UPDATE: Celebrities, like Robin Williams, with depression and bipolar disorder

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Robin WIlliams

WASHINGTON, August 13, 2014 — Robin Williams stunned the world when he was found dead from an apparent suicide. What has come out of this tragedy is that Williams, while he probably felt very much alone at the time he decided to take his life, was not.

The sheriffs coroner has provided a preliminary report stating that Williams died of asphyxia. In a statement, his publicist revealed that Williams has been struggling with severe depression lately

It has been reported through several sites that Williams suffered from bipolar disorder for years and the comedian himself was candid about his disease.


READ ALSO: Robin Williams: Depressed men more likely to commit suicide



Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder characterized by wide mood swings. A person suffering from bipolar disorder will experience the highest of highs alternating with the lowest of lows. These manic and depressive episodes can last from anywhere from a few hours up to months.

Manic episodes will consist of extreme happiness and hyperactivity. When in this state, a person will often have racing thoughts and be unable to sleep or even sit still.

During a depressive episode, a person will feel extreme sadness. They often feel helpless and hopeless. During these periods, the sufferer will not feel any pleasure from activities that they used to enjoy.

As is evident from the tragedy of Robin William’s death, bipolar disorder can seem impossible to live with and devastate a family.


READ ALSO: Shazbot Robin Williams: Because we did, in fact, love him


Many famous people are believed to have been affected by bipolar disorder; the National Institute of Mental Health reports that it affects 5.7 million American adults.

Jon Hamm of Mad Men revealed his depression after his father’s death. Owen Wilson attempted suicide in 2007, was reportedly due to depression.

Billy Joel, has battled alcoholism and described falling into a “deep mental fog” after 9/11.

Depression is so common among comedians, including Richard Pryor, Richard Jeni and Artie Lange, who all attempted suicide — with Jeni succeeding. At the Hollywood Laugh Factory depression in comedians is so common that the club has an office, with couch and therapists available to the performers.

The erratic behavior of eccentric and creative people has often been speculated to come from bipolar disorder. Although is not known if there is a higher incidence of mental illness among celebrities, a number of other well-known persons have suffered from bipolar disorder:

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill’s family had a history of mental illness. His father displayed psychotic episodes during his life and his daughter, Diana would ultimately die of a suicide in 1963.

Churchill himself called his own depression his “black dog”.

His friend Lord Beaverbrook described what sounds like a bipolar sufferer when he said that Churchill was either “at the top of the wheel of confidence or at the bottom of an intense depression”.

Churchill’s depression has been credited with his early belief that Hitler had sinister intentions when others did not want a confrontation. Possibly only a man who had experienced such lows could see no hope in someone else.


READ ALSO:  How do I know if I have bipolar disorder?


Jim Carrey

After his break up with Jenny McCarthy in 2010, Carrey stayed up frantically posting to his twitter account until 4 a.m.

Carrey made a joke during an Oprah Winfrey interview that he only acted this way when he was on the “upside of his bipolar disorder”.

Carrey told a newspaper in an interview that his depression was the motivator for the comedies that he produces today. He took the drug Prozac to deal with his depression for some period but now claims that he has turned to faith to deal with it today.

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Zeta-Jones has been open and honest with the public about her bipolar disorder, taking some of the stigma out of the illness. She has been dealing with bipolar disorder for many years, but it came into the public eye after her husband was diagnosed with cancer.

The cancer diagnosis triggered a bipolar episode, and due to that she voluntarily checked herself into a treatment facility. She suffers from bipolar disorder II, a variant of the disorder in which the mood swings are not as severe as in other bipolar disorders.


READ ALSO:  BREAKING: Robin Williams an apparent suicide at 63


Ben Stiller

Stiller told GQ magazine,”I have not been an easygoing guy. I think it’s called bipolar manic depression. I’ve got a rich history of that in my family. I’m not proud of the fact that I lost my temper. Sometimes you just [expletive] up.”

Both of Stiller’s parents have openly spoken about their own treatment for depression, though neither has ever reported treatment for bipolar conditions.

