Bipolar disorder (once known as manic depression or manic-depressive disorder) is a mental illness marked by extreme mood swings from low to high, and from high to low.
Episodes of mood swings may occur multiple times a year or rarely.
An estimated 5.9 million adult Americans are affected by bipolar disorder every year.
The average age of onset is 20 for both women and men.
List of 20 Famous People With Bipolar Disorder:
#1 Catherine Zeta-Jones
She is an Academy Award-winning Welsh actress who is best known for films like ‘Chicago” and ”Traffic.”
Also, for her role in Chicago, Catherine won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
In 2013, Catherine Zeta-Jones announced she was seeking treatment for bipolar disorder.
#2 Mariah Carey
She is regarded as one of the most prominent songwriters and singers of the 21st century. Mariah rose to prominence in 1990 after releasing her self-titled debut studio album, ”Mariah Carey.”
Moreover, she has been married and divorced twice in her life.
“Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me.
It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn’t do that anymore,” she says in 2001 to People after receiving her bipolar diagnosis.
Mariah added – ”I sought and received treatment, I put positive people around me and I got back to doing what I love — writing songs and making music.”
#3 Jean-Claude Van Damme
He is a Belgian martial artist, actor, screenwriter, director, and film producer, who is best known for his martial arts action films.
Van Damme became well known for his role in the movie ”Double Impact.”
Jean-Claude Van Damme was diagnosed with rapid-cycling bipolar. He told E! Online:
“You just have to take a little salt, and since I’m doing that it’s, like, BOOM! In one week, I felt it kick in.”
Van Damme later added:
”All the commotion around me, all the water around me, moving left and right around me, became like a lake.”
#4 Kanye West
He is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur who became additional celebrity fodder with his marriage to Kim Kardashian.
During an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Kanye West said:
“There are some cases of bipolar where people go low, I’m one that goes high.”
#5 Kurt Cobain
He was an American songwriter, singer, and musician, who is best known as the frontman of the rock band Nirvana.
Cobain was joined by bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl in Nirvana.
Kurt Cobain was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder, however, he didn’t follow treatment, according to Kurt Kobain’s cousin, Bev Cobain.
In 1994, Cobain committed suicide at his Seattle home.
He is an English actor, comedian, author, radio host, and activist who became known for his offbeat acting style in ”Get Him to the Greek” and ”Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”
Brand got married to singer Katy Perry in 2010.
Russel Brand has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and ADHD. Interestingly, he often references being bipolar in his writing and performances.
#7 Keisha Castle-Hughes
She is a New Zealand actress who rose to prominence for playing in the film Whale Rider. Additionally, Keisha was nominated for an Academy Award for best actress for her performance.
“My name is Keisha Castle-Hughes and I am proud to tell you all that I have bipolar disorder,” wrote Keisha Castle-Hughes on her Facebook page in 2014.
#8 Ray Davies
He is an English songwriter, singer, and musician who was the rhythm guitarist, lead singer, and the main songwriter for the ”Kinks.”
Furthermore, he wrote hits such as “Lola” and “You Really Got Me” which earned the group a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Author Johnny Rogan, in his biography, “Ray Davies: A Complicated Life,” reports that Ray Davies was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1973 after he attempted suicide.
#9 Jane Pauley
She is an American author and television journalist who has been involved in news reporting since 1972.
Jane Pauley is also the anchor of ”CBS Sunday Morning.”
Jane Pauley wrote an autobiography, “Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue,” that included her experience with bipolar disorder.
#10 Sinead O’Connor
She is an Irish singer-songwriter who rose to fame in the late 1980s with her album ”The Lion and the Cobra.”
Bob Dylan was a strong influence on her songwriting.
In 2007, Sinead O’Connor told Oprah Winfrey that before her diagnosis she had struggled with thoughts of overwhelming fear and suicide.
#11 David Harbour
He is an American actor who is best known for his role as local police chief Jim Hopper in ”Stranger Things,” that earned him a Critics’ Choice Television Award.
David Harbour said on his WTF podcast:
“The funny thing about my particular brain or mental illness is every time that I’ve had an episode like that, it’s always coupled with spirituality.”
#12 Amy Winehouse
She was an English songwriter and singer who was known for her expressive contralto vocals.
Amy suffered from bipolar disorder and used alcohol and drugs to self-medicate.
On July 23, 2011, Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning at the age of 27.
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#13 Mel Gibson
He is an American-born Australian actor who became an international star with several action-adventure films.
Mel wrote and directed The Passion of the Christ.
In a 2008 documentary, Mel Gibson said he had bipolar disorder.
#14 Stephen Fry
He is a British actor, radio personality, comedian, journalist, and radio personality who first gained recognition for collaborating with Hugh Laurie in the comedy duo ”Fry and Laurie.”
Stephen Fry said during an interview:
“But for the first time, I had a diagnosis that explains the massive highs and miserable lows I’ve lived with all my life.”
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#15 Patty Duke
She was an American actress, appearing on film, stage, and television.
In 1963, Duke won an Academy Award at age 16 for her portrayal of Helen Keller in ”The Miracle Worker.”
Patty Duke has written two autobiographical books about her bipolar disorder.
#16 Demi Lovato
She is an American songwriter, singer, and actress who is starred in popular TV series and youth films.
Lovato began playing piano at the age of seven.
Demi Lovato was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she entered rehab at age 22.
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#17 Vivien Leigh
She was an English stage and film actress who achieved film immortality by playing Blanche DuBois and Scarlett O’Hara.
”Leigh was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and her unpredictable behavior eventually ruined her professional reputation and destroyed her marriage to Olivier,” said her friend Sheridan Morley in a BBC documentary.
Sheridan Morley added – “In her day there were no pills, there were no publicists, there were no clinics, there was nobody between Vivien Leigh and an outside world that she found hostile, chilly, and sometimes, because of her mental state, could not cope with.”
#18 Patrick Kennedy
He is an American mental health advocate and politician who served as a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives.
Patrick Kennedy disclosed his diagnosis of bipolar disorder in the late 1990s.
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#19 Carrie Fisher
She was an American writer, actress, and comedian who is best known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars films.
Carrie Fisher said about her experience with bipolar disorder:
“I’m fine, but I’m bipolar. I’m on seven medications, and I take medication three times a day.”
Fisher also said:
”This constantly puts me in touch with the illness I have. I’m never quite allowed to be free of that for a day. It’s like being a diabetic.”
On December 27, 2016, Carrie Fisher died at the age of 60.
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#20 Frank Sinatra
He was an American actor, singer, and producer who won a supporting actor Oscar for ”From Here to Eternity.”
Having sold over 152 million records worldwide, Sinatra is one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
J Randy Taraborrelli wrote in his biography on ”Ol’ Blue Eyes”:
“Frank described himself as ‘an 18-carat manic depressive.’”
Taraborrelli also wrote:
”He was a moody, bipolar, difficult man who drank heavily, with a sense of entitlement twisted by celebrity.”
On May 14, 1998, Frank died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 82.
Featured image credit – Getty Images
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