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Bipolar Disorder

List of people affected by bipolar disorder

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This is a list of people accompanied by verifiable source citations associating them with bipolar disorder (formerly known as “manic depression”). This list includes only: a) deceased persons; and b) living persons who have been frank about their condition. It does not include speculation about status of living people who have not publicly stated themselves to have bipolar disorder. In addition to the above criteria, persons are only listed here if they also meet the Wikipedia notability criteria for biographical articles.

Many famous people are believed to have been affected by bipolar disorder. Most of these listed have been diagnosed based on evidence in their own writings and contemporaneous accounts by those who knew them. It is often suggested that genius (or, at least, creative talent) and mental disorder (specifically, the mania and hypomania of bipolar disorder) is linked; the connection was widely publicized by Kay Redfield Jamison in Touched with Fire, although many of the diagnoses in the book are made by Jamison herself.

Note that this list should not contain entries for performers who have an apparently manic or depressive public persona, but do not meet the criteria above, nor should the content of song lyrics or other creative works be regarded as autobiographical without independent external evidence that confirms this.

List

Contents: Top · 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

B

C

  • Robert Calvert, former Hawkwind frontman.[19][20]
  • Alastair Campbell, press advisor.[21][22]
  • Georg Cantor, mathematician. Cantor’s recurring bouts of depression from 1884 to the end of his life were once blamed on the hostile attitude of many of his contemporaries,[23] but these bouts can now be seen as probable manifestations of bipolar disorder.[24]
  • Dick Cavett, television journalist. “CAVETT: Both in hypomanic, which I have had, and incidentally, one has to admit many patients say I am cured now, I am fine. But I must say I miss those hypomanic states. They are better off where they are.”[25]
  • Iris Chang, historian and journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle.[26]
  • Kurt Cobain, musician. His cousin, Beverly Cobain, a “registered nurse (…) [with] experience as a mental health professional” and author of a book, When Nothing Matters Anymore: A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens ISBN 1-57542-036-8, stated in an interview: “Kurt was diagnosed at a young age with Attention Deficit Disorder [ADD], then later with bipolar disorder; (…) As Kurt undoubtedly knew, bipolar illness can be very difficult to manage, and the correct diagnosis is crucial. Unfortunately for Kurt, compliance with the appropriate treatment is also a critical factor.”[27]
  • Rosemary Clooney, singer and actress.[28]
  • Patricia Cornwell, American crime writer.[29][30]
  • Robert S. Corrington, theologist. In his book Riding the Windhorse: Manic-Depressive Disorder and the Quest for Wholeness[31] he gives a personal account of his own struggles with the condition.
  • Michael Costa, former Australian Labor party politician and Treasurer of NSW. “Mr Costa said a number of state parliamentary colleagues approached him about their mental health problems after he publicly revealed his battle with bipolar disorder in 2001.”[32]
  • Vincent Crane, keyboard player of Atomic Rooster.[33]

D

E

F

  • Carrie Fisher, actress and writer. “‘I ended up being diagnosed as a bipolar II,’ says Fisher.”[34][37]
  • Connie Francis, singer.[38]
  • Stephen Fry, actor, comedian and writer. “As a sufferer of the disorder, Stephen Fry is speaking to other sufferers to find out about their experiences and visiting leading experts in the UK and US to examine the current state of understanding and research.” Stephen has recorded a documentary about the life of the manic depressive which aired on the BBC.[34]

G

  • Alan Garner, novelist. According to the Guardian, “In The Voice that Thunders (Harvill), a collection of critical and autobiographical essays, Garner casts light on his writing and thinking, and the role that manic depression plays in his creativity”.[40][41]
  • Paul Gascoigne, English footballer. “His second book, released this year, centres on his therapy – for alcoholism, eating disorders, OCD, and bipolar disorder, among others.”[42]
  • Mel Gibson, actor and director.[43]
  • Matthew Good, Canadian musician. He first disclosed his illness in a personal blog. It was during the writing and recording of Hospital Music that he suffered one of his worst episodes.[44]
  • Philip Graham, publisher and businessman. “It had finally penetrated to me that Phil’s diagnosis was manic-depression…” Katherine Graham (1997), Personal History, p. 328; Knopf, 1997, ISBN 0-394-58585-2 (book has numerous other references).
  • Macy Gray, musician and actor. As documented in an interview with Saul Williams[45]
  • Graham Greene, English novelist.[46] Extract from Graham Greene: A Life in Letters]: “Greene was managing the impulses of bipolar illness, involving mood swings from elation, expansiveness or irritability to despair and would quickly be guilty of repeated infidelities.”
  • Ivor Gurney, English composer and poet.[47]

