The media follows and documents everything celebrities do, sometimes to a fault. Their behaviors, many of which we can relate to, are magnified. Eating disorders, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, impulsivity and sleep disturbances are all markers of behavioral difficulties associated with bipolar disorder.
1) Demi Lovato– A strong supporter of mental health awareness, she struggled with an eating disorder, addiction and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after attending a treatment facility.
2) Scott Stapp – The lead singer of rock band Creed struggled with addiction and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after hallucinations and delusions contributed to peculiar behavior that lead his wife to call 911 for help.
3) Catherine Zeta-Jones – In 2011, this actress was diagnosed with bipolar disorder II after struggling with hypomania and depression. She is outspoken about the importance of seeking professional help when needed.
4) Jean-Claude Van Damme – This action film star was charged with spousal abuse, divorced and struggled with an ongoing cocaine addiction before being diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar disorder. He reports experiencing relief from his mood swings within one week of taking medication.
5) Sinead O’Connor – At age 37, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after many years battling depression and suicidal thoughts. A great spokesperson for bipolar awareness, she appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show in 2007. She shared about how relieved she was after being diagnosed and receiving medication.
It seems that with more education we are finding out that bipolar disorder is all around us. Some function better than others and some need professional interventions. As seen with these Hollywood celebrities who have come forth and shared about their diagnoses, substance abuse will only make symptoms of bipolar more unmanageable. If you suspect a loved one is suffering from some of the symptoms stated above, call a professional to help you understand more about bipolar disorder.
Rachel Rowitt, Ed.D, LMHC, CAP has worked in the field of clinical psychology for 15 years. She is a freelance writer who specializes in educating the community about the effects of mental illness, addiction and how to make effective changes. She has been affiliated with Lifeskills, a residential treatment facility for mental illness and addiction, for over 5 years.