Richard Dreyfuss

Dreyfuss first spoke publically about his bipolar disorder during the 2006 documentary, “The Secret Life of Manic Depressive.”

Since then he has been open and has freely discussed his struggles in the hope of alleviating some of the stigma associated with mental illness. He told People magazine, “There is no shame in having depression. It never should be something to hide.”

Dreyfuss realized that he was suffering from this mental illness around the age of 14, when he realized that his range of emotions was not the same as everyone else’s.


READ ALSO: Nanu-nanu Robin Williams? No more, no more Robin Williams? The passing of greatness


After his marriage ended in divorce in 1995, he realized that he needed help and sought counseling. Through talk therapy and the drug lithium, Dreyfuss found balance in his life.

Although he now takes a different drug that he chooses not to name, he says he is allowed to live his life as himself.

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  • Diane Sampson

    I have Bipolar I Affective Disorder, and it is hell to live with. Even when you are feeling up, there is always the lingering terror that the next depression will be the one you just can’t live through. This was the one for Robin Williams. Absolutely tragic, but understandable from my viewpoint.

    • Blueturtle

      Diane, you are a beautiful person. Be sure that when you feel the next one coming, you lean on your friends or services. It shouldn’t be understandable, it’s tragic. Peace and Love to you.

    • M

      Sometimes the mania can be worse…of course, depending on who’s perspective you take- a friend, a lover, or a family member.
      The disorder does not only affect the person, but also his circle of friends.

    • Diane Sampson

      Thank you, Blueturtle. You are very kind.

      • JahCure

        You can be completely healed from Bipolar Disorder. It does not have to be a death sentence.

        • Angel Gabriel

          Yeah? So tell us how. I have been suffering from bipolar disorder for almost 40 years and would love to know how one heals a genetic condition. To the best of my knowledge there is no cure.

        • one bi-polar sufferer

          ignorant comments like that are not needed thanks very much Ms `Jahcure`

        • GracieStarr

          There is no cure for Bipolar Disorder. NONE!! If there was, there would be very few of us out here suffering from this terrible illness. Even the rich and famous can’t seem to find a cure. Because there is no such thing. It is usually caused by genetics. There are treatments available. But all of the medications have side effects, many of which are extreme!! Counseling is also available. Neither of those things are a cure for this illness. You aren’t helping. 🙁

          • John Prudom

            genetic condition. Kain from the bible had it for petes sake ask any jesuit doctor. It is defacto mark of cain, utter extreme emotions at a rate indescribable.

        • Paperthintelevision

          You can’t heal bipolar disorder. Sorry to say, but you don’t seem to grasp the concept that it is in your genes.

          • Susan Maree Jeavons

            I agree. My dad’s bipolar, my son and 2 daughters, and a cousin. It has to be in the genes.

        • Susan Maree Jeavons

          Are you a doctor? A psychiatrist? A scientist? A geneticist? A genius? So tell us about this mythological cure please…

    • John Prudom

      Ditto your opinion as another Type 1 Bipolar patient

    • Paperthintelevision

      I know exactly that feeling you are describing. I feel the exact same way. I also have Bipolar disorder. It is not pleasant to live with it.

  • styants64

    Poor Robin Williams if only he had phoned someone he could talk to about the way he was feeling, Bi Polar it is like taking a mind altering drug the jimmi Hendix lyrics to his track Manic Depression sum up the symptoms quite well.

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  • Indie Visible

    As a rapid cycler, that is going from one extreme to the other more quicker, it’s like being stuck on a roller coaster ride with no way off. RIP Robin!

    • Susan Maree Jeavons

      I was a rapid cycler when I was younger. It felt like going from zero to 1000 mph in 30 seconds…

      • John Prudom

        I too cycle from happy and sad a few dozen times during my worst days. I ride my bicycle(there’s a pun oh my) to help narrow the cycles down or atleast give me privacy when i’m angry/upset with myself/world/things

        • Susan Maree Jeavons

          Anything positive that we can do when we are manic, helps. I use to clean my entire house in a couple hours, take care of 8 kids, and feed them all. They are all grown now and I am slowing down. I’ve also found writing helps immensely.

