You’re Not Alone:
Famous People with Manic Depression

Not just regular people have manic depression. There are many famous people with manic depression, too. There have been actors, composers and other famous people who have suffered with manic depression, otherwise known as Bipolar Disorder. So if you are manic depressive take solace in the fact you are not alone. Many famous people listed below have or are dealing with it too.

Actors and Actresses

Robin Williams gets first mention because his struggle, and ultimate death, broke my heart. If he suffered with manic depression for a very long time but hid it from everyone. His big break as an actor was in the sitcom "Mork and Mindy". He then moved on to more amazing movies like "Good Morning, Vietnam", "Popeye", "World According to Garp", "Mrs. Doubtfire" and to many more!

Russell Brand admitted his battle with this illness in his book "Revolution" that was published in late 2014. Russell is mostly known for his role in the comedy Arthur. He also acted St. Trinian's and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Something you may not know ... he did voice acting in Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2 and Hop.

Patty Duke suffered for years with the “highs” and “lows”, ultimately discovering that she had manic depression. She had a very rough childhood and, most likely, had a family history of depression – manic or otherwise. She finally received treatment, taking lithium, and has written some books about her life to raise awareness and help others. In fact, she is an active spokesperson for manic depression today.

Richard Dreyfus who starred in films like “Mr. Holland’s Opus” and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" suffers from manic depression or as it is called today bipolar disorder. He struggled so much with the disorder that he became addicted to cocaine. He is now a recovered addict and has expressed how happy he is that his struggle is behind him.

Other faous people with manic depression include actors such as Mel Gibson, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Macy Gray, Nicola Pagett, Vivien Leigh, Kristy McNichol, Ben Stiller, Stephen Fry, Linda Hamilton and Carrie Fisher. Rumor has it that even Marilyn Monroe struggled with this disorder.

Famous Writers

Many writers throughout the world have had manic depression as well. They include some very famous ones such as Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Hans Christian Anderson, Charles Dickens, and Ernest Hemingway. Poets were not immune either as it affected the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Lord Byron and John Keats.

Famous Composers, Musicians and Singers

Image courtesy of ”Moriza”
Dog Depression

Surprisingly, even the talented geniuses such as the great composers Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven were suspected of having bipolar disorder. In addition, artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Michelangelo did as well.

In the music world, there were many famous people with manic depression including Frank Sinatra, Courtney Love, Sinead O’Connor, Pete Wentz, Kurt Cobain, Ozzy Osbourne, Jack Irons, Jim Morrison, Adam Ant, Krizz Kalico, Kristin Hersh, Mike Doughty, Ben Moody, Brian Wilson, Amy Winehouse, and the infamous Jimi Hendrix. If you think about their music and lyrics, you can learn to relate to their battle with Bipolar Disorder and how it affected their lives.

Other singers include Chris Brown, Demi Lovato, Brittany Spears, Axl Rose, Rosemary Clooney, Connie Francis, Justin Furstenfeld, Beth Hart, Terry Hall, Mary Lambert,

And, of course, I can’t complete this article without mentioning other famous people such as Sir Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Alexander the Great, Lord Nelson, Robert E. Lee, Howard Hughes, Jane Pauley, and Napoleon Bonaparte.


There are so many more famous people with manic depression that have come out of the "manic depression closet" you can learn about others here. Frankly, I find it sad that so many suffer with this illness yet they are ashamed. I applaud these people for stepping up and telling the world so that we can help reduce the stigma that exists with this disease. There is nothing to be ashamed of. It can be successfully treated. There is hope!

If you, or someone you know, suffer(s) with manic depression, or Bipolar Disorder, know that there is hope and you can thrive versus simply trying to survive.

In today’s day and age, there are treatments that are excellent and can help you manage this effectively. Talk to your medical professional if you feel you are suffering from bipolar disorder. All of the famous people with manic depression had to do the same thing so, as you can see, you are not alone.

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