Celebrities, who are usually always portrayed as leading glamorous lives, are not spared the disorders that affect us normal folk, be it phobias, addictions or a variety of mental disorders. The major difference is that because of their high profiles, their personal issues are very much under the scrutiny of the public eye.
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a serious illness in which the sufferer alternates between extreme moods of mania and depression, with phases of feeling normal in between. These people tend to be more creative than average, and so it is not surprising that a number of musicians, artists, actors and poets are afflicted with this disorder.
The renowned musician Sting, of ‘The Police’ fame, who has described his feelings of depression and even suicidal thoughts in a number of interviews, has suggested that he too suffers from a bipolar condition, although there is not sufficient evidence to confirm this.
His mania came into the limelight and was blown out of proportion when he went to Long’s Drugs Store in California to buy some Gatorade. In an interview with ‘Live! Magazine’ in 1996, bipolar.com reports, Sting was quoted as 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.”
It is still unclear whether he was serious when he referred to himself as “manic depressive”, but according to some reports his song entitled ‘Lithium sunset’ has something to do with his bipolar disorder since it makes reference to lithium carbonate, which is a treatment for this disorder. Bipolar disorder is raising its head alarmingly among the five behavioral health disorders around the world including major depression, alcohol problems, schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder. During his peak years of success Sting, 59, experienced a turbulent marriage and also clashes within his band and this no doubt contributed to his suicidal feelings.
Figures in the public eye who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder include DMX, Axl Rose and Ben Stiller. It is not known what causes this often debilitating disease, but with proper treatment and support, sufferers can learn to find a way to function and live with it.
Images: PR Photos