Kanye West and 9 Other Stars Who Have Spoken Out About Bipolar Disorder
Kanye West is telling his truth through music once again, and this time he's opening up about bipolar disorder, a condition that many celebrities have addressed in the past.
The 40-year-old rapper's latest album, Ye, was unveiled during a listening party in Wyoming, and while the cover art for the new music showcases a mountain in the scenic state, the message chosen to go along with the image is perhaps the most compelling. West chose to write over the photo: "I hate being Bi-Polar it’s awesome."
According to the Mayo Clinic, bipolar disorder is "associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs."
Kanye also addresses his health struggles and drug use in his song, "Wouldn't Leave," where he raps: “That’s why I f**k with Ye / That’s my third person / That’s my bipolar s**t, ni**a what / That’s my superpower / Ni**a ain’t no disability / I’m a superhero, I’m a superhero.”
On the track "Yikes," he also croons: "I can feel the spirits all around me / I think Prince and Mike was tryna warn me / They know I got demons all on me."
In addition to West rapping about mental health struggles, a number of other stars have been vocal about their battles with bipolar disorder.
Here are their accounts:
The 48-year-old singer told People that she was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder in 2001 and only recently came to terms with her condition. She is now going to therapy regularly and taking medication.
"Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me,” she says of keeping the diagnosis private. “It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn’t do that anymore. I sought and received treatment, I put positive people around me and I got back to doing what I love -- writing songs and making music."
The 25-year-old pop star has been very vocal about being bipolar, but was adamant during an interview with iHeartRadio’s Elvin Duran last August that she does not want the condition to define her.
“I think when people refer to me as being bipolar, it’s something that is true -- I am bipolar -- but I don’t like people to use it as a label,” Lovato -- who revealed she was bipolar in 2011 --- explained. “It’s something that I have, it’s not who I am. I think Demi Lovato, activist, is something that I would really be proud of.”
In April 2011, the 48-year-old actress checked out of a mental health facility and revealed that she was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder.
"This is a disorder that affects millions of people and I am one of them," she told People at the time. "If my revelation of having bipolar II has encouraged one person to seek help, then it is worth it. There is no need to suffer silently and there is no shame in seeking help."
In her 2001 autobiography, Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue, the CBS Sunday Morning host opened up about being bipolar.
"The diagnosis was a shock and a relief," she said during a 2004 interview on the Today show. "Someone was taking charge of this. He [Gary Trudeau] was going to get his wife back.”
At the time, the 67-year-old journalist said that she was taking lithium to help with her condition. "It's just a salt," she noted on Today. "It just is stabilizing. It allows me to be who I am. A mood disorder is dangerous. You’ve got to get those dramatic waves of highs and lows stabilized. It’s dangerous if you don't."
The late actress was admirably candid about her mental health struggles, which she opened up about during her many interviews with ET throughout the years. Fisher was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, battled manic depression and also fought drug addictions.
In one memorable 2011 interview with ET, Fisher revealed the advice she would have given her younger self. "You know, I don't think I could have told my younger self anything," she shared. "Get help -- there's not much else."
"Learn to say the words, 'I don't know,'" the Star Wars actress added. "Mean them."
The Patty Duke Show star -- who died in March 2016 at age 69 -- became a major advocate for mental health awareness after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982, a moment her son, Sean Astin, described to ET as a “watershed” for his mother’s life and legacy.
“All of a sudden, [here] was this thing that, not only was it important for her own life, because now she could design a care-giving plan, and she could get medication, and there was a name for what her series of symptoms was,” Astin explained. “But now, she had a new identity and a whole new mission. A whole new sense of purpose, and that was to share what she had gone through with other people.”
“She was one of the first public figures with a big, public profile who did that,” he further recalled. “What's so funny is, as her son, seeing her -- the real her, the authentic her -- which most people saw as well... the more she opened up, the more she shared of her pain, the more she revealed how excruciating pain can be turned into bliss.”
The 55-year-old actor was not only diagnosed with bipolar disorder in his real life, but also portrayed a man suffering from the mental illness on General Hospital.
While on Dr. Oz in 2016, Benard revealed that he had three mental breakdowns before discovering he was bipolar. "It’s like being in a nightmare and not being able to wake up," he said of those times. "I see it as God and the devil fighting."
While promoting her 2015 book, Whatever...Love Is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves, the Coyote Ugly star opened up to ET about her mental illness.
"I think that my disease, since I'm medicated, is a gift, because I've gone so far through extremes -- from the very bottom to the very top of human emotion and feeling," the 51-year-old actress said. "I think that I am more empathetic because of it."
In May 2015, the Creed frontman revealed he was bipolar after having a psychotic breakdown the year prior.
"I was hallucinating," he told People. "I drove around the United States for a month, following an angel that I saw on the hood of my car. In my delusional thinking, I thought my family was involved in ISIS, and that millions of dollars had been taken from me to support terrorism. All of it was nonsense. I was out of my mind."
"There's a stigma associated with it," the 44-year-old singer added. "But [my wife] Jaclyn kept telling me, 'Embrace it. We love you.' It became a big sign of relief, because finally, we had an answer."
For mental health support, contact the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance at dbsalliance.org.
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