Bipolar Disorder is a lot more common than most people realize. It’s also nothing to be ashamed of. According to data provided by the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 4.4% of adults in the US will experience bipolar Disorder at some point in their lives.
Given the Disorder’s prevalence in the population, it makes sense that many famous celebrities have been diagnosed with it. In recent years, quite a few of them have started spearing out about their challengers living the condition.
Bipolar Disorder was previously known as Manic Depression. It’s a mental health condition that unfortunately, has historically come with a ton of unnecessary stigma. Just because one is diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder doesn’t mean that they are any less capable than anybody else. Many choose to cope with their condition by means of psychiatric medications, while others take a more holistic approach to managing their symptoms. Either way, celebrities with Bipolar Disorder have been able to accomplish just as much as any of their fellow Hollywood stars.
If you or someone you know is dealing with Bipolar Disorder, just know that you aren’t alone. Join Facts Verse as we discuss several Hollywood Celebrities Who Suffer from Bipolar Disorder. Perhaps after watching this video, we can begin to dismantle some of the misconceptions that we as a society have developed about mental health.
Fisher was diagnosed with bipolar Disorder when she was 24 years old, but the Star Wars actress best known for her role as Princess Leia was unable to accept that diagnosis until she was 28, when she overdosed on drugs and finally got sober.
Only then was she able to see that nothing else could explain her life-threatening and impulsive behavior. At that point, she began going to AA meetings. At those meetings, she learned that there were other people who had similar problems as she did who discovered a way to talk about them and find relief through the program.
Fisher discussed her diagnosis of bipolar disorder and substance abuse disorder when making appearances on 20/20 and The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive with Stephen Fry. It was during these interviews that she candidly revealed how she turned to drugs as a means of self-medication.
She eventually underwent electroconvulsive therapy treatment. At one point, she was receiving ECT every six weeks in attempt to, as she put it, ‘blow apart the cement’ in her brain.
Fisher ended up dying on December 27, 2016, four days after being put into intensive care following a cardiac event that occurred while she was on a commercial flight from London to Los Angeles.
Patty Duke was at one point the poster child for struggling former child actors. She was known just as much for her turbulent and troubled love life as she was for her award-winning acting work.
The late actress had a remarkably prolific career filled with many awards, accolades, and accomplishments. Behind the scenes, however, she suffered from intense mood swings, substance abuse, and impulsive behavior. In the 1980s, she was finally diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.
Duke went on to become a tireless advocate for mental health. After three failed marriages, she, fortunately, found true love and stability with her fourth husband. The couple’s marriage endured for three decades until Duke’s death in 2016.
Duke was born in 1946 in Elmhurst, New York. Her father, John, was an abusive alcoholic who abandoned his family when Duke was just six. Her mother, Frances, suffered from severe depression.
While learning how to care for herself amidst a challenging family situation, Duke followed her brother Raymond’s lead and started acting when she was 7. It was then that Raymond’s managers, John and Ethel Ross, began dictating every last piece of her life.
The first thing they did was begin work to neutralize Duke’s prominent Queens accent. They also changed her name from Anna Marie to Patty.
Duke’s managers watched over her life with an iron first. The Rose’s constantly told her what to wear, where to go, what to say, and even what to eat. They were also the ones that first introduced her to alcohol and medications, putting her on a toxic regimen of uppers and downers.
Duke would allege that the Roses even sexually molested her on one occasion. Later, she discovered that they had embezzled $1 million of her earnings.
As a teenager, Duke developed an eating disorder and dropped down to a weight of just 76 pounds. She attempted to take her own life in 1967 and was hospitalized again for mental health-related issues in 1969. It wasn’t until 1982 that she was diagnosed as manic depressive.
Her treatment included use of Lithium as a medication in combination with therapy. After arriving at a place of relative stability, Duke devoted much of her free time to becoming an activist for mental health causes.
She ended up dying at the age of 69 of sepsis from a ruptured intestine on the morning of March 29, 2016, in the city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Real quick – if you’ve been enjoying this video so far, give it a like and subscribe to the Facts Verse channel if you haven’t already. Stay tuned to learn about several other big-name celebs that suffered from bipolar Disorder.
