Facts About Bipolar Disorder and List of Famous Victims
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Facts About Bipolar Disorder and List of Famous Victims

Many famous people have been affected by bipolar disorder. It is often proposed that genius and mental illness are connected. In the case of bipolar disorder, many of those who suffer from the disorder are gifted. Above average creativity is sometimes considered a symptom of bipolar disorder.


Bipolar disorder also known as manic depression is a brain disorder that causes serious and dynamic shifts in mood, energy, ways of thinking, and behavior on a day-to-day basis. The severity of the symptoms and how often vary from person to person–from the highs of mania on one extreme, to the lows of depression on the other. More than just a fading good or bad mood, the cycles of bipolar disorder last for days, weeks, or months. Not like the ordinary mood swings, the mood changes of bipolar disorder are so intense that they interfere with the balance ability to function.

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Many famous people have been affected by bipolar disorder. It is often proposed that genius and mental illness are connected. In the case of bipolar disorder, many of those who suffer from the disorder are gifted. Above average creativity is sometimes considered a symptom of bipolar disorder.

Manic sequences or hypomania may lead to times of intense productivity. Living with bipolar disorder is not a smooth road to creative brilliance. Those who suffer from the disorder walk a tightrope of mania occasionally accompanied by ideas and aspirations hanging over a pit of depression and hopelessness.

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During a manic episode, a person might impulsively quit a job, charge up huge amounts on credit cards, or feel rested after sleeping two hours.

During a depressive episode, the same person might be too tired to get out of bed and full of self-abomination and hopelessness over being unemployed and in debt.

The causes of bipolar disorder aren’t completely understood, but it often runs in families, a combination of hereditary predisposition to the disorder and environmental factors. The first manic or depressive episode of bipolar disorder usually occurs in the teenage years or early adulthood and can even affect children. The symptoms can be subtle and confusing; so many people with bipolar disorder are overlooked or misdiagnosed–resulting in unnecessary suffering.

? Many people with bipolar disorder have successful careers, happy family lives, and satisfying relationships. Living with bipolar disorder is challenging. But with treatment, healthy coping skills, and a solid support system, one can live fully while managing your symptoms.

? Some people alternate between episodes of mania and depression, but most are depressed more often. Mania may also be so mild that it goes unrecognized. People with bipolar disorder can also go for long without symptoms.

? Bipolar disorder affects energy level, judgment, memory, concentration, appetite, sleep patterns, sex drive, and self-esteem. Additionally, bipolar disorder has been linked to anxiety, substance abuse, and health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, migraines, and high blood pressure.

? Since medication is the foundation of bipolar disorder treatment, therapy and self-help schemes are very important. You can help control your symptoms by regular exercises, getting restful sleep, health food, monitoring your moods, keeping stress away, and surrounding yourself with supportive people.


? Academy Award-winner Mel Gibson talked about his bipolar disorder in a 2002 documentary. Some of his recent brushes with the law might have been the result of his illness.

? Rocker Sheryl Crow has talked about having once had such a bad stretch of depression that she couldn't leave the house. She's also said that she thinks about suicide every day.

? Legendary Nirvana lead man, Kurt Cobain, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder as an adult, had tried to kill himself many times before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at 27. One of Nirvana's best known songs is "Lithium."

? Heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the early 80s. He has also been treated for alcoholism and drug abuse.

? Grammy Award-winner Macy Gray was reportedly once diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but she believes she's been cured.

? Actor Jim Carrey has battled depression since he was a child. He doesn't drink or smoke, which he feels helps him manage the disease.

? Guns N' Roses singer Axel Rose has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. His public problems with anger may be tied to his condition (irritability is a symptom of bipolar).

? Pop star Britney Spears has been hospitalized for mental illness. It's suspected that she has bipolar disorder, and she's reportedly been treated with lithium.

? Actress and writer Carrie Fisher has been very open in discussing her bipolar disorder, former addiction to cocaine, and time in rehab. Her semi-autobiographical novel, “Postcards from the Edge”, is about an actress recovering from an overdose.

? Terminator star Linda Hamilton star of “Terminator” had difficulty with bipolar disorder as a young adult. She admits she self-medicated with drugs and alcohol.

? Movie star Margot Kidder, most famous for playing Superman's Lois Lane, began experiencing major mood swings at age 19. She once disappeared for a number of days, and was later found in a stranger's yard.

? Actress Patty Duke has had bipolar disorder symptoms since she was a teen. She credits the drug lithium with saving her life.

? Actor Richard Dreyfuss went public with his battle with bipolar disorder in the 2006 documentary “The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive.” Like many with this condition, he's struggled with a cocaine addiction, and went through rehab.

? Vivien Leigh, best known for her portrayal of Scarlet O'Hara in Gone with the Wind, was diagnosed with manic depression after a miscarriage. She received electroshock therapy for her condition, and self-medicated with alcohol.

? Rapper DMX has talked about having manic depression in his songs. When arrested in 2004, he had both Depakote and crack cocaine in his possession.

Note: Bipolar disorder is normally a lifelong battle where people with the disorder have to consistently be aware of moods, sleep patterns, stress, diet, and energy levels so that medication can be adjusted and a level mood can be maintained.






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Comments (13)

Exceptional write Ron! This has opened my eyes to the disease in many ways. My brother has bipolar and now upon reading this, I understand it better, not to mention, that I too, display some of these symptoms.... Upon reading this,certainly worth getting checked out for it.

Very helpful and interesting article, sir. It makes me become more aware about it. Thanks!

Thanks Aileen.

Very interesting, informative, and well-written article. Thanks for sharing facts on this brain disorder.

good sharing- http://techonarati.blogspot.com/-New design silk saris and best dress for ladies and gents *Fashion models. New design silk ladies and gents *Fashion models

As with any disorder patience and kindness are part of medicine to assist in getting well. Thank you for your wonderful presentation. Out of votes-twittered and buzzed.

Ron, I am so glad you addressed this topic in your normal thorough fashion. Many people, I am sure suffer from this but are not diagnosed.

great facts

Thanks everyone for the read, votes, and comments, its much appreciated.

Good facts about bipolar disorder and those people who have it.... they are really famous, aren't they?

Very helpful article! I guess this is an educational piece on bipolar disorder.

Thanks Phoenix and Chan.

I never knew these people had the illness. Well written article. Thanks.