Celebrities always seem to have it made, or at least that’s how it appears when we see them in the spotlight. We see them wearing designer clothes, jet setting and purchasing the newest and most expensive luxurious homes, but in reality they have problems just like the rest of us.
The difference is that they’re in the spotlight, which means it can be extremely challenging to keep their problems under wraps, especially if they include mental health issues. Some stars are very private about their mental health, where others like Brooke Shields, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Demi Lovato have been very open about their personal battles with mental disorders, all with the common goal of raising awareness and putting an end to the misunderstandings involved when it comes to mental health.
Here’s our list of 10 celebrities with shocking mental disorders:
10. Amanda Bynes
The world discovered soon after Amanda Bynes began demonstrating insane behavior in the spotlight, that she suffers from not just one mental illness, but two; both bipolar and schizophrenia disorders. Probably the most startling behaviors were when Bynes started a fire in her neighbor’s driveway and then took off to the nearest liquor store to wash gasoline from her dog. Besides the incident, her erratic behavior when it comes to her appearance as well as her social media remarks raised a number of questions regarding her mental state. Bynes spent four months in rehabilitation where she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
9. Brooke Shields
Brooke Shields suffered from a harsh form of postpartum depression after giving birth to her daughter back in 2003. Since overcoming her depression, she has spoken publicly about the dangers of the disease in order to help women who deal with the symptoms related to the disorder. Brooke has gone on record to ABC News about her experience and said the following,
“I was not really aware that I had it [postpartum depression]. It was devastating to my whole family. I had gone through numerous attempts to have a baby and when I did finally have this perfect, beautiful, healthy baby and it all but destroyed me. I couldn’t hold the baby, I couldn’t do anything for the baby, I couldn’t look at the baby. Every time I got near her, even the smell of the diapers of the baby. I would… My knees would get weak. I would… I just cried all day long and I thought I’d made the worst mistake of my life.”
8. Margot Kidder
In 1996, Kidder’s bipolar disorder spiraled out of control. She became manic, which ended up speeding up her bad habits of chain smoking, drinking coffee and not sleeping, and the combination of all three made her delusional. When talking about her disorder, she said, “I was like one of those ladies you see talking to the space aliens on the street corner in New York.”
The 66-year-old actress rose to fame in the 1970s starring as Lois Lane alongside Christopher Reeve in the Superman films.
7. Britney Spears
Unlike some celebrities on this list, Spears‘ personality disorder has been in the public eye for quite some time now. In 2008, her mental health issues led to a very public mental breakdown, which lead to a judge appointing a legal guardian to make decisions for her. Many people speculated that she suffered from ADHD and bipolar disorder, but it was unclear what her actual diagnosis was. During that time she was undergoing serious legal problems regarding possible child endangerment. As a result of her behavior, most likely caused by her mental disorder, she lost custody of her two children and the entire world was now judging her, calling her everything from a drug addict to an unfit mother.
6. Paula Deen
For the last two decades Paula Deen has suffered from panic attacks and at times agoraphobia. Her disorder began after tragedy struck her life; first her parents died, and then her marriage to her high school sweetheart ended. Deen has since overcome the struggles of battling two disorders and has sold 14 cookbooks that have sold over 8 million copies, not to mention her television shows as well as touring the country making special appearances to talk about her life, family and of course cooking.
5. Sinead O’Connor
In 2007, O’Connor was a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and talked about how she has battled bipolar disorder since her young adult years. It was only when she was 37 that she was diagnosed with the disorder, not long after she tried killing herself after her birthday. She told Oprah that she takes antidepressants and mood stabilizers. “Anything is an improvement when you’ve been in desolation, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have lumps and bumps.”
Five years after the interview, she wrote on her website that she had a second opinion, “I do not in fact suffer from Bi Polar disorder and never did . . . and should never have been put on the medication . . . They are extremely debilitating drugs. Tiring to the extreme. Ironically, extremely depressing. They can cause suicidal or self-harm type thinking.”
O’Connor said, in an interview in the Irish Mirror, “I’m delighted to be able to say that after ten years of poisoning myself with these drugs and having to live with the extremely difficult side-effects of them I can shortly begin the very, very slow indeed, process of getting them out of my system and my life and getting my life back.”
4. Drew Carey
In Drew Carey‘s published autobiography, Dirty Jokes and Beer: Stories of the Unrefined we learnt about his childhood and the death of his father when he was the young age of eight, which led to him suffering from depression when he was 18 and again in his 20s. Carey was so depressed that he attempted suicide twice by taking a number of sleeping pills. When asked about the shame in regards to depression, he said,
“Living in Hollywood, you can get disconnected from everybody. You can feel like you are the only one. So you feel it, you hold it in and you don’t let go and you don’t try to find help because you think, ‘Oh man if I tell anybody, I’m going to seem like I’m weak. I won’t get a movie deal. I won’t get invited to…’ whatever goes through your head.”
3. Mel Gibson
Clearly, judging by Gibson‘s public outbursts and rants over the years, it was only a matter of time before the public would find out he has suffered from a mental health disease. Gibson has what was once named manic depressive disorder, now known as bipolar disorder. In 2010, he made headlines all over the word about his erratically bad behavior to his ex-girlfriend, which was caught on time.
Gibson once said of his disorder, “I have had some really good highs, but some really worse lows. I discovered recently that I am manic depressive.”
Battling bipolar and having an issue with alcoholism is not a good combination, back in 2006 Mel was charged on a DUI and verbally abused a sheriff making a bunch of anti-Semitic comments. He did later, issue a public apology, “When I was arrested, I acted totally out of control and said despicable things that I don’t believe to be true. I apologize for everything that I said and to anyone who I have offended. I am deeply ashamed for what happened.”
2. Elton John
Elton John has spoken publicly about his struggles with bulimia, a disorder that causes people to eat huge quantities of food and then vomit or use laxatives. In 1990 he checked himself into rehab for his eating disorder as well as his cocaine addiction, after being in denial for over 16 years. Elton told Larry King in 2002, “As soon as I said those words [“I need help”], I knew that I was going to get better, and I was determined to get better, but it was just a relief to be able to say those.”
1. Jean-Claude Van Damme
Van Damme‘s mental illness is called rapid cycling bipolar disorder. It’s very similar to being bipolar but includes massive highs and lows, and usually the person suffers through a faster transition from a bunch of symptoms or a combination of them. When Van Damme was younger he tried masking his manic-depressive disease with his training. He said, “When I didn’t train for a couple days, I felt so low and nothing could make me happy.”
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