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Famous People With Bipolar Disorder

Updated April 3, 2020 1.5m views63 items

List RulesNotable celebrities diagnosed or suspected of having bipolar disorder or manic depression

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a mental illness that is classified as a mood disorder. People who suffer from bipolar disorder experience elevated moods alternating with episodes of depression. Bipolar disorder has varying levels of severity and in really severe cases there is a risk of suicide and self-harm. Like all mental illnesses, it does not discriminate based on fame, money, and privilege. Despite their success and esteem, many actresses and other stars suffer from the disorder. 

Who is the most famous person with bipolar disorder? Marilyn Monroe suffered from mood swings and depression. She used pills and alcohol to self medicate. Unfortunately, bipolar disorder has contributed to the deaths of several famous people including Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse and Virginia Woolf.

Some of the world's greatest writers have suffered from bipolar disorder. Ernest Hemingway was given shock therapy to treat his illness. Fellow authors Jack London, Charles Dickens and Edgar Allen Poe were all believed to suffer from bipolar disorder. Some people turn their struggle with bipolar disorder into comedy, like Maria Bamford and Forgetting Sarah Marshall star Russell Brand.

What do you think of all of the famous people who suffer from bipolar disorder? 

  • In April 2020, Selena Gomez reunited with Miley Cyrus on Cyrus's Instagram show Bright Minded, where she opened up about recently being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She said, "I went to one of the best mental hospitals in America, McLean Hospital, and I discussed that after years of going through a lot of different things, I realized that I was bipolar. And so when I got to know more information, it actually helps me. It doesn’t scare me once I know it." 

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    • While many people have armchair-diagnosed rapper Kanye West with a host of mental illnesses, it wasn't until he released his eighth album, ye, on June 1, 2018, that he officially addressed a diagnosis. The album art features scrawling text that says, "I hate being Bi-Polar its awesome."

      On the track "Yikes," West raps, "That's what I'm talkin' 'bout, That why I f*ck with Ye, That's my third person, That's my bipolar sh*t, n**** what? That's what superpower, n**** ain't no disability, I'm a superhero! I'm a superhero!"

      West also touches on other mental health tribulations, like suicidal thoughts, on the album's first track, "I Thought About Killing You," and he subtly mentions his hospitalization in 2016 on "Yikes," saying, "Every time something happen, they want me sent to mental, We got an incident but I cover incidentals."

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      • Carrie Fisher on 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. 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."

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        • Photo: Featureflash / Shutterstock
          Mel Gibson was diagnosed with severe bipolar disorder at a time when he was engaged in a custody dispute with Oksana Grigorieva.  Gibson was recorded yelling, ranting, and making death threats to Grigorieva during that time.

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