According to data from the DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance), about 5.7 million Americans suffer from bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disorder is a form of mental illness that results in mood swings, whereby one can go from being so energetic and optimistic about life to being unmotivated and depressed the next moment. Numerous high profile individuals have come out in public to admit that they have been diagnosed with the condition which was once known as manic depression. At the age of 200, Demi Lovato was diagnosed with the condition after struggling with bulimia and drug addiction which ultimately led to her going to rehab. Here is our list of 20 bipolar celebrities.
20. Maria Bamford
First on our list of bipolar celebrities is Maria Bamford, who is best known for her stand up comedy skits which usually revolve around the portrayal of her dysfunctional family. For most of her life, Maria Bamford has been suicidal, and it wasn’t until she was in her 40’s that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Fortunately, she is undergoing treatment, and she has been able to manage the condition.
19. Linda Hamilton
Linda Hamilton is best known for her portrayal of Sarah Connor on the TV series, Terminator. She is one of the most prominent female actors in Hollywood, but despite her successful career, she has gone through hell, struggling with bipolar disorder that has gone undiagnosed for a larger part of her life. She recounts being caught by her parents beating up a puppy ruthlessly using a stick and how she hated looking like her twin sister. Despite her big break in Hollywood, she struggled with the disorder and turned to drugs and self-medicated cocaine. Her condition even threatened her marriage with James Cameron. Her children gave her the strength to overcome manic depression almost when she was losing everything she treasured in her life, including family.
18. Sinead O’Connor
Born from a Roman Catholic background, Sinead O’Connor rose to fame after her song, “Nothing Compares 2 U,” was named the best song at the Billboard Music Awards in 19990. However, things have not always been smooth for the Irish singer and songwriter. YEars back, fans were concerned about her mental condition after posting a video saying she feels alone and suicidal. For much of her adult life, she has struggled with bipolar disorder and fibromyalgia.
17. Ted Turner
Despite being diagnosed with bipolar, Ted Turner turned out to be a brilliant entrepreneur. He is well known as the founder of the American Cable News Network, CNN. His philanthropic side is also well documented, and his $1 billion gift to the UN is just one of the examples. After the dissolution of his third marriage in 2001, Ted Turner had contemplated suicide. His father had also committed suicide 50 years earlier.
16. Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse was well known for her deep soulful voice, and being the first British woman to win five Grammy Awards, she is arguably one of the best British musicians ever. On 23rd July 2011, she died of alcohol poisoning at the tender age of 17. Before her death, she had bipolar disorder and substance abuse for a long time. Unfortunately, she is not known to have received any treatment for her bipolar disorder. Although it is easy for people to say that she couldn’t have been saved, and hence she might have been written off by people around her. However, dual diagnosis would have likely worked for her to help her cope with negative feelings of insecurity.
Halsey was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she was 17 years old. In 2015, she disclosed in an interview with Elle that one of her main weaknesses with bipolar was that she felt so empathetic of everything around her. Recently, she posted a series of tweets aimed at showing support for other people with the disorder. She has also done a YouTube video of where she opens up about living with the condition from the time she was diagnosed.
14. Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain was diagnosed with ADD (attention deficit disorder) at a young age, and by the time he was a teenager, he was then diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Kurt Cobain was never comfortable with the idea of being the lead singer for Nirvana, and his troubles were attributed to his rise to fame from a proud indie rock rebel. When Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994 at the age of 27, one of her cousins by the name of Beverly Cobain thought it was a wake-up call to her and her family since Kurt was the third person from the same family to commit suicide.
13. Brian Wilson
With nine albums and 16 singles under his name, the leader of the Beach Boys never knew about his bipolar disorder until he got a panic attack on an aeroplane in 1964 that led him to stop touring. The disorder nearly robbed him of his career since, for a long time, he couldn’t sing nor compose music due to the condition.
12. Selena Gomez
After years of going through different things, Selena Gomez checked in to McClean Hospital and was diagnosed with bipolar. According to the singer, she sought to get more information about the disease to know how to handle it. Apart from being bipolar, Selena Gomez has talked about her anxiety attacks which she has learnt how to manage by staying away from social media and all the negativity that it brings.Through the Rare Impact Fund and her cosmetic line Rare Beauty, Selena Gomez has endeavoured to raise $100 million over the next decade to cater for the underserved communities who need mental health services.
11. Jean Claude Van Damme
This Belgian actor and mixed martial artist started learning karate at the age of 10 before he earned his black belt eight years later. In 1988, Jean Claude Van Damme got his big break as the lead actor in the film, Bloodsport. He later starred in numerous films including, Cyborg, Universal Soldier, Double Impact and Street Fighter. His muscles have endured numerous battles not only on screen but due to the fact that he has rapid cycling bipolar. His diagnosis allowed him to get medications and become more aware of the destructive behaviours brought about by the disease.
