Bipolar disorder – formerly known as manic depression – is characterized by extreme mood swings that include mania and depression. About one to two percent of the population has this disorder and, obviously, this includes celebrities. While some celebrities have been quite open about their struggles with the disorder, others only allude to it. We have a list of 11 celebrities that have bipolar disorder, as well as some details about their experience with it.
11. Mel Gibson
In the 2008 documentary “Acting Class of 1977,” Mel Gibson admitted to being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. “I had really good highs but some very low lows. I found out recently I’m manic depressive.” Gibson had been interviewed in 2002 by one of his National Institute of Dramatic Arts classmates for the documentary; however, other than that, he hasn’t said much about his experience with the disorder.
10. Sinead O’Connor
Sinead O’Connor openly discussed her diagnosis as bipolar on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 2007. O’Connor had received her diagnosis at the age of 37 after having attempted suicide on her 33rd birthday.
9. Catherine Zeta Jones
In 2011, Catherine Zeta Jones publicly admitted to receiving treatment for bipolar II disorder. According to Jones, although she has struggled with the illness for years, her husband’s diagnosis with throat cancer triggered it for her. “When you get sideswiped like that (with Michael Douglas’s illness) it’s an obvious trigger for your balance to be a little off — not sleeping, worry, stress. It’s a classic trigger,” Jones said.
8. Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller reportedly admitted to having bipolar disorder. Apparently he kept losing his temper on the set of “Zoolander” and blamed his outbursts on his diagnosis. “I have not been an easygoing guy. I think it’s called bipolar manic depression. I’ve got a rich history of that in my family. I’m not proud of the fact that I lost my temper. Sometimes you just f*ck up,” Stiller said.
7. Richard Dreyfuss
Richard Dreyfuss has struggled with bipolar disorder since childhood. According to Dreyfuss, he spent many years on a roller coaster ride of extreme highs and devastating lows and it was until he received counseling and found the right medications that he was able to find stability and stop feeling guilt.
6. Ashley Judd
For years, Ashley Judd claimed to suffer from depression; however, it wasn’t until recently that she confirmed that she actually suffers from bipolar disorder. Although bipolar disorder has disrupted many aspects of Judd’s life, she still reached success as an actress and she is now seeking the same kind of success in a career in politics.
5. Linda Hamilton
Linda Hamilton has struggled with bipolar disorder for much of her life, but it wasn’t until the ‘90s that she was diagnosed. Hamilton found the right balance of medications and also gave up drugs and alcohol and has been stable since; however, her memories of the disorder are still vivid. “The lows were absolutely horrible. It was like falling into a manhole and not being able to lift the lid and climb out,” Hamilton has said.
4. Carrie Fisher
Carrie Fisher has spoken openly about her struggles with drugs, alcohol and bipolar disorder and, to this day, she admits she still struggles to manage it. Fisher recalls the beauty of mania with great detail. “Mania starts off fun, not sleeping for days, keeping company with your brain, which has become a wonderful computer, showing 24 TV channels all about you,” she said. “That goes horribly wrong after awhile.”
3. Russell Brand
Russell Brand has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder and he has been quite open about his struggles with depression, bulimia, cutting, drugs and sex addiction. “I know that I have dramatically changing moods, and I know sometimes I feel really depressed, but I think that’s just life,” Brand has said.
2. Pete Wentz
Pete Wentz has been taking medication for bipolar disorder since he was 18. In 2005, Wentz attempted suicide by taking an excessive amount of Ativan. He wound up in the hospital for a week as a result. “I was isolating myself further and further, and the more I isolated myself, the more isolated I’d feel. I wasn’t sleeping. I just wanted my head to shut off, like, I just wanted to completely stop thinking about anything at all,” Wentz told Rolling Stone Magazine.
1. Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato is one of the few celebrities who has been outspoken about her struggles with bipolar disorder; however,it was not until she went to rehab for her struggles with anorexia, bulimia, cutting and drug addiction that Demi received her diagnosis. “Looking back it makes sense. There were times when I was so manic, I was writing seven songs in one night and I’d be up until 5:30 in the morning,” Lovato told People.