          • Paperthintelevision

            All of those things help me as well. Wow, I’m not alone. Well, the cycling and cleaning part. Sometimes just removing yourself from an uneasy state of mind can help you get through the tough part.

  • HoldBack

    JahCure – Talking with someone and taking medications are TREATMENTS not cures

  • HoldBack

    Didn’t Jimmi Hendrix die unnaturally?

    • HoldBack

      All good points “Guest”. I was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia in 1994. I self-committed to a psychiatric hospital as suicidal on a Friday after work. Years prior I began seeing illusions of things and other people I was convinced were ‘dragons’ there to harm or even kill me. I refused to bow down as I was a rising executive in a very large company, and I believed all this just came with the necessary challenges of the job. Sleep became a waste of my time; every moment I was sure the world would somehow suffer if I left my ‘duties’ for ANY moment. I was very very ‘important’, This lack of sleep compounded my already hopeless mental illness. My wife and small children saw their Dad suffering from something very scary, but couldn’t help me deal with such a strange dive. It took a group of professionals, medications, and other patients like myself to talk through it all. At the end of the first of two weeks in the hospital my psychiatrist re-diagnosed me with manic depression, today called “Bipolar”. The 3rd week I was started on the drug “Lithium” and was advised to see a psychiatrist every three months to ascertain the 5 drugs (I eventually took), were effectively managing my illness. Today, 20 years after my diagnosis, I still see a psychiatrist every three months. The older I get, the more complicated the management of Bipolar becomes for me…I guess due to the normal changes that come simply with aging. I have been a serious Robin Williams fan since I saw the movie “Patch Adams”. As you may recall, Patch was also self-committed as suicidal. It took a significant event helping another patient for him to realize where his power was needed. The rest is history, yes a true story, in which the mission of employing a new dimension to medical treatment was born. I believe Robin Williams found his own Bipolar disorder to be like an out-of-control person as I was. The BIG difference is that his fame added a huge weight to be more important and successful than I ever felt, or was. Very sadly, his reported alcohol addiction was a severe aggravation to an already scary down hill slide. I, too, crossed the boundaries to irresponsible drinking. Since I heard the news of Robin’s suicide I became deeply distraught because I have pursued the strength of Patch’s approach to my patients’ comfort, and Robin Williams WAS Patch to me. Finally, in the bigger picture, the loss of someone so essential to our world’s need to bring humor to most any crisis has taken a temporary, but deeply-felt hurt, even great confusion. Our Conductor of Humor tragically fell to a crisis even he couldn’t slay. For me, finding and sharing my delusions and a very gray world have often removed the dragon of Bipolar. Can we all seek out new Conductors? I think we must. I know I have to fight the dragon most every day and strive to help others with their own dragons. We must be willing to admit when we’re over our heads in anything. There will always be comfort if we can just reach out.

      • Nina Kabatoff

        My brother, cousin and step-sister committed suicide. I always felt I was next in line on their anniversary dates. Was very depressed. I am very grateful my bipolar disease is under control with medication. I am living to help end mental illness stigma.

      • Paperthintelevision

        That’s an awesome story man. I really enjoyed reading that. I experienced much of what you felt when I was having my first manic episode. There waws no time for sleep, just study (or at least try to concentrate…) or run on a treadmill for 2 hours. sleep for 3 hours a day. Start to see really vivid colours that pop out and my senses were totally enhanced…

        I guess you could say that my manic episodes are very similar to the spirit journeys in the game FarCry 3.

    • Paperthintelevision

      coming from someone who has the Bipolar, I can tell you that there is not much you can do. It’s just something the person has to live with. But for those who have a person in their life who is Bipolar, don’t treat them any differently than you treat anyone without it. We are not super fragile/special, we just deal with unbalanced chemicals in our brains and we don’t need the stigma that comes with having a mental illness.

      In my experience, when I go manic, it is like being shell-shocked. Sometimes I go catatonic and I am just frozen. I stay like that until I can muster out of it and continue whatever I was doing. If I continue my activity, I could end up just making it worse.

