Famous personalities with mental illness – 2: Bipolar disorder

Famous personalities with mental illness – 2: Bipolar disorder

Experiencing mood changes due to ups and downs in life is normal, but frequent and extreme shifts to the extent that it interferes with day-to-day life calls for immediate medical attention. Unusual shifts in behavior, mood and energy levels is termed as bipolar disorder. A person suffering from bipolar disorder can experience high periods of mood and energized behavior to low periods of hopelessness and despair. The extreme moods can range from depression to mania and can result in risky behavior such as suicide attempts.

Although bipolar disorder, as highlighted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), affects 2.6 percent of the American adult population out of which almost 83 percent are severe cases, scientists have not been able to pinpoint one single reason for this disorder, though prior studies indicate that this disorder runs in families. In some cases, upsetting experiences in life can trigger instances of bipolar disorder. Some well-known people who have dealt with bipolar disorder are:

Demi Lovato: Noted songwriter, actress and singer Demi Lovato had checked herself into a rehab for her eating disorder problems, depressive behavior and self-harm tendencies. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder while undergoing treatment. Elucidating on her treatment at the rehab center, Lovato in her interview with People magazine said, “I never found out until I went into treatment that I was bipolar.” As Lovato found it difficult to share her state of mind when she was suffering from symptoms of the disorder, she ended up self-medicating to cope with her disturbing behavior.

Vivien Leigh: Widely acclaimed for her role as Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind,” Leigh’s life gained much speculation after her marriage to fellow actor Laurence Olivier. Soon after, she was detected with signs of bipolar disorder which later wrecked her marriage. Leigh’s unpredictable behavior and moments of extreme high mood swings to utter depths of depression hampered her reputation as a professional and affected her personal life. She was later shifted to a psychiatric hospital where she was administered shock therapy. Stressing on her mental illnesses, her friend Sheridan Morley informed in a BBC documentary, “In her day there were no pills, there were no clinics, there were no publicists, there was nobody between Vivien and an outside world which she found chilly, hostile, and sometimes, because of her mental state, could not cope with.”

Linda Hamilton: Well-known American actress Linda Hamilton, most recognized for her role as Sarah Connor in Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, was afflicted with the disorder that led to two divorces. Though her professional success and beauty masked the symptoms of her disorder in front of others, Hamilton resorted to drugs and alcohol in a bid to self-medicate. It took Hamilton nearly 20 years before she decided to seek treatment to overcome its damaging impact as she initially feared that the treatment would subdue her acting talent. Hamilton now speaks openly about the disorder urging other potentially affected people to gain access to necessary therapeutic interventions.

Help is at hand

Most bipolar disorder patients find it difficult to accept that they have a problem and more often it remains undiagnosed. Sudden shifts in behavior or emotions affect the ability to think and act and can often result in regretful situations. One needs to undergo a comprehensive treatment plan involving medication and therapy to address the problem and regain control of one’s life.

If you can see any of your loved ones suffering from bipolar disorder, it is time that you seek expert advice regarding possible ways of treating it. Contact the Florida Mental Health Helpline to access one of the finest rehab facilities in Florida which provide customized treatment plans depending upon the patient’s condition. You can call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-596-4708 or chat online with experts to know about the best mental disorder treatment in Florida.

Read the other articles of the series “Famous personalities with mental illness:”

  1. Schizophrenia