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12 Celebrities with Bipolar Disorder

Several celebrities have openly discussed their experiences with bipolar disorder. Learn how celebrities like Selena Gomez, Mariah Carey, and others have dealt with the illness.

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness marked by debilitating mood swings that continue for days or weeks at a time. A manic or hypomanic episode causes a person to feel unnaturally cheerful, energetic, or irritable, whereas a depressed episode causes a person to feel profoundly down and empty (known as a depressive episode). Bipolar disease affects over 3% of Americans, therefore it’s not unexpected that some persons with the illness are well-known.

Many people try to claim diagnoses from afar or propagate stories about unpredictable conduct, making it impossible to confirm if prominent persons have bipolar disorder. Several celebrities, on the other hand, have spoken out about their experiences with bipolar disorder, helping to encourage more compassionate and patient-centered discussions regarding bipolar disorder and mental illness.

1. Selena Gomez, Actress and Singer

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Selena Gomez, who rose to popularity on the television show Wizards of Waverly Place, disclosed she suffers from bipolar disorder in April 2020.

In a 2020 interview with Elle, Gomez said, “Recently, I went to one of the best mental health hospitals in America, McLean Hospital [affiliated with Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts], and I discussed how, after years of going through a lot of different things, I realized I was bipolar.” “It actually helps me when I have more information.” It doesn’t bother me when I’m aware of it.”

“I had a great weight lifted off my shoulders when I found out,” Gomez stated in a 2021 interview with Elle. “I could take a long breath and say, ‘Alright, that explains everything.'”

Gomez, who was diagnosed with lupus in 2014, has previously spoken out about her anxiety and despair. The “Lose You to Love Me” singer now wants to normalize mental health dialogues with her WonderMind platform, which she cofounded in 2021 with her mother, Mandy Teefy, and Danielle Pierson, CEO of The Newsette.

2. Ye (Kanye West), Rapper

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Ye, who was previously known as Kanye West until officially changing his name, is widely regarded as one of the most influential rappers of all time, having won 22 Grammy Awards to date.

The Grammy-winning rapper opened out about his experience with bipolar disorder in a 2019 interview with David Letterman. “When I’m ramping up, I sense a stronger connection to the cosmos.” “It’s a medical concern,” Ye explained.

He compared his bipolar disorder to “having a sprained brain,” comparable to having a sprained ankle. “You’re not going to push someone who has a sprained ankle any harder. When our brain sprains, people do everything they can to make it worse,” Ye explained to Letterman.

Despite his achievements, Ye has sparked debate on several occasions. According to Good Morning America, he’s had a series of public and online outbursts that his loved ones have previously blamed on his bipolar disorder.

His most recent social media rants were about his ex-wife, reality TV star Kim Kardashian, and her new relationship with Saturday Night Live comic Pete Davidson, which began in late 2021. It’s unclear whether Ye’s current actions are linked to his bipolar disease. According to ET, Ye then informed Kardashian that as a result of his behavior, he planned on “moving away to get assistance.”

3. Mariah Carey, Singer-Songwriter

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Mariah Carey confessed she has been suffering from bipolar 2 condition for nearly two decades in a 2018 interview with People. The platinum-selling singer told People that she “didn’t want to believe” the diagnosis when she was first diagnosed in 2001 after being hospitalized for a mental and physical breakdown.

However, the stress of hiding her disease and living in continuous fear of being exposed, as well as a particularly trying two years that included a failed engagement to business billionaire James Packer, pushed Carey to seek therapy and eventually reveal her tale. She’s now under treatment for bipolar 2 condition, which causes mood swings between sadness and hypomania but isn’t as severe as bipolar 1.

Carey, who already has 18 No. 1 singles under her belt, said she is in a “very happy place” and is surrounded by positive people, including her 11-year-old twins Monroe and Moroccan. She’s also pursuing her passion for songwriting and music production. “I’m hoping we can get to a point where people going through things alone are no longer stigmatized. It can be quite lonely “she said to People.

4. Pete Wentz, Bassist for Fall Out Boy

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Pete Wentz is a member of the award-winning rock band Fall Out Boy, which is known for singles like “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” and “Dance, Dance.” However, throughout the band’s early years, Wentz struggled behind the scenes.

Wentz characterized his twenties as a particularly rough time in a 2015 SiriusXM interview with Howard Stern. He revealed that while on tour with Fall Out Boy, he was self-medicating to deal with what he subsequently realized were bipolar symptoms.

According to MTV News, Wentz told Stern, “My highs, my happiness are incredibly high and my lows are really low, and I’m not able to control between the two.” “Through actual therapy and having children, it’s a lot more under control, which I can see when I’m on the roller coaster and can regulate it better.”

Wentz said he also seeks support from his family. In 2018, he told People, “Living with purpose and having a schedule with my family has brought me balance.” “I think it’s different for everyone, but being able to talk things out, meditate, and exercise has been beneficial for me.”

5. Carrie Fisher, Actress

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Carrie Fisher’s iconic performance as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy made her a cultural icon. She suffered with drug and alcohol addictions as a result of her traumatic childhood. Fisher was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she was 24 years old, a diagnosis she refused until she was 28 years old, when she had a drug overdose and vowed to stay sober, according to Scientific American. “Only then did I realize that nothing else could account for my actions,” she stated.

