5 Famous Females Who Are Crushing The Stigma of Bipolar Disorder

Last Updated: 24 May 2019

By being public about their bipolar, these celebrities help others to understand the brain-based disorder.

#1 Jane Pauley

Photo: NBC Universal Television

Jane Pauley, 66, is the anchor of CBS Sunday Morning (after being a contributor since 2014). Pauley is best known for her 13-year tenure at The Today Show, followed by 11 years at NBC’s Dateline. We can’t forget her talk show, The Jane Pauley Show, or her best-selling memoir, Skywriting (2004). Diagnosed at the age of 50, she is now a pioneer of beating the stigma of bipolar.

#2 Catherine Zeta-Jones

Photo: David Shankbone / Wikimedia Commons

In 2011, the Oscar-winning actress revealed she had checked into a facility to treat her bipolar II disorder. Then in 2016, she sought additional treatment. Just prior to her hospitalization, Zeta-Jones was dealing with her husband Michael Douglas’s battle with cancer. Stress is a well-known trigger for both manic and depressive episodes. By being open about her health issues, this leading Hollywood actress is helping to de-stigmatize brain-based disorders.

#3 Linda Hamilton

Photo: Nightscream / CC BY 3.0

Although diagnosed in her 40s, Linda Hamilton has said she believes she has experienced symptoms of the disorder as a teenager, with extreme mood swings. She has said her father, a doctor, diagnosed himself as having bipolar disorder. Hamilton once described a manic episode as an amazingly brilliant time: “Sleep doesn’t seem necessary. You wake up feeling great. But it’s not all great feelings … the capacity for fighting, war, taking everything on, taking too much on, overachieving and then raging because my system was so depleted.”

#4 Demi Lovato

Photo: Rankin

Platinum-selling recording artist Demi Lovato is now an advocate for people affected by mental health conditions, proving it’s possible to get through dark times and reach a place of strength. More recently, in conjunction with Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. and five leading mental health advocacy organizations, Lovato announced the release of her documentary Beyond Silence. She says the film “shines a light on the importance of hope in the face of adversity … only by speaking up together can we advance mental health in America.”

#5 Maria Bamford

Photo: Doug Hyun / Netflix

Maria Bamford stars in the hit Netflix original comedy series Lady Dynamite, a loosely biographical show based on her hospitalization for bipolar depression several years ago. In it, the show portrays Maria’s attempts to rebuild her life in Los Angeles after spending six months in recovery. The show also comedically reflects on Maria’s personal backstory as well as her relationships with family and friends.

Read More:

3 Bipolar Symptoms No One Wants to Talk About

Bipolar Anger: Stuck On The Rage Road!

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About BIPOLAR DEPRESSION

  1. It’s very encouraging that these women have shared how they handle Bipolar. Sometimes I have trouble letting things GO and forgiving myself. Then I start questioning evrything for awhile. These women and their stories help me change my thoughts and go easy.

  2. Why no men listed in the article?

    1. The headline says it all, JJ: It’s “Five Famous FEMALES who have Crushed…” ! There have been other lists with captioned photos that also include men… Go back through bpHope’s back-issue columns. They’ve even listed movies with characters who have BP.
      Besides, women are a minority group that doesn’t get as much coverage as white males! We are also whole human beings and It’s nice to be recognized once in a while!

  3. I have a medical I’d tag on my necklace temporarily that reads ‘Nuero atypical’ and in small letters it says panic and BP disorder. It is helping come to terms with my diagnosis and soothes thoughts that are self stigmatizing.

    1. Where did you get it.

  4. These are only 5 of many stars who suffer/have suffered from Bipolar. Not to mention the amazing Robin Williams who was not saved from suicide. But famous or mundane, we all have stories that speak to the pain and challenge of bipolar.

    Thank you BPHope for all you do….

  5. My daughter was hospitalized for the first time at the age of fifteeen and it has. It been an easy road. She is now 24 and has been hospitalized several times. She is supposed to be on medicatiob, but many times stopped taking them without telling me. She is struggling with accepting her illness and refuses to get learn more about it . She has lost her job many times due to anxiety and tends to self medicate by drinking. Is there an organization that can help parents learn how to better understand the illnesss and know until when we are supposed to help our children and know the difference when we should make them responsible for their careless actions when not accepting their responsibilities to stay healthy. Like not drinking in excess and not keeping a job due to this al Phil abuse. I am always feeling guilty because I can’t tell when I should let her deal with her life and keep providing for her when she is not making an effort to stay well. Any suggestions ?

    1. What to do and what not to do is the dilemma for all of us. I can’t give you much advice; it’s hard when a child, even an adult child, self-medicates and won’t take her meds. Will her psychiatrist see you one or more times for his advice on how to handle her behaviors? There is Al-Anon for those with a family member who drinks and there is NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. Your local chapter would have info on support groups.
      Sometimes the parent has to set boundaries and her, or your, psychiatrist can help with that.

    2. NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) has an incredibly helpful 10 week educational class (free) for family and loved ones of people with bi-polar and other serious mental illness, but with the emphasis on bi-polar. I couldn’t navigate my marriage with a bi-polar spouse without the knowledge and resources i learned there. It answers all your above questions and SO many more. Just google your local chapter of NAMI.

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