List of people with 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"), either based on their own public statements, or (in the case of dead people only) reported contemporary or posthumous diagnoses of bipolar disorder.

Regarding posthumous diagnoses: 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) are 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. Also, persons prior to the 20th century may have incomplete or speculative diagnoses of bipolar disorder (e.g. Vincent van Gogh.)




  • Maria Bamford, American comedian.[7]
  • Azealia Banks, American rapper, actress and singer.[8]
  • Andy Behrman, author of the book Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania.[9][10]
  • Max Bemis, frontman of the band Say Anything, spoke about his diagnosis in an interview with Spin magazine in 2006.[11]
  • Maurice Benard, actor. He has discussed his diagnosis with Oprah Winfrey, and has since become active in promoting bipolar awareness.[12]
  • Mary Kay Bergman, voice actress[13]
  • Ludwig Boltzmann, physicist and mathematician. He "suffered from an alternation of depressed moods with elevated, expansive or irritable moods."[14]
  • Adrian Borland, British musician.[15]
  • Lizz Brady, artist who makes work about her experiences with borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder, curator of the exhibition Broken Grey Wires that examines the relationship between contemporary art and mental health.[16]
  • Russell Brand, comedian and actor. "In a low-key admission at the end of the book, he says he was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder – manic depression – after he kicked the drugs for good in 2002 which goes some way to explaining his almost superhuman indifference to the chaos and catastrophe that almost lead [sic] him to obscurity."[17]
  • Andrea Breth, German stage-director.[18]
  • Jeremy Brett, actor.[19]
  • Katherine Brooks, director/writer/filmmaker. "I don’t believe Bipolar holds me back as a person or a filmmaker. I actually believe it makes everything I do have more meaning, passion, and purpose. I’m thankful to be this way … thankful to be born Bipolar."[20]
  • Brotha Lynch Hung, American rapper. He has discussed his diagnosis in various songs and interviews.[21]
  • Chris Brown, pop and R&B singer. Diagnosis was revealed through court documents.[22]
  • Frank Bruno, boxer; was hospitalized for a short period and as of 2005 is on lithium.[23][24][25]
  • Barney Bubbles, graphic designer.[26][27]
  • George Gordon, Lord Byron, English poet, writer, and adventurer.[28][29]


  • Northern Calloway, American actor, comedian and singer, David on Sesame Street[30]
  • Eoin Cameron, Western Australian radio personality and former politician.[31][32]
  • Alastair Campbell, press advisor.[33][34]
  • 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,[35] but these bouts can now be seen as probable manifestations of bipolar disorder.[36]
  • Jim Carrey, actor and comedian.[37]
  • Quincy Carter, American football player.[38]
  • 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."[39]
  • Eason Chan, Chinese popular music singer.[40]
  • Iris Chang, historian and journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle.[41]
  • John Clare, poet.[42][43]
  • 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."[44]
  • Neil Cole, former Australian Labor party politician. "Associate Professor Cole was the first politician in Australia or overseas to admit to having a mental illness, namely bipolar mood disorder."[45]
  • Rosemary Clooney, singer and actress.[46]
  • Patricia Cornwell, American crime writer.[47][48]
  • Robert S. Corrington, theologist. In his book Riding the Windhorse: Manic-Depressive Disorder and the Quest for Wholeness[49] 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."[50]
  • Vincent Crane, keyboard player of Atomic Rooster.[51]


  • Disco D, record producer and composer. On returning to the United States from his 2005 Australian trek, Shayman went public about his struggle with bipolar disorder.[52]
  • DMX, has spoken openly about his manic depression.[53]
  • Mike Doughty, musician. First described himself diagnosed as bipolar in 2007 on his blog.[54]
  • Charmaine Dragun, former Australian journalist/newsreader. Misdiagnosed with depression. Inquest concluded she had bipolar II disorder.[55]
  • Richard Dreyfuss, actor, BBC Documentary.[56]
  • Patty Duke, actress.[57]


  • Edward Elgar, an English composer, many of whose works such as the Enigma Variations and the Pomp and Circumstance Marches have achieved enduring popularity.[58]
  • Florbela Espanca, Portuguese poet.[59]



  • 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".[68][69]
  • Paul Gascoigne, English footballer. "His second book, released this year, centres on his therapy - for alcoholism, eating disorders, OCD, and bipolar disorder, among others."[70]
  • Mel Gibson, actor and director.[71]
  • 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.[72]
  • Philip Graham, publisher and businessman. "It had finally penetrated to me that Phil's diagnosis was manic-depression..." Katharine 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.[73][74]
  • Spalding Gray, monologist.[75]
  • Graham Greene, English novelist.[76] 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.[77]




  • Jesse Jackson, Jr., American politician and son of civil rights pioneer.[89]
  • 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:[90]
  • Andrew Johns, Australian rugby league player. Publicly announced his condition following retirement.[91]
  • Lee Joon, Korean actor and musician[92]



  • Albert Lasker displayed the symptoms of Bipolar II according to the book "The Man Who Sold America."[105]
  • Vivien Leigh, actress, most famous for her role as Scarlett O'Hara in David O. Selznick's movie "Gone With The Wind".[107]
  • Bill Lichtenstein, print and broadcast journalist and documentary filmmaker, profiled in Time magazine, October 10, 1994.[109]
  • Demi Lovato, American actress, singer and writer, revealed her illness in April 2011 in an interview with People magazine.[110][111]



  • Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher.[130]
  • 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.[131]
  • Kim Novak, actress: During an interview with Robert Osborne for TCM in 2012 she stated that she wasn't diagnosed until late in her life.[132]




  • Gabriele Rabel, botanist, physicist[152]
  • Rene Rivkin, entrepreneur.[153]
  • Barret Robbins, former NFL Pro Bowler.[154]
  • Axl Rose, lead singer and frontman best known for Guns N' Roses.[155] "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.
  • John Ruskin, the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist[156]
  • Rene Russo, American actress, producer, and former model







See also[edit]




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  146. ^ Life and Letters and the London Mercury: An International Monthly of Living, Published by Brendin Pub. Co., 1929 (v.2 1929 Jan-Jun, p.171): "Poe, like Nietzsche, was a manic-depressive; and his existence followed a comparable course."
  147. ^ From the Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe by Thomas Ollive Mabbott, Eleanor D Kewer, Maureen C Mabbott, Page 561, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1969: "Poe certainly had manic and depressive periods"
  148. ^ from Edgar Allan Poe: Rhetoric and Style by Brett Zimmerman, published by McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 2005, quote, from p.177: "...when the former was in one of his black moods - evidence supporting (in part) the theory that Poe was manic-depressive (see also Ostrom 404, 437)" [4]
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  150. ^ Gail Porter interview in the Guardian
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