It’s a mental illness that’s neither sexy nor fashionable, is messy and can actually be quite deadly leading, in some cases, to suicide. But an increasing number of celebs are being open about having bipolar disorder. From Halsey and Selena Gomez to Demi Lovato and Mariah Carey, over the past decade a host of stars have been refreshingly candid about having the condition.
Once known as manic depression, patients with bipolar disorder can see their moods swing from delirious highs to prolonged crippling lows. Symptoms include insomnia, racing thoughts, irritability and increased energy during times of mania, and fatigue, significant weight loss or gain and suicidal thoughts during depressed periods, according to the Mayo Clinic. In a June 2019 interview with Rolling Stone, Halsey – who said she was in an extended manic period at the time – explained what that mood rollercoaster is like. “I know I’m just going to get f**king depressed and be boring again soon,” the 25-year-old told the reporter. “And I hate that that’s a way of thinking. Every time I wake up and realize I’m back in a depressive episode, I’m bummed.”
Demi Lovato, 27, has described being diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a “relief.” “When I finally got diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it was a relief in so many ways,” the singer told BP Hope magazine in 2014, four years after she had what she describes as a “mental breakdown.” “It helped me start to make sense of my bipolar depression and the harmful things I was doing to cope with what I was experiencing.”
During an April 2020 chat with fellow former Disney star Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, 27, revealed that she also has bipolar disorder. “Recently, I went to one of the best mental hospitals in America, McLean Hospital, and I discussed that after years of going through a lot of different things, I realized that I was bipolar,” she told Miley on the pop star’s Instagram show, Bright Minded.
While many patients with bipolar disorder – both diagnosed and undiagnosed – struggle with substance abuse, there are a variety of ways to stabilize your moods that include talk therapy and prescription medication. In a December 2018 tweet Kanye West, 42, who has spoken openly about having bipolar wrote that he had been “off” his “meds” for six months. However, during a May 2019 interview with David Letterman on the Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, he conceded that medication may work for others. “It is a health issue,” the father-of-four said. “This – it’s like a sprained brain, like having a sprained ankle. And if someone has a sprained ankle, you’re not going to push on him more. With us, once our brain gets to a point of spraining, people do everything to make it worse.”
Take a look through our gallery to read about other celebs who have spoken out about having bipolar disorder.