H

I

J

  • Kay Redfield Jamison, clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who profiled her own bipolar disorder in her 1995 memoir An Unquiet Mind and argued for a connection between bipolar disorder and artistic creativity in her 1993 book, Touched with Fire.
  • Daniel Johnston, musician: “Johnston’s output in his late teens and early 20s proved to be a symptom of his worsening manic depression.” The Guardian Unlimited, Saturday August 20, 2005: “Personal demons”, review of film, The Devil and Daniel Johnston:[57]
  • Andrew Johns, Professional Rugby League Player. — has gone public about his condition.[58]

K

  • Kerry Katona, English television presenter, writer, magazine columnist and former pop singer with girl band Atomic Kitten. BBC[59]
  • Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy has been open about mental health issues, including being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.[60]
  • Otto Klemperer, conductor.[61]
  • Margot Kidder, actress — self-described:[62] “I have been well and free of the symptoms that are called manic-depression for almost five years, and have been working steadily and leading a happy and productive life since then.”
  • Patrick Kroupa, writer and hacker, has been very open about his drug use and mental health issues, after his last heroin detox in 1999. He mentions bipolar disorder openly in several interviews.[63][64][65]

L

M

N

  • Florence Nightingale, nurse and health campaigner. BPW “Florence heard voices and experienced a number of severe depressive episodes in her teens and early 20s – symptoms consistent with the onset of bipolar disorder”, Dr. Kathy Wisner, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.[79]

O

  • Sinéad O’Connor, musician. She discussed her diagnosis with Oprah Winfrey in October 2007.[80]
  • Graeme Obree, Scottish racing cyclist. World hour record 1993. Individual pursuit world champion in 1993 and 1995. Cited in 2003 autobiography, Flying Scotsman: Cycling to Triumph Through My Darkest Hours and 2006 film.
  • Phil Ochs, musician.[81]
  • Bill Oddie, naturalist, comedian and television presenter.[82][83]
  • Ozzy Osbourne, singer. Lead singer of Black Sabbath and his self-titled band. Cited in VH1’s “Heavy: The History of Metal” in 2006.
  • Cheri Oteri, actress. Saturday Night Live Cast Member. Cited in Shales T.& Miller A. (2002) Live From New York, A Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live.
  • Craig Owens, singer for American band Chiodos.[84]

P

  • Nicola Pagett, actor. Wrote about her bipolar disorder in her autobiography Diamonds Behind My Eyes ISBN 0575602678
  • Emma Parker Bowles, model.[85]
  • Jaco Pastorius, jazz musician. “Jaco was diagnosed with this clinical bipolar condition in the fall of 1982. The events which led up to it were considered “uncontrolled and reckless” incidences.”[86]
  • Jane Pauley, TV presenter and journalist. The former Today and Dateline host describes being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in her autobiography “Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue”, which she wrote in 2004, as well as on her short-lived talk show.[87][88][89][90][91][92]
  • Edgar Allan Poe, poet and writer.[93][94][95]
  • Gail Porter, British TV presenter.[96]
  • Emil Post, mathematician.[97]
  • Charley Pride, country music artist. (autobiography) Pride: The Charley Pride Story. Publisher: Quill (May 1995). “Pride discusses business ventures that succeeded and those that failed, as well as his bouts with manic depression. He tells his story with no bitterness but lots of homespun advice and humor.”

R

  • Rene Rivkin, entrepreneur.[98]
  • Barret Robbins, former NFL Pro Bowler.[99]
  • Axl Rose, lead singer and frontman best known for Guns N’ Roses.[100] “I went to a clinic, thinking it would help my moods. The only thing I did was take one 500-question test – ya know, filling in the little black dots. All of sudden I’m diagnosed manic-depressive.”
  • Richard Rossi, filmmaker, musician, and maverick minister, revealed for the first time in a live interview on the Lynn Cullen show on June 5, 2008 the link between his artistic productivity and his depression to bipolar disorder, stating that “my father was bi-polar one, and I’m bi-polar two.” He spoke of the relationship between creativity and the illness.

S

T

V

W

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