      Sometimes, I get irritated about the most ridiculous things, and it’ll put me straight into a rage. When that happens, I either have to 1) go outside and run around for a half hour to get that outta my system or 2) remove myself COMPLETELY from my surroundings and environment to recoup. I can also describe being manic as having extreme euphoria/happiness coupled with the mosts haunting doomish scary feelings you thought never even existed AT THE SAME TIME. I can’t control it, but I can overcome it eventually. You may waste a lot of time trying to get through the rough parts, but that is something you have to live with. find your triggers and do good for your health.

      I have also found that having Bipolar has its gifts as well. I am a song-writer and writing songs is my therapy for my illness. When I get that self-esteem release, it literally free’s me from the shackles and an overwhelming sense of joy washes over me. It’s not permanent, but if I keep on making music, I can make it easier for me. So, I will continue to make it easier for me.

      It sucks having it, and it sucks to live with someone who has it. The best thing you can do is work together as a team to tackle it. exercise and a healthy diet as well as MUCH SLEEP will help those with Bipolar.

  • Cat

    Thank you for an excellent article. One correction: bipolar II is NOT “a variant of the disorder in which the mood swings are not as severe as in other bipolar disorders.” Rather it is a “variant” in which a person doesn’t become fully manic – becomes less “up” and more “down.” BP2 is more likely to end in death, with more frequent and more severe depressions. As someone who has BP2, I suspect that bipolar depression can be worse than “unipolar” depression when everyone expects you to be “up” all the time. When you know what it’s like to be energized and joyful and connected, it can be all the more painful to have the world drop from under you and fall into the isolating pit of despair.

    • britoutofwater

      I don’t know that we really need to get into a debate over which is “worse”. Mental illness is tough for everyone no matter what type you have and how “bad” you are. One upping does nothing to help anyone or reduce the stigma. Let’s all just work together to reduce the stigma and encourage those that need it to get the treatment, help, and support they need to go one more day at a time.

      • eva

        I think they were explaining for understanding…People want to understand what they have and how to respond and not be lumped in with everyone else…as much as possible. No one’s debating.

        • britoutofwater

          “I suspect that bipolar depression can be worse than “unipolar” depression when everyone expects you to be “up” all the time.”

          Sounds like debating to me…

  • Jeannie Jordan

    You can’t be cured from Bipolar! I totally get why he did it. His pain was just too much at this point. At least he’s not hurting anymore. RIP, Robin!

  • Ben

    I am also a sufferer of bipolar disorder. Stigma is everywhere. I understand his suicide, though. If he had just hung on a few more hours he would probably not have done it. The saddest thing about the illness is the inability to control the impulse to do stupid things when high, and tragic things when low. I wish the world would take this illness more seriously.

    • Paperthintelevision

      yup, that definitely describes a part of having bipolar disorder.

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  • Susan Maree Jeavons

    I am almost 65 and was diagnosed when I was about 28. I’m also an incest survivor. Bipolar runs in my family. I have attempted suicide twice. I am glad I survived. I have been through hell and back, been on meds for many years, but have now found peace through prayer and forgiveness. I still have ups and downs, but not as extreme as they use to be. I adored Robin Williams. I could relate to him. Unless you are bipolar, it is hard to understand what goes on in our minds. I relate it to having a kaleidascope inside your head, that won’t stop turning…Rest In Peace. Robin.

    • Paperthintelevision

      Wow, the kaleidoscope reference really put it in perspective for me, I like that comparison. I definitely relate. It’s hard for someone to understand how bipolar affects those that suffer from it. It’s just as hard for me to understand/get through the tough waves myself.

      • Susan Maree Jeavons

        Kaleidoscope Web

        A kaleidoscope web

        is (inside) of my head,

        with hideous black threads

        [trapping] thoughts,

        not quite dead!

        As they dangle within,

        a deadly struggle begins,

        and if I don’t ……………. :@ escape,

        surely

        MADNESS

        will win!!!!!!

