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Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, has been identified in a number of high-profile, successful people. As per the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 5 million Americans have the disorder. In honor of World Bipolar Day, which takes place in March and strives to increase awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding the condition, here are some prominent people who have bipolar disorder, many of whom have gone on to become champions for mental health.

People with bipolar disorder, like everyone else, can have a great life, can be joyful, and can be productive. Indeed, you might be startled to learn that some of history’s most brilliant and creative geniuses suffered from bipolar disorder. During their darkest circumstances, they produced some of their best work.

It can be isolating and discouraging to have bipolar disorder. Hearing other people’s stories about bipolar disorder can help you recognize how your own experience is mirrored in theirs. You understand you’re not the only one who feels this way. You are a member of a group. “If they can accomplish it, I can too,” you begin to believe.

Demi Lovato

This singer/actor appeared in the Disney Channel film Camp Rock. In 2010, Lovato checked herself into a treatment for self-harm and addiction after the sequel and a part in the television show Sonny With A Chance. She discovered she had bipolar disorder there. In 2012, MTV released a program about Lovato’s battle with it.

Frank Sinatra

Sinatra’s appeal never wavered, from his days as an adolescent signing idol to his lucrative film and theater career. He sold over 150 million records, headlined in Las Vegas, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Role for his work in From Here to Eternity. Sinatra’s unpredictable temper, as well as his charity, were renowned behind the scenes.

Bebe Rexha

The singer, who was shortlisted for a Grammy for “Meant to Be” with Florida Georgia Line and co-wrote Eminem’s “The Monster,” revealed her diagnosis on Twitter. “I’m bipolar and I’m not ashamed anymore,” she wrote. “This next album will be my favorite album ever because I’m not holding anything back,” Rexha said, adding that she’s looking ahead to her next endeavor.

Jimi Hendrix

The rock guitar icon was dismissed from high school, stole a car once, and served in the Army for only a year when his commanding superiors recommended an abrupt departure. He went on to write a song called “Manic Depression,” which was about his mood fluctuations. Hendrix’s concerts at Woodstock and Monterey are still spoken about today, regardless of his mental health difficulties. In 1970, he died at the age of 27.

Mariah Carey

Although the high-ranked artist was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2001, she admitted to People magazine that she spent years “in denial and isolation.” She stated that she sought counseling following a series of career and romantic difficulties. “I put positive people around me, and I got back to doing what I love — writing songs and making music.”

Mel Gibson

Gibson admitted to having bipolar disorder in a 2008 TV special. The actor rose to prominence as a leading hero before moving on to directing and producing, collecting 2 Academy Award nominations in the process. Gibson was dubbed the “sexiest man alive” by People magazine in 1985. When he admonished a police officer after a drink driving incident in 2006 and pleaded no contest to domestic violence charges in 2012, his personal situation made headlines.

Catherine Zeta-Jones

This Welsh-born actress received an Academy Award for Best Actress in a supporting role for her performance in Chicago, as well as a Tony Award for her work on stage. She has also been shortlisted for a number of Golden Globe awards. Michael Douglas has been married to her since 2000, and stress throughout his struggle with tongue cancer contributed to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and depression.

Vivien Leigh

Leigh was born Vivian Mary Hartley in England and is most known for her role as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind.

Related:How To Deal With Someone Who Is Bipolar And Angry

Leigh had a record for being unpleasant on set as the wife of famed actor Laurence Olivier. She suffered from severe mania and depression for the majority of her adult life. Electroshock therapy was used to treat her.

Jean-Claude Van Damme

Van Damme, a Belgian martial arts epic film star, began studying karate at the age of ten and received his black belt eight years later. Bloodsport, released in 1988, was his breakthrough film. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder ten years later. Van Damme admitted in 2011 that he takes medicine for mood swings that he claimed he suffered since infancy.

Patty Duke

Duke was identified with bipolar disorder in 1982 after winning an Academy Award for her depiction of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker and becoming a television celebrity for her role as lookalike cousin in The Patty Duke Show. She spent the remainder of her life teaching the public about mental health issues. She advocated for financing and research in Congress and authored 2 memoirs about her disease. She died of sepsis in 2016 at the age of 69.

Sinéad O’Connor

In the late 1980s, Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor hit the headlines with her Grammy-winning songs and defiant attitude. In her twenties, meanwhile, as her celebrity grew, she started suffering from depression.

O’Connor’s depression worsened over time, and she even considered suicide, until she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder just at 37. In 2007, she spoke candidly about her situation on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

“Every pore of you is crying and you don’t even understand why or what,” she said. “I actually kind of died and got born again as a result of taking the meds and having a chance to, you know, build a life.”

Ernest Hemingway

This Nobel Laureate was plagued by manic-depressive episodes throughout his life, a characteristic he inherited from his parents, son, and granddaughter Margaux. Hemingway suffered from despair and paranoia, despite his larger-than-life demeanor and works such as For Whom the Bell Tolls and A Farewell to Arms. In 1961, he shot himself in the temple because he was obsessed with death.

