Bipolar Disorder Can Impact Anyone, Even Celebrities

Bipolar Disorder Can Impact Anyone, Even Celebrities

Over the last few years, several celebrities have opened up about being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder: Mariah Carey, Demi Lovato, Halsey, and Kanye West have all spoken publicly about their mental health struggles.

Singer Halsey posted a series of tweets about the illness in July of this year, stating in part, “I have dedicated my career to offering education and insight about bipolar disorder,” and adding, “a lot of people you know probably have bipolar disorder and you aren’t aware of it.”

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance describes Bipolar Disorder as, “a treatable mental health condition marked by extreme changes in mood, thought, energy, and behavior. It is not a character flaw or a sign of personal weakness. Bipolar disorder was previously known as manic depression because a person’s mood can alternate between the ‘poles” of mania (highs) and depression (lows). These changes in mood, or ‘mood swings,’ can last for hours, days, weeks, or months.”

Halsey was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in her teens. During her senior year of high school, she spent a few weeks in a psychiatric hospital. “I had tried to kill myself,” she says. “I was an adolescent; I didn’t know what I was doing.”

Singer Demi Lovato revealed to ABC News in 2011 that she had also been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and that she has even struggled with bulimia and self-harm in the form of cutting. “I had no idea that I was even bipolar until I went into treatment,” she said. “I was conquering the world, but then I would come crashing down, and I would be more depressed than ever.”

Mariah Carey was first diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2001 after a physical and mental breakdown. She talked about her struggles with People magazine in 2018, stating “I didn’t want to believe it. Until recently, I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me.”

The fear of being ostracized or stigmatized due to mental health issues often poses a problem for those trying to deal with their illness. A WebMD article describes the experience first hand: “As a person who lives with bipolar disorder, I have faced a lot of stigma and discrimination, from extreme examples, such as being fired from my job, to small things, like a doctor assuming that I’m on disability (when I’ve never been on disability).”

This is part of the reason why Halsey recently posted a YouTube video encouraging people to seek help. Halsey talks with clinical neurophysiologist Dr. Snehi Kapur about her illness and how it has affected her.  

“People say you don’t seem like you have Bipolar Disorder because of the ways in which I function,” says the singer. “I’m a young woman who is achieving all of these goals, so people think there can’t be anything hindering me from that.” The singer also remarks that mental health is a constant journey “Mental health isn’t a destination. You never arrive at mental health and go, ‘OK, I’m glad I got here.'”

Most recently Kim Kardashian took to Twitter to discuss her husband Kanye West’s struggles with his own Bipolar Disorder, urging people to be less judgmental.”I kindly ask that the media and public give us the compassion and empathy that is needed so that we can get through this,” Kardashian said.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder please check out the support resources at the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.

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