        © 1999 Susan Maree Jeavons-

  • susanmeanslily

    I have Bipolar-2 and I’m a rapid-cycler. I knew there was “something wrong with me” when I was 14. Unfortunately, that was about the same time “One flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” came out! LOL In all reality it frightened me to let anyone know. I’ve been on medication for 14 years now, after being hospitalized for a severe depressive episode, and I’m much, much better. I take lamotrigine and topirimate and I also take zolpidem to sleep at night. (regular sleep is extremely important for bi-polar sufferers)
    I feel really bad for Robin’s family and wish he had been able to get the help he needed. More research needs to be done. I think having celebrities like Catherine Zeta-Jones admit to having this illness helps a lot.

  • Dana Tavenner

    When bipolar alcohol and drugs just make it worse. What helps but wont make it go away? with good diet and exercise and many other things managing it is possible. Please check out this facebook page for lot of management resources bluegreenyellowred mentalhealthfamilysupport

    • 8-10 hours of sleep a night has helped me greatly! Alcohol and drugs are big triggers for episodes.

    • Paperthintelevision

      I find that balanced diet and plenty of exercise (especially endurance works great for me such as bike riding as I go full blown manic and rarely get to the very lows so bike riding helps to manage the spikes.)

      I can’t stress how important exercise is in everyone’s life anyways. doing exercise and drinking plenty of water will do miracles. Don’t believe me? Try it out.

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  • live there

    I’m truly sad about Robins passing, but understand his decision.
    What I resent is that all the media speaks about depression and not bipolar.

    Me: bipolar II for 49 years – highly functioning – this is part of a diagnosis – not my opinion.
    Apparently it is understandable, acceptable and relate-able to be depressed but certainly not to be Bipolar!
    I would hope that all bipolar people take action and petition the media to report properly!
    This is probably the most misunderstood and lonely illness in the world!

    Even people in a bout of straight depression look down on the “loony, crazy, nuts” Bipolar s.
    Apparently we even have a class system in depression – just get hospitalized in a depressed state of Bipolar and listen to what the “simply” depressed patient have to say about the Bipolar patients.

    This forces a bipolar person to hide if they wish to have any regular live. And with it suffer extreme
    lonesomeness.

    I describe it as: I live between 11:55 and 12:05 It is a short distance between 11:59 and 12:01
    Energy,creativity – the world is mine / extreme sadness, despair.

    A lot shorter then to get to around 12:30 where the majority of the world seems to live.

    Medication: rarely on them – most willing to call it quits when on them – If I can’t feel nothing I am dead – I might as well be!

    Most people say that I am one of the most funniest, upbeat, creative and positive person they ever met – in reality I guess I have a balanced live: I cry just as much as I laugh – just alone.

    Maybe Robin Williams death can help to make the world understand a little more about bipolar disorder and its variations: the heights, exuberance (Yes – it’s not all bad!) and the sadness, loneliness. The live lived intensely and intensive.

  • Thank you! Finally someone is speaking up with accurate information. I was beginning to wonder if anyone was going to use the dreaded words “bipolar disorder” instead of “battling depression.” Not that depression isn’t serious. Of course it is, but it seemed no one wanted to use these words. I used them because that’s what it was and what it is. Thank you for spreading a little more awareness.

  • Frustration

    This is tragic and my heart goes out to anyone who suffers from any mental illness. While I do agree with many of the posts from sufferers of this particular disease (there has got to be a better way), all of us are missing half of this problem. If you pay attention to the people who have this disease (or any other mental illness for that matter), all of them are plagued by feeling alone. If there is no viable source of help available to the people with the illness, how much support do we think the family members have? The sufferers are not the only ones who feel alone in this battle.

    I am someone who is/has been severely effected by mental illnes with in my own family. Although I do not suffer from a mental illness, my mother, sister, and possibly my brother do. My family has been ripped to pieces because of these and many other circumstances involved with mental illness. I chose to help (even when I couldn’t and the world was against me in many ways, but still found away) or let’s just say tried to help. I spend over a decade being thrown into “crazy” circumstances without even knowing that mental illness was a factor (all while trying to maintain a happy marriage with 3 very small children). As a result of this, I lost my happy marriage, my home, and country (I moved to Europe to give my children a better life and yes, the mental illness was a huge factor in the decision to move). Ironically, my mother died in Europe with me.

