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Bipolar Disorder and the Famous

Celebrities and bipolar disorder

Kurt Cobain - Bipolar MusicianKurt Cobain (1967-1994) American “Grunge” Musician – diagnosed with bipolar disorder and known drug abuse, suicide from self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Bipolar disorder can be a devastating disease.  Some people might also claim it is a gift in a sense.  There are a lot of famous people with bipolar disorder – and a lot more who are suspected of having it but have never been diagnosed – or just haven’t admitted it.

Kay Redfield Jamison is one of the most well-known people with bipolar disorder as she has been a pioneer in removing the stigma associated with the disease – and other mental health disorders.  Jamison is the author of the book Touched with Fire which has had resonance with people around the world, but she isn’t the only one.

People alive today that are known to have bipolar disorder

  •  Adam Ant (musician)
  • Russell Brand (comedian, actor)
  • Patricia Cornwell (author)
  • Richard Dreyfus (actor)
  • Patty Duke (actress)
  • Carrie Fisher (actress, author)
  • Mel Gibson (actor, director)
  • Linda Hamilton (actress)
  • Jesse Jackson Jr. (politician)
  • Margot Kidder (actress)
  • Debra LaFave (schoolteacher convicted for having sexual relations with student)
  • Jane Pauley (journalist)
  • Axl Rose (musician)
  • Britney Spears (singer-songwriter)
  • Ted Turner (media mogul)
  • Robin Williams (comedian, actor)
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones (actress)

Deceased

  • Kurt Cobain (musician, songwriter)
  • Ernest Hemingway (author)
  • Margeux Hemingway (actress, granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway)
  • Abbie Hoffman (activist)
  • Vivien Leigh (actress)
  • Marilyn Monroe (actress)
  • Sylvia Plath (poet)
  • Edgar Allan Poe (poet, author)
  • Jackson Pollock (artist)
  • Frank Sinatra (musician, actor)
  • Brian Wilson (musician)
  • Amy Winehouse (musician)
  • Virginia Woolf (writer)

This is only a short list of those who are known to have bipolar disorder as there are many more – and many more than that is suspect, including some who are alive today.  Mostly these are celebrities – known as bipolar only because they are famous.  We can guess who might have bipolar disorder through the news stories about repeated brushes with the law involving drug and alcohol abuse and bizarre behavior.  We can also look at the list of the deceased and see how many of those have died through suicide.

It seems that there are an abnormal amount of celebrities with bipolar disorder – or that more people with bipolar disorder are celebrities.  It is doubtful that either case is true, simply that the bipolar person is a “shiner” – usually amazing in their accomplishments at the best of times, and tremendously tragic at the worst of times.

In many cases, we learn of a famous case of bipolar disorder when a celebrity has a notorious (or repeated) encounter with the law – often involving alcohol or drug abuse.  Also in many cases, these encounters will continue until the person is diagnosed, incarcerated or dead – or a combination of these events.
Substance abuse and bipolar disorder often go hand-in-hand – whether this is because the person is self-medicating or because their brain tells them the rush is good.  Many people – not just celebrities “hide” behind substance abuse as an excuse for wild and unusual behavior.  Think of the celebrities who have gone on very public benders, breaking into houses, repeated visits to jail, long and dangerous rants in public, lewd and dangerous behavior.  This is not normal– even for a drunk.

It is a sad fact that substance abuse is more readily accepted today than a mental disorder – but it is.

Think about that the next time you hear of a celebrity doing something heinous – or a series of something’s heinous – or a celebrity committing suicide.

The Last 48 Hours of Kurt Cobain

Abuse, bizarre behavior and bipolar disorder often go hand-in-hand.

Drugs, Alcohol, Depression — A Deadly Mixture

Avoid drugs and alcohol completely if you are depressed

Depression is an extremely serious illness that requires treatment. Without treatment, depression can, and often does, lead to suicide or, at the very least, attempted suicide.
Unfortunately, many people do not seek treatment and instead turn to “self-medicating” with drugs and alcohol.

People who suffer from depression do not enjoy it. They are not just trying to get attention. They really do want to feel better — unfortunately, however, they can’t see a way to do that. Then, if they use drugs or alcohol, they have a brief period where they are feeling better — while the drugs or alcohol are in effect.

BecDepressed and Drunkause they really do want to feel better, and they have experienced feeling better with the drugs or alcohol, they will often use the drug of booze over and over again to either maintain or re-experience “feeling good again.” Unfortunately, this leads to huge problems.

Obviously, addiction and other health concerns come into play with the use of alcohol or drugs. But these substances can also increase the risk of suicidal attempts — and successes, as well. Alcohol is a depressant — not an antidepressant.

It is true that when one starts drinking, they feel a “buzz” of sorts, but as they continue to drink, the alcohol will actually bring them down even further, from a mental viewpoint. The buzz quickly passes — but when they look back at it, all they either remember or allow themselves to think about is that brief buzzed feeling. The same is true with many drugs.

But once the “buzz” has passed, and the drunkenness or drugged state progresses, the depression actually deepens. In a drunken or drugged state, the person may not be able to see any bit of hope, and they are more likely to try to commit suicide.

If you are depressed, avoid drugs and alcohol completely. Talk to your doctor, and get the rundown on how these substances, as well as other substances, may affect your depression, and hinder your treatment.

If one is in a depressed state; avoid alcohol and drugs!