from the army.
He wrote a song about his mental illness called “manic depression” to express the depths of his daily struggle. Like Cobain, he too died young at 27 after overdosing on barbiturates.
#8. Ernest Hemingway
I wanted a prestigious novelist to make this list as well so that it’s known even the most lucid thinkers and storytellers among us are not exempt from mental illness. This Nobel prize-winning author had been prone to mania and depressive behavior his whole life.
Despite that, he wrote countless stories that were much larger than his life although after growing obsessed with the idea of death he took his own life by gunshot in 1961.
#9. Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra was synonymous with class and composure by virtue of his on-stage performance. His songs and lyrics generally proclaimed the ecstasy and beauty of life, love, and relationships but little was it known how drastically his mood would shift off the stage.
Sinatra had a legendary temper and an equally legendary tendency for charitable acts, a duality accentuating Bipolar. Nonetheless, his popularity was always at its peak and he went on to sell over 150 million records.
#10. Winston Churchill
Britain’s two-time and arguably shrewdest Prime Minister, famous for his stalwart command of Britain during the second world war, Winston Churchill was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder during his middle age.
He referred to the consequent depressive periods as his “black dog” but made the best of his situation by working on sleepless nights. It takes a person tough as nails to capitalize on the misfortune of having Bipolar, but now we know even our leaders might very well be one of the affected. Churchill went on to win the Nobel Prize in literature in 1953.
The Bottom Line
Despite its harsh realities there is still hope for people struggling with Bipolar disorder. There is always a way to control it, such as taking a medication like Ketamine, which is good for several kinds of mental health illness. Check Ketamine Clinics nearby and learn more information before using.
You also need to remember that having Bipolar does not mean you are broken. You are in fact stronger than most of us out there because you battle your mind daily and that requires immense courage. Stories of these famous people with bipolar disorder should also give you some inspiration.