She eventually came to grips with her situation and went on to write popular books like Postcards From the Edge and Surrender the Pink. Fisher’s decision to stay in therapy stemmed from the impact of her bipolar disease on her connection with her daughter. “Prior to having a child, I truly believed it was my choice whether or not to take my prescriptions,” she told bpHope. “I no longer believe that.”

6. Jean-Claude Van Damme, Actor and Kickboxer

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Jean-Claude Van Damme, a Belgian kickboxer, has appeared in a number of action films, including Bloodsport, Sudden Death, and Universal Soldier. Van Damme’s personal life was collapsing as his cinematic career took off. He was divorced four times, accused of domestic abuse, and had a cocaine addiction.

Van Damme was subsequently diagnosed with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, which entails at least four mood episodes in a year, according to CBS News. Van Damme claimed he relied on training to deal with his symptoms before being identified.

7. Linda Hamilton, Actress

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Linda Hamilton is most recognized for her roles in Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, where she played Sarah Connor. She also starred in the Disney Channel original series Beauty and the Beast. Despite her increasing professional success, she was self-medicating with drugs and alcohol, and her bipolar symptoms had a negative impact on many marriages.

Hamilton, according to AP Radio, struggled with bipolar disorder symptoms for 20 years before being diagnosed, a period she refers to as her “lost years.” She was first concerned that treatment would impair her abilities, but she is now on medication and open about her problem.

“Somebody has to come out and make it okay for people to talk about it, receive assistance, and use the resources,” Hamilton told AP Radio.

8. Sinéad O’Connor, Singer-Songwriter

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In the late 1980s and 1990s, Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor made headlines with her Grammy-winning songs and rebellious attitude. However, as her celebrity developed in her twenties, so did her mental health issues.

O’Connor’s symptoms deteriorated over time, including suicide thoughts, until she was diagnosed with bipolar illness in 2003. In 2007, she spoke candidly about her situation on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

“Every pore in your body is crying, and you have no idea why or what,” O’Connor said to Winfrey. “As a result of taking the medicines and having an opportunity to, you know, establish a life, I kind of died and became born again.”

According to People, O’Connor, who also has PTSD and borderline personality disorder, revealed in 2020 that she would be undergoing a year-long trauma and addiction treatment program. In an interview with People, she commented regarding her trauma: “It’s impossible to know what would set off [PTSD]. I define myself as a rescue dog: I’m good until you put me in a circumstance that even slightly resembles any of the trauma I’ve experienced, at which point I’ll flip out.”

9. Jane Pauley, Television Host and Author

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Jane Pauley, a television journalist, made her network debut at the age of 25 on NBC’s Today show. She went on to work for Dateline on the network and eventually got her own talk program.

Pauley began to suffer from melancholy and mania around the age of 50. Steroids used to treat hives are likely to have triggered her symptoms, which were later diagnosed as bipolar illness. In 2019, Pauley told CBS News, “It unmasked what doctors described as a hereditary predisposition to a mood condition, and by that time I was in fairly severe difficulty.”

She also revealed an experience with bipolar stigma: after Pauley’s diagnosis, her doctor tried to hide her bipolar disorder from her employers by telling her she had thyroid issues. She utilizes such encounters to “combat stigma with sophistication,” she added.

In her bestseller memoir, Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue, Pauley chronicled her struggles with bipolar disorder.

10. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Actress

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Catherine Zeta-Jones made her film debut in the 1998 picture The Mask of Zorro, for which she won an Academy Award. She married actor Michael Douglas in 2000. In April 2011, the mother of two stated that she had sought treatment for bipolar 2 illness, which is marked by spells of hypomania (lower-intensity highs and irritability than manic episodes) and despair.

“After dealing with the stress of the previous year, Catherine decided to check into a mental health facility for a brief stay,” her publicist said in a statement to ABC News in 2011.

11. Scott Stapp, Frontman for Creed

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Scott Stapp made news in 2017 for his unpredictable conduct and alcohol and drug abuse. “In my deluded thinking,” he told People, “I assumed my family was implicated in ISIS and that millions of cash had been taken from me to promote terrorism.” “It was all bullshit. I was really insane.”

Stapp was diagnosed with bipolar disorder while in an intense program at a dual diagnosis facility. “It was difficult to digest,” he said. “There is a stigma attached to it. ‘Embrace it,’ Jaclyn [Stapp’s wife] was encouraging me. We admire you.’ It was a huge sigh of relief since we had finally gotten an answer.”

Stapp is now in intense treatment, taking medicine for his illness and participating in a 12-step program. “My sobriety is more important than anything,” he told People.

12. Virginia Woolf, Writer

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With works like Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse, English author and essayist Virginia Woolf is claimed to have pushed the boundaries of the book. Throughout her life, though, she had mood swings and breakdowns.

Her behavior is explained in the American Journal of Psychiatry: “Woolf displayed indications of bipolar disorder since the age of 13, with mood swings ranging from severe depression to manic exhilaration, as well as psychotic episodes. Psychiatry, on the other hand, had little to offer her at the moment.”

Woolf committed suicide at the age of 59. According to a review published in the August 2019 issue of Medicina, up to 20% of people with bipolar disorder die by suicide, with up to 60% attempting suicide at least once.

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