Gene Tierney was an actress who became famous for her beauty. Throughout her acting career, she established herself as one of Hollywood’s most in-demand leading ladies. Some of her best-known roles include turns in 1944s Laura, 1945s Leave Her To Heaven, 1946s Razor’s Edge, 1950s Night and the City, and 1955s The Left Hand of God.
Tierney struggled for years with intense episodes of manic depression. This led her to develop concentration problems that affected her film appearances.
Tierney ended up dying of emphysema on the 6th of November, 1991, just thirteen days before her 71st birthday.
This British actress used her sophistication, ambition, and effortless charm to capture the minds and hearts of practically everyone she came across. She is often included in lists of the best actresses of all time.
Her acting career began to take off after winning the role of Scarlett O’Hara in one of cinema’s most iconic films, Gone With The Wind. She also became famous for her romantic relationships, including her affair with actor Laurence Olivier – a love story that is equal parts heartwarming and tragic.
One part of Leigh’s story that isn’t as well covered is her lifelong struggle with bipolar Disorder. Leigh was born in 1913 in Darjeeling, India. From an early age, she knew that she one day wanted to be an actress.
At 18, she enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. Even back then, the early signs of bipolar Disorder were already present. Years later, many of her former classmates would acknowledge that she was dealing with symptoms of the condition even as a child.
In 1932, Leigh married an attorney named Herbert Leigh Holman. With him, Leigh gave birth to one child, a daughter she named Suzanne. Leigh met Olivier, who was married at the time to actress Jill Esmond, in 1936. The two became acquainted after one of her stage performances in London. What ensued was an all-consuming affair that began about a year later.
Leigh and Olivier got married in 1940, the same year that they divorced from their respective spouses. By then, Leigh was already suffering from uncontrollable and frequent mood swings, which led to her professional reputation being tarnished. Many considered her to be difficult and unreasonable to work with.
Fearing inflicting more damage to her career, Leigh was apprehensive to reach out for psychiatric treatment. She was terrified that anyone would find out about her condition, and even her own mother refused to accept it.
During some of her most dramatic episodes, Leigh would do things like run through the streets naked. She was also known to have violent outbursts. On one occasion, she bit someone’s finger on set.
After ten years of marriage, Leigh and Olivier both had affairs. Olivier, in particular, had a very difficult time attempting to make sense of his wife’s questionable behavior.
Thinking that all of her problems would go away if she were to become a mother again, Leigh tried to conceive more children. During these attempts, she had three miscarriages. This only plunged her further into a dark pit of disappointment and depression.
While filming in Sri Lanka for 1954s Elephant Walk, Leigh reportedly was very disturbed. Her symptoms were so severe that the cast and crew couldn’t ignore them. While attempting to deliver her lines, Leigh would slip back into past characters such as Blanche DuBois from A Streetcar Named Desire.
She was then flown back to England, where she received electroconvulsive therapy treatments at a mental hospital.
Despite her mental health issues, Leigh continued to pursue acting as her passion. At the time of her death in 1967, she was rehearsing for the London stage production of A Delicate Balance. Although she suffered from bipolar her entire life, it was ultimately tuberculosis that led to her death at the age of 53.
Ol Blue Eyes was one of the most popular crooners of his day and penned many love songs, but behind the scenes, he was tormented by his mind and his inability to find true love. Sinatra once described himself as an ’18-carat manic depressive’. He was known for being a difficult man to work with due to alcoholism, ego, and mood swings.
He rarely ever spoke about his bipolar disorder diagnosis and lived a life of violent emotional contradictions. Sinatra’s mental health issues frequently caused him a great deal of trouble in his romantic relationships, and he became infamous for being a shameless womanizer.
On May 14, 1998, Sinatra died at age 82 at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in LA after having two heart attacks.
Other stars who have suffered from bipolar Disorder include Richard Dreyfus, Kim Novak, and Jeff Garlin. Once again, bipolar Disorder is a lot more prevalent than most people realize. Today, it’s a condition that is manageable with medication and therapy, but back during the mid-20th century, it wasn’t really well researched or understood by the medical community.
As we mentioned in the intro, mental health was also something that was quite taboo discuss back in the day. Fortunately, we live in a time when it’s far more encouraged for people to open up about their mental health struggles.
Did you know that Frank Sinatra and Carrie Fisher both suffered from Bipolar Disorder and that Vivien Leigh’s mental health got so bad that she began physically assaulting her fellow stars? Let us know in the comments.
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