There is no dearth of emotions in a human mind. However, there are some who experience an unusual pattern in their moods or energy levels that tend to affect their normal behavior. Psychologists identify this drastic and sudden change in emotions as symptoms of bipolar disorder – a mental condition in which moods may range from periods of marked elation, characterized by upbeat behavior, to sudden emotions of extreme depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), nearly 5.7 million adult Americans are affected by this disorder every year.
The disorder is quite common, with some well-known names in the glamor industry exhibiting symptoms of the problem. Some famous people who have had to seek medical help for their bipolar condition are:
- Demi Lovato: Well-known singer and actress Lovato was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she started treatment for related mental disorders. The actress had problems of depressive behavior since childhood which she used to self-medicate and this worsened her mental condition. A brief stint in a rehab revealed her struggle against bipolar disorder while also helping her to come to terms with her condition. After her treatment, Lovato once said, “Now I live well with bipolar disorder. Happiness is a choice. Life is a roller coaster. You can make the highs as amazing as possible, and you can control how low the lows go.”
- Catherine Zeta–Jones: Award-winning Welsh actress Zeta-Jones, known for blockbuster movies like “Traffic” and “Chicago,” checked into a mental health treatment center to get herself treated for bipolar II disorder. According to her, she decided to seek treatment to maintain her health in the best possible way. In her interview, Jones one said, “With my bipolar becoming public, I hope fellow sufferers will know it’s completely controllable. I hope I can help remove any stigma attached to it.”
- Vivien Leigh: Oscar-winning actress Leigh, known best for her portrayal of character Scarlett O’Hara in movie “Gone With the Wind,” also suffered from bipolar disorder. With no mental health treatment facilities or clinical help available, erratic behavior of the actress kept her from living up to her professional reputation. It also ruined her marriage after a period of time. Her mood swings swayed between signs of terrible depression and dangerous mania which led her to hallucinate and to commit suicide by jumping off a plane.
- Jean–Claude Van Damme: The famous Belgian kickboxer who became a household name after his stint in numerous action films like “Bloodsport”, “Sudden Death” and “Universal Soldier” had a history of mental disorders. Damme, who was suffering from depression during his adolescent years, was diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar disorder later. As the disorder was largely ignored and remained undetected initially, Damme resorted to self-medication with various substances, including cocaine.
- Linda Hamilton: Known for her roles in “Terminator (and T2)”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Dante’s Peak” and “Point Last Seen,” Hamilton was diagnosed with bipolar disorder to which she resisted treatment till she reached 40 years, resulting in the disruption of her two marriages. Explaining her sudden bouts of depression, followed by feelings of sudden high, Hamilton said, “My manic spells are manageable and are great – my work spaces where I’m doing so much. But what happens is then, all of a sudden, you plunge because you’ve depleted yourself on such a level that one day you wake up with a gigantic lump in your throat. And there it is. So I would fall down and just not be able to get myself up.”
Seeking treatment for bipolar disorder
The extreme mood swings and intense feelings of sadness make it difficult for the sufferers to come out in the open and seek professional help. But, bipolar disorder, if left untreated, can make one lose control over his emotions and thoughts.
If you or your loved one is battling some form of mental disorder, including bipolar disorder, connect to the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline to learn about the best mental health programs in the U.S. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online with one of our mental health experts for information on mental health treatment rehabs in your vicinity.