- Mental Health
Famous People With Bipolar Disorder: Bipolar Musicians
Bipolar Disorder doesn't just affect regular people; many famous people are Bipolar.
Over 5.7 Americans are diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, a mental illness characterized by periods of mania and depression. Scientists have found numerous links between Bipolar Disorder and creativity; it's no surprise that a number of musicians are Bipolar.
Famous people with Bipolar Disorder include Beethoven, Jimi Hendrix, and Axl Rose. Although Bipolar Disorder is not limited to creative types, this article will focus on musicians afflicted with this mental disorder.
Ludwig van Beethoven
Out of all the famous people with Bipolar Disorder, Beethoven is one of the most well known.
A friend referred to Beethoven's Bipolar Disorder by stating that "he composes, or was unable to compose, according to the moods of happiness, vexation or sorrow."
It was believed that Beethoven wrote most of his best symphonies during manic episodes. When he ran out of paper, he would write on walls and window shutters.
Although gossip mags and entertainment blogs claimed that Britney shaved her head to avoid a hair drug test, she actually shaved it during a manic episode.
Her Bipolar Disorder has never officially been confirmed, but it hasn't officially been denied, either. Mental health experts believe she is currently being treated for Rapid-Cycling Bipolar Disorder.
Britney Spears is a twice-divorced mother of 2 sons. She shares custody with her ex husband, Kevin Federline.
Currently, Britney is under conservatorship of her father, James Spears, as a result of her unstable behavior.
Jimi Hendrix, born James Marshall, was one of the most popular electric guitarists of all time. His intense guitar solos were believed to have been created during episodes of Bipolar mania.
In 1967, Jimi Hendrix released a song called "Manic Depression" after Chas Chandler, his manager, told him that he sounded like a manic depressive during a press conference.
On September 18, 1970, Jimi Hendrix was found dead in a hotel room. His death, caused by an overdose of barbiturates, is speculated to be a suicide triggered by an episode of Bipolar depression.
Axl Rose, born William Bailey Rose, Jr., has admitted to being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder; however, he has frequently stated that he is not entirely convinced the diagnosis is accurate.
Axl Rose was the lead singer of Guns N Roses, and has been named one of the 100 best singers of all time by Rolling Stone. In addition to his musical talents, he is notorious for his explosive temper and emotional outbursts.
He was arrested numerous times as a teen, and has admitted to abusing drugs and alcohol in the past. These are all behaviors and traits commonly associated with individuals diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.
Earl Simmons of DMX
Earl Simmons, best known as rapper DMX, has admitted to having a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. He was diagnosed as a teenager, and referred to the condition in many of his lyrics.
In "F*ckin Wit' D", DMX mentions his diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder:
Listed as a manic depressin' with extreme paranoia
And dog I got somethin' for ya! Hear my name, feel my pain
His battles with drugs and the legal system are believed to be a result of his Bipolar Disorder.
Gordon Matthew Sumner, better known as Sting, was born on October 2, 1951.
Sting referred to his Bipolar Disorder in a widely discussed interview from 1996, where he was quoted saying:
"Anyway, during that period with the Police, the most successful time of my life, I was suicidal. My first marriage and my relationship with the other members of the band was collapsing. I just felt adrift. I was manic-depressive and I just wasn't chemically balanced enough to enjoy it. I was out to lunch."
Sting's life shows a history of depression, but not very many manic episodes.
Kristin Hersh of Throwing Muses
Kristin Hersh, singer and guitar player for Throwing Muses, was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at the age of 14.
She discussed Bipolar Disorder in many of her songs, including "Mania" and "Hook in Her Head". After years of attempting to manage mania and depression with Lithium, Kristin has found Bipolar relief through acupuncture.
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