    A decade and 2 countries later, I have come to learn that both sides (the mentally ill and the family members) are hung out to dry for things that neither are in control of. Both sides of the spectrum must be addressed to ensure the success of people with mental illness and that is just not being done. Family members are not doctor’s and are forced to live in a world that they just don’t have the capabilities to even begin to understand and/or have no help and support and “just can’t handle it anymore”. The sufferers KNOW this factor to be true and wind up isolating themselves so as to “save” the family members from the “craziness”. They themselves don’t understand their own hell that they are stuck in and just want it to stop, but can’t. Hence, many people on both sides give up after a long hard battle. Both sides wind up being resentful of one another and the situation. No one gets the help each needs. Many times this leads to death.

    Why am I writing this? One day I myself maybe plagued with one of these diseases or maybe one of my children. My simple question to those of you suffering with any mental disease, what is the SINGLE most important thing that any of your loving family members can do to help? I tried it all, but there was only so much I could do. How do you find normal with in an abnormal world?

    My next question to those of you who have lived with this or any other mental disorder “successfully”: What is the SINGLE most important piece of advice you can give to a person whom suffers from this same disease and seems to be losing the battle for success?

    I do appreciate anyones advice. I may have temporarily taken a vacation to the world of normal for the sake of my children, but I know that I must return to the battle fields one day. It would help if I was armed with the best equipment before it’s too late.

    • Grateful

      Thank you for this. You are so right. Many of us who have loved ones with mental illness may even suffer more because we don’t get to check out. This is not to say that I want to check out or that the sufferer wants to. All I’m saying is that the burden that lies on the shoulders of the loved ones of mental illness is very heavy and as you point out lonely too.

      • Frustration

        It’s you that I am grateful for. Your understanding bought some relief to me. There are MANY of us who have to deal with this situation and just don’t know how. No one really mentions mental illness because of the stigma attached to it. You already feel alone. The last thing you need is people openly avoiding you simply because they themselves don’t know how to react or help. I wish I could make it all better, stop the pain, and restore the very damaged relationships. But I can’t/don’t know how. I lost one battle to death and another with isolation. The saying is, “everything happens for a reason”. As horrible as this may sound, maybe the death of Robin Williams will force modern medician to realize that we are losing the battle one by one and NEED to do something. If this disease and life circumstances can take the “King of Comedy” down, how on earth do we expect to have another person who may not have “as much” as he did and is battleing this same type of disease, to stay standing?

  • RD81

    Saying that mania consists of extreme happiness and hyperactivity is bull***t. It is FAR more complex than that and “happiness” is not a word that fits a manic episode. Manic episodes are not fun. Manic episodes are just as much hell as depressive episodes, if not more.

    • I concur! I manic episodes are what led to me destroying my life (as I knew it) multiple times. I’ve destroyed so much have had to restart my life with nothing and no one so many different times in different towns. My depressive times I am able to think though a bit more logically even if I am having thoughts of suicide. I can at least say to myself “wait and you may feel better in a few weeks. There’s no rush to end it, you came this far, just wait.” There is NO voice of reason in a full blown manic episode (for me anyway). My only savior is the past 2 years I can tell when I am starting to slip into a manic episode and force myself to sleep despite my mind and body telling my to do 100 different things throughout the night. Sleep has been the key to keeping it under control. Also I avoid making any BIG decision when I fell myself slipping. years ago I didn’t have the ability to know when I was becoming manic or not. I thought i was just fine (despite what those around me would say. Evidently I was rather scary)

      • RD81

        Believe it or not, one thing that I have found that helps on the really bad ones is a low dose of a muscle relaxant. It helps you sleep and it takes the edge off the really bad days during a manic episode. Of course, it’s something that should be taken only sporadically so you don’t risk getting addicted. If you have a doc, you should talk to them about it.

