The local NAMI chapter has literature all over a counter at my local library. One of the pieces of literature actually was a 5×7 index card with a list of famous people who struggled with mental illness. It was kind of interesting so I figured I’d share it. Some I’d already known about; others were a bit of a surprise. How did they figure out who had bipolar disorder back in the 1800s?
I’m aware that my blog has taken a significantly dark turn. This may alienate some of my readers who seek happier, brighter topics. I don’t think my posts have been negative; on the contrary, I think they’ve been positive. Positive and educational.
The Pop-Crunch Show has a list of 135 Famous People Who Struggled with Depression. I sit on the fence and think that it should probably be retitled "135 Famous People Who Struggled with Mental Health Issues."
But then again, we could throw nearly every celebrity in there, huh? I’m bummed that Tom Cruise isn’t on the list.
Heather Locklear, most famous for her roles in T.J. Hooker and Dynasty, checked into an Arizona facility for treatment of anxiety and depression on June 19. As of July 2, rumors reported that she was still checked into the facility. Her publicist issued a statement on June 24:
“Heather has been dealing with anxiety and depression. She requested an in-depth evaluation of her medication and entered into a medical facility for proper diagnosis and treatment,” says Locklear’s rep, Cece Yorke. “This is a confidential medical matter and no further statement will be released.”
It seems that her bout of depression began after her split from rocker Richie Sambora to whom she was married for about 10 years. It appears that her current partner, actor Jack Wagner, has been a strong source of support and encouragement for her.
However, in other upsetting news, 21-year-old model Ruslana Korshunova jumped from the window of her Manhattan apartment in what appears to be a suicide. No one is quite sure what caused it but the based on the poetry that she posted on a website, the New York Daily News has proposed the idea that it was over “a lost love.”
Finally, Counting Crows singer Adam Duritz revealed to Men’s Health magazine that he suffers from dissociative identity disorder (DID). John Grohol of PsychCentral quoted an excerpt from the interview:
What makes my case even worse is that every night I go out on stage and have this incredible emotional connection between me, the band, and the audience. Then, just like that, it’s over. I go backstage, back to the bus, back to my hotel room, and sit there all by myself. That deep connection is yanked away in an instant. It’s like breaking up with your girlfriend over and over again, every night.
I’m not a fan of Kirsten Dunst or her acting (but Interview with the Vampire was pretty good) but I have to give her sympathy if she was depressed enough to check into a hospital. Her admission comes toward the end of Depression Overawareness and Overmedication Week and May’s Mental Health Awareness Month.
In February of this year, Dunst checked into Cirque Lodge Treatment Center, a “posh facility” in Utah that has treated the likes of Eva Mendes (wouldn’t say) and Lindsay Lohan (substance abuse).
In any event, Dunst stayed low-key about her treatment for depression.
As for why she decided to talk about her struggles now, Dunst tells E!, “Now that I’m feeling stronger, I was prepared to say something … Depression is pretty serious and should not be gossiped about.”
(Does this count as gossiping?)
Dunst dealt with her depression allegedly by partying and engaging in “wild nights.” However, a supportive friend says that she had been struggling for quite a while.
“She’s been crying a lot lately, ” said the friend. “Everybody hits that bottom where you feel [so] scared that that one heavy night of partying can really wake you up. It’s good she’s getting herself help.”
I’m glad that she was able to get treatment. Although I still envy the “posh facility” part of it. Checking in to a hospital is never fun but I can only imagine that celebrities are treated comfortably. See it here.
(Hat tip: Gianna at Beyond Meds)
This one’s for the women.
If you’re anything like me, sometime during the 90’s you watched the long-running soap opera General Hospital at one point or another. Well, remember bad boy Sonny Corinthos?
