Musicians with Bipolar Disorder

March 15, 2015

kurt cobain

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, can cause a person to have unusual mood shifts. People have ups and downs, but people with Bipolar Disorder have severe ups and downs. Bipolar Disorder can ruin relationships, careers and school performance and even lead to suicide.

The disorder causes someone to have both mania and depression. The mania part is usually apparent when the person is either highly energetic or irritable. The depressive state usually has the person stuck in bed unable to participate in daily activities. The best bet for controlling Bipolar Disorder is psychoanalysis and medication.

Many historical figures and artists have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Creativity is closely linked to the disorder. People with the disorder are highly sensitive and experience emotions very deeply. The extreme intensity of a Bipolar person is expressed creatively at times. “Bipolar disorder may carry certain advantages for creativity, especially in those who have milder symptoms,” according to Dr. Katherine Rankin Ph.D.

Here are some of the most famous musicians with Bipolar Disorder:

Adam Ant, British musician
Here is an excerpt from a February 2013 interview with Rolling Stone Magazine Ant did on the subject of his illness:

“Have you found by talking about your issues with being bipolar that its made a deeper connection with fans who appreciate your candor?”

“Yeah. I think the feedback has been extraordinary, really. I think the whole subject of bipolar disorder is in its infancy in terms of the public being aware it is an illness and not a disease, and not a kind of terminal thing where you have to feel shame. I think creative people, even going back to Winston Churchill, tend to come to it because they kind of have to make their living from abstract ideas, and it’s not like going in and doing a job. It’s actually a broad problem. I haven’t really met a family who hasn’t got a family member who hasn’t suffered from something of this nature, like bipolar disorder. And it’s been swept under the carpet. But I think there’s an obligation to express it, not only in song, which I’ve done on a couple of occasions on the album, but with the media.”

Chris Brown, Pop and R&B singer.
Chris Brown’s struggle with Bipolar Disorder diagnosis was revealed through court documents. Chris Brown was sentenced to 90 days in a treatment facility. Brown had been involved in many different incidences that reflect a Bipolar behavior in some people during a manic period.

Kurt Cobain, Musician.
As a young boy, Kurt Cobain had been diagnosed with ADD then later with Bipolar Disorder.

Cobain would not take the medication needed to control the disorder, instead he indulged in various street drugs and alcohol. The drugs he used included Heroin which he became addicted to by 1990. Cobain attempted rehab in 1992. In 1993, he suffered an overdose prior to a performance at the New Music Seminar in New York City. Courtney Love, his wife, injected him with Narcan which woke him from the overdose. He proceeded to perform without anyone knowing what had just happened.

Other artists with Bipolar include:

DMX, Rapper
Dmx has spoken openly about his illness..

Macy Gray, Musician, nd actor.

Kristin Hersh, Musician

Charley Pride, Country music artist.

Axl Rose, Singer.
Quoted as saying, “I went to a clinic, thinking it would help my moods. The only thing I did was take one 500-question test – ya know, filling in the little black dots. All of sudden I’m diagnosed manic-depressive.”

Nina Simone, Singer.

Frank Sinatra, Singer, and actor.

Britney Spears, Singer-songwriter

Dusty Springfield, English pop singer

Townes Van Zandt, singer-songwriter

Scott Weiland, musician.

Pete Wentz, musician.

Amy Winehouse, musician


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