Ted Turner

Turner Broadcasting and CNN founder Ted Turner have battled depression and bipolar disorder for much of his life. Despite this, Turner transformed a modest Atlanta independent television station into a global media powerhouse. He managed the Atlanta Braves and Hawks at one stage and claimed America’s Cup.

Kurt Cobain

Nirvana’s co-founder suffered from attention deficit disorder as a child, followed by bipolar disorder later in life. He chose not to seek treatment. Despite his popularity as the head of Seattle’s grunge rock movement, Kurt Cobain battled depression and died by suicide in 1994 at the age of 27.

Russell Brand

From stand-up comedy to MTV to Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Despicable Me, he’s done it all. Brand, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a child, was fired from MTV and the BBC after making provocative remarks. Katy Perry was his wife for less than two years. In 2007, Brand wrote his first autobiography, Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions, in which he revealed his battles with drug addiction.

Jane Pauley

Jane Pauley, a TV journalist, made her national debut at the age of 25 on NBC’s Today show. She went to work for Dateline on the network and eventually got her own talk program.

Pauley began to suffer from depression and mania around the age of 50. Steroids used to cure hives are likely to have triggered her symptoms, which were eventually diagnosed as bipolar disorder. In her best-selling memoir Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue, she recounts her experiences.

“If we’re lucky,” she tells bp Magazine, “the next generation won’t drag around that personal stigma. They also are going to grow up with a wider array of medications that addresses whatever causes this malady of ours.”

Linda Hamilton

Linda Hamilton is well recognized for her roles in Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day as Sarah Connor. She also had a role in the Disney Channel series Beauty and the Beast. Despite her success in the workplace, she used drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, and her bipolar mood changes destroyed two marriages.

Hamilton battled bipolar disorder symptoms for twenty years, a period she refers to as the “lost years.” Though she was first concerned that therapy would impair her abilities, she is now on medicine and upfront about her bipolar disorder.

“Somebody needs to come out and make this okay for people to talk about and get help and take advantage of the resources,”  she said to the Associated Press.

Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh, a great artist, created some of the world’s most well-known masterpieces, including The Starry Night. His challenging, quirky, and grumpy personality, on the other hand, is remembered.

There is no unanimity on what medical ailment caused van Gogh’s behavior, while epilepsy, depression, psychotic outbursts, and bipolar disorder are among the possibilities.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, “Van Gogh had previously experienced two separate bouts of reactive depression, and his history is obviously bipolar. Following both experiences of depression, I experienced continuous periods of increased vitality and excitement, first as evangelical, then as an artist.”

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf, a 20th-century English writer, and essayist are credited with pushing the frontiers of the novel with works like Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse. During her life, she had mood swings and breakdowns.

Her conduct is explained in an article in the American Journal of Psychiatry: “Woolf had signs that would now be identified as a bipolar illness when she was 13 years old; she had mood swings ranging from severe depression to manic exhilaration, as well as psychotic episodes. Psychiatry, on the other hand, had little to offer her at the moment.”

David Feherty

Feherty, a retired pro golfer (with ten international wins) who now works as a commentator and comedian, has struggled with bipolar depression. He told Rolling Stone magazine, that he tells people he doesn’t suffer from bipolar disorder, instead, he lives with it. As an advantage, he see things from a different perspective than most others. And he believes that one of the reasons he was hired to perform commentary is because of my ability to articulate things in new ways.

Chamique Holdsclaw

This former professional basketball player and Olympic gold medalist was first diagnosed with serious depression in 2004 but was then again diagnosed with bipolar disorder when medicines caused her to experience mania and go on spending binges. she says to others who suffer from bipolar disorder.   want people to understand things can get better, there was a time when Chamique didn’t feel hopeful when she didn’t want to be her, she told bp Magazine. She further added that she hopes they see her story and are motivated to keep going forward every day and to take advantage of the tools available to them.

Keith O’Neil

Before being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the former NFL linebacker had a long history of anxiety, heavy drinking, manic, and depression episodes. He told bp Magazine, “I was mentally in a cold, dark, sad place, and no one could help me.” He added that finding the correct meds, as well as his faith, has made all the difference.  He’s now combating stigma and working to improve mental health awareness.

Suzy Favor Hamilton

The former Olympic runner battled with acute peripartum depression and endured strong hypersexuality tied to her bipolar I diagnosis. She once told a magazine that her bipolar disorder was pushing her toward sex, it might have just as easily been leading her toward drugs and drinking or gambling. “The message, though, is that it can be treated if diagnosed correctly, with the help of medical people and family and friends. There is hope, and I’m living proof.”

Charles Haley

From his tenure with the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys, Haley was the first 5-time Super Bowl champion, and he was enlisted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015. Haley was labeled with bipolar disorder in 2002, a few years after leaving the NFL, and spent the next decade battling substance misuse, which is a frequent sign of bipolar disease. He claims that medicine, frequent treatment, and participation in a men’s prayer group helped him find equilibrium at the age of 56. He also coaches football players and conducts humanitarian activities.

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