Axl Rose’s troubled childhood is what many put the foundation of his bipolar disorder down to. Behaviors like explosive anger, substance abuse and alcohol use in youth were a regularity for the man who was physically and sexually abused in his home. After ditching his life at home at 18, Axl (whose real name is Billy Bailey) fled to Los Angeles, where he, after years of hard work and at times living on the streets, he finally managed the huge break through with his band Guns N’Roses in the 1980s.
Axl’s aggressive behavior and various arrests for disorderly conduct and assault, as well as heavy drug use led many to believe the singer was emotionally instable.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, bipolar.com reports, he addressed emotional issues. “I’m very sensitive and emotional and things upset me and make me feel like not functioning or dealing with people,” he said. “I went to a clinic, thinking it would help my moods. The only thing I did was to take one 500 question test – ya know, filling in the little black dots. All of a sudden I’m diagnosed manic-depressive. ‘Let’s put Axl on medication.’ Well, the medication doesn’t help me deal with the stress. The only thing it does is help keep people off my back because they figure I’m on medication.”
Many took this to be a confirmation and admission to the fact that he was suffering from bipolar. Not so, he now says.
“I’ve not been diagnosed as being bipolar though many misconstrue statements I made earlier as alluding to such and unfortunately there’s been an abundance of misguided or unqualified speculation of various events, but I definitely can relate to needing my own space,” spike.com quotes Axl as saying in response to fan questions on Guns N’Roses websites.
“In my world, all bipolar means (and not to offend or make light of those suffering from a genuine condition or involved with those who are) is that someone can try to take cheap uneducated shots or try to claim I’m bipolar thus justifying why they should get paid a financial settlement for whatever nonsense they’re up to.”