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January 5, 2012

Bipolar Celebrities

Many famous people are believed to have suffered from Bipolar disorder: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Vincent Van Gogh, Abraham Lincoln and Edgar Allen Poe. Today, a number high-profile celebrities have openly discussed their struggle with bipolar. For people who suffer from bipolar disorder, celebrity testimonials may be extremely valuable in helping illustrate that the illness doesn't have to define them. One of the most notable celebrities to lend a face to bipolar disorder is Carrie Fisher. Best known as Princess Leia and the quintessential Hollywood party girl, she also authored two memoirs on bipolar, Postcards from the Edge and Wishful Drinking. Fisher, who serves as a spokesperson for bipolar disorder, also appeared in the BBC documentary, The Secret Life of a Manic-Depressive, where she joined British actor-comedian Stephen Fry and fellow actor Richard Dreyfuss in candidly discussing their personal experiences with the illness. Linda Hamilton, of Terminator fame, was diagnosed at a young age but resisted treatment for the illness until the age of about 40. Citing the extreme "brilliant" highs in contrast to dramatic plunges of depression, she says getting treatment "changed my world." Another celebrity who's shared personal struggles with bipolar disorder is Patty Duke, who's perhaps best known to current audiences as the mother of Lord of the Rings star, Sean Astin. Duke was diagnosed as bipolar in 1982 and has since devoted extensive time to educating the public on mental health issues. She's authored two books on her experiences, A Brilliant Madness and Call Me Anna, and maintains the Patty Duke Online Center for Mental Wellness. Broadcast journalist Jane Pauley surprised both colleagues and fans by revealing her stay in a psychiatric clinic for bipolar disorder in her 2004 book, Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue. Pauley hoped her experience would raise awareness for the illness. Actor Ben Stiller has talked openly open about his struggle with bipolar disorder, as has General Hospital actor Maurice Benard, who reportedly had the writers incorporate the illness into his character's story line. Benard serves as spokesperson for the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association. Recently, actor Eric Millegan, Dr. Zack Addy on the TV show Bones, posted YouTube videos sharing how his rapid cycling bipolar disorder affected him, noting he wanted to help others who may be struggling with the illness. If you, or someone you know, may be suffering from bipolar disorder, please see a mental health professional. You can find more videos about bipolar disorder on this website.


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Last Updated:
December 20, 2012