10. Catherine Zeta-Jones
This incredible Wales actress has won numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, Tony Awards, and three awards from the Screen Actors Guild. She has appeared in several major films including, The Terminal, The Mask of Zorro, and Entrapment. Catherine Zeta-Jones has been married to Michael Douglas since 2010 and has battled stress as a result of tongue cancer. She was later diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder. Although she has never wanted to become a poster child for the condition, Catherine Zeta-Jones did come out publicly and disclose her condition. In April 2013, she checked into a 30day programme to help her manage the disorder.
9. David LaChapelle
David LaChapelle is one of the most iconic photographers of our time. His most famous works have appeared in some of the most popular magazines globally, such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stones. La Chapelle is bipolar and has always looked after his mental health without turning to drugs.
8. Frank Sinatra
At the time of his death, Frank Sinatra is estimated to have had a net worth of $200 million. He is viewed by many as one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. What many people do not know is that Frank Sinatra had bipolar disorder. In fact, he usually referred to himself as 18-carat-manic depressive. He was moody, drank heavily, and had a great sense of entitlement from being a celebrity. His suicide attempts are well documented, and people say that he was his own worst enemy.
7. Russell Brand
Russell Brand shot into the limelight back in 2004 as host for Big Brother’s Big Mouth. His first significant role in film came in 2007 when he was cast for St Trinian’s before landing a role in the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Russel Brand is a man who knows how bad things can get if one has the bipolar condition. He made controversial remarks at one time, which ultimately led to him losing his job at MTV and BBC. In addition, his marriage with Kate Perry lasted less than two years. In his book, he has outlined his struggles with drug addiction which can be linked to bipolar disorder.
6. Demi Lovato
In 2012, MTV aired a documentary about Demi Lovato’s struggles with bipolar disorder. This was one year after she had gone public about his diagnosis. In the MTV documentary titled, Stay Strong, Demi Lovato opens up about her condition to help other people living with the condition. According to her, the diagnosis of bipolar disorder helped to explain some of her erratic decisions, such as punching a backup dancer while on tour.
5. Mel Gibson
With over 43 appearances in different films, Mel Gibson is one of those actors who can basically fit in any kind of movie. In a documentary from the year 2008, Mel Gibson alluded to his bipolar disorder. His film career began in 1976 as an actor in the Australian drama Tv series, The Sullivans. He received a ten minute standing ovation in 2016 following the release of the movie Hacksaw Ridge. He also directed and produced the Biblical drama film Passion of Christ. With two Academy Award nominations, it’s safe to say that Mel Gibson has managed his bipolar disorder well.
4. Bebe Rexha
In April 2020, Bebe Rexha tweeted to her followers that she had been diagnosed with bipolar condition. In the opening song from her debut album, Better Mistakes, she acknowledges that she has the condition and that she is constantly dealing with it. It wasn’t the first time she talked about her condition in her music. In 2016 on the song, “I’m a Mess”, Bebe Rexha touched on the subject. Upon learning of her condition, Bebe Rexha describes getting what she calls a breakdown which made her fearful since she didn’t want to think that something was wrong with her.
3. Carrie Fisher
We all know and love Princess Leia from Star Wars, and it is no secret that Carrie Fisher struggled with drugs and alcohol problems. It is very difficult to diagnose bipolar disorder in someone who suffers from drug and substance abuse. After a year of quitting drugs, Carrie Fisher was diagnosed with the condition. She later became a mental health advocate and lived to fight the lingering stigma surrounding bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder can run through families, and Carrie Fisher’s father was a victim of the condition.
2. Kanye West
After some episodes of erratic behaviour from her then-husband Kanye West, Kim Kardashian was concerned that the rapper was going through a maniac period after he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder back in 2016. At one time, Kanye West announced that he was running for president of the US and a few days later, he was being overly dramatic in an interview with Forbes magazine where he dished out some unusual statements. In an interview with Vogue magazine, Kim Kardashian revealed that her then-husband struggled to accept that he had the condition and instead told people that he was just sleep-deprived. However, he later accepted his diagnosis, and things became much better between him and Kim Kardashian.
1. Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey is one of the greatest female pop artists of all time, and she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2001. Despite the diagnosis, Mariah Carey initially lived in denial and isolation before accepting her condition and finally getting treatment. It was a little too late, though, as she had already incurred serious professional and relationship issues which could have probably been eased off had she sought treatment earlier. After seeking professional help and therapy, Mariah Carey was able to get back her music career on track and release more great hits.