Maurice Benard, the actor behind the character, has openly admitted to struggling with severe bipolar disorder and is a spokesperson for Mental Health America. While I’m not sure which came first (the chicken or the egg), Benard’s charcter, Sonny, also struggles with bipolar disorder on the show. In the past, I’ve read that he flew into rages so bad that he needed to be hospitalized and had to take time away from the set to recover. It’s only fitting that Sonny’s character — as ruthless as he is — shows a true side of Benard who seeks to educate viewers about the disorder.
Combined with his stressful career in organized crime, Sonny’s bipolar disease has caused him to routinely break out in acts of senseless violence. The most infamous example of Sonny’s violent side was when Sonny, during one of his “manic” moods, shot his wife Carly in the skull while she was in the process of giving birth to his son.
That episode sounds like it might have pissed me off instead. But Benard seemed okay with it.
“Two years ago the head writer came up to me about doing a breakdown story. I said as long as it’s done to educate people and to make it right. And we did it. It was fantastic,” the General Hospital actor added.
I wonder what people learned from the overall storyline.
Liz Spikol has a new post on celebrities talking about mental disorders. This time, it’s Christina Ricci and Mel Gibson. Ricci has previously admitted to suffering from anorexia but now admits to suffering from depression. Gibson, on the other hand, said in a 2002 interview that he was bipolar (manic-depressive back in the day). Then she’s got a whole list of people who have recently admitted to depression.
Then there’s Britney Spears. If you don’t know who she is, be thankful. For the rest of us who spend our time following celebrity news, there have been rumors swirling around recently that she is pregnant because she’s got a big, protruding belly (bigger than the botched VMA’s last year) even though she’s been exercising regularly.
A source close to the family says that Britney has been struggling with her weight ever since she had her second son Jayden James, 20 months, and the medication has not helped.
The pop star has been back in training in preparation for a comeback, spending plenty of time on the treadmill – but despite all the effort, she is failing to regain the svelte figure which made her famous.
I wonder what antipsychotics she’s on. Seroquel?
Finally, ABC News wrote about celebrities who suffer from various mental illnesses. I’d been wanting to blog on this some time ago but never had the chance. BPD in OKC beat me to it.
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow has come clean about her bout with postpartum depression after the birth of her son Moses. Speaking to Vogue magazine, Paltrow said:
“I didn’t know I had it until after it was over. I just didn’t know what was wrong with me. I felt really out of my body. I felt really disconnected. I felt really down. I felt pessimistic.”
Wentz was joined stars such as Mary J. Blige and Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan as a spokesperson for the Jed Foundation’s Half Of Us campaign which is aimed at cutting student suicide rates.
The site also deals with issues such as eating disorders, stress, substance abuse, cutting, anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. As part of Generation Y (or Z or XYZ), I grew up loving mtv as a teen. Now I can’t stand it. (Mainly because it’s reality-TV show channel for than music television.) But I have to hand it to the mtv networks this time. They got it right. Use celebrities if you have to so that college students will be less hesitant to seek the help they need.
I’ve never watched the show Jackass but apparently the big star from the show, Steve-O, is on suicide watch. Steve-O (real name: Stephen Glover) was recently charged with cocaine possession by LA police so it’s likely that he was under the influence of drugs when threatened to take his own life. He also is said to suffer from bipolar disorder. (I told you it’s the hip mental illness!) PerezHilton.com quotes Star magazine that first broke the story:
"Steve is stabilized on meds at this point," the source says. "He was also treated for burns on his skin as if he had been putting cigarettes out on his own body."
"Right now he’s in his extreme mania," a family member tells the mag. "His concerned friends and family are hoping he’ll seek treatment. He doesn’t need jail, he needs therapy. We’re just really hoping that this will be the wake-up call that gets him back to himself."
This is another celebrity’s antics we can take seriously. Steve-O left suicide notes for friends and family. While his drug charges shouldn’t be dismissed just because he’s famous, this family member is right; he needs treatment. If you want to see a disturbing photo that could be seen as a foreshadowing of this incident, see this post at PerezHilton.com.