    • nathan

      I look as my disease as my gift and curse. My mania pushes me to work extremely hard at things but my mixed and depression states take days away from me. I just had a angels (my three month old daughter and girlfriend) come into my life. Im going to use my mania to build a comfortable life for us but ultimately i know in the end my disease could very well win. Im truly exhausted from this battle, but now i have to fight for a bit longer. God made us this way, im not angry i i just wanna use my gifts for as long as possible to help my family.

  • Moon

    Although a v difficult illness it can be greatly improved through knowing ur
    paticular stressors, right medical help, medication, vitamins to help wid stress and tiredness. Planning ahead, not taking on kore than necessary.
    Getting enough rest, avoiding difficult or stressful situations/ people wherever possible. I struggle to do all this bt its sumthing to aim for. The best thing is also faith in God and religion. For me Islam is the most logical and satisfying religion. I seen life without it and with it and there is a vast difference. Esp nw I am coming off meds I believe this more than ever. You are affected by mood problems and other issues inbetween the terrible serious episodes bt they can be helped by the above..
    perhaps it is possible to be med free with these coping mechnisms. I hope this God willing in later life.

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  • shandi s

    all I am goin to say is at least he neva got judged for havin mental illness,rite on! R.I.P.MR.ROBIN WILLIAMS! I gotz a gf who suffers both autism,and bi-polar,shes been thru utter hell,literally,even her family deserted her.all the dudes she dated deserted her.she wont speak much.yet,as a friend,i cherish her with all my heart! she is a total doll,and she just needs tons a hugs everyday,and told shes loved. she told me once,wish I was dead,i told her,im glad your here,cause you are loved! so,she smiled a lil,and chose to stay around. took a deep breath,and I just gave her the very biggest hug I could.

  • Berrydirl

    I have bipolar 2 and I remember growing up. I remember being told constantly by people (not family) that I just needed to “snap out of it” or that I was “strong enough” or “you got to pray harder”. I remember trying to reach out when I felt suicidal when I was younger and I quickly learned not to say anything because a lot of times I just needed to talk not have someone OVER REACT. I can understand why people freaked out when I talked about my depression but sometimes you just have to listen and be there even if you can’t do anything. Now that I am older I still hit depression, have suicidal ideation, and desire not to be here at times and I now don’t tell anyone when I am experiencing it.
    Now some things I have found helpful for myself is:
    1) When I’m in a balanced mood finding the silver in the lining. I am very creative, smart, musically inclined, and have learned to listen to others because I don’t always want them over reacting to what I say and sometimes people just need to be heard. Doesn’t mean they’ll act on it.
    2) Finding something that is soothing. It will vary from person to person but things like crafting (small projects), listening to music or writing poetry all are helpful for me.
    3) Having a ‘safe place’. This is not a place that everyone knows about but there is nothing there to hurt myself. I can be alone. It’s typically dark and quiet and I’m still close enough I can hear people but I’m not all alone.

    Some other food for thought:
    Mania isn’t all filled with happiness and creativity. It can involve many more emotions such as anger, rage, thoughtlessness, and irritability just to name a few. Sometimes the mania is far more damaging than the depression. Being bipolar 2 I have only experienced this once and it was medication induced.
    Medication isn’t an instant fix. Most medications take a while to take effect sometimes up to a couple months and it can take many trial and errors. What works for one person doesn’t work for another. There are tons of issues with many of the medications that cause other issues such as weight gain that have to be looked at as well. It took me several years to get on the RIGHT medication even after I was diagnosed.
    Lastly, families do take a toll in mental health. Most of my family has OCD… I just got lucky I guess. However, the headache that comes with advocating for a family member has gotten very difficult to do. At 12 yrs old a child can deny treatment or counseling no matter how severe they are. Finding services is another HUGE issue no matter your age. Some counties have more services than others and sometimes depending on what medical coverage you have can limit your choices even more.
    Mental illness is a huge issue with many issues that need to be tackled.

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  • ajl7579

    Bipolar Disorder is definitely one the least understood conditions. It can be so volatile: Mania, racing thoughts, depressions, rapid cycling, anxiety and so on. I also suffer from Bipolar Disorder and the hardest thing has always been feeling like you can conquer the world one minute and the next minute feel suffocated by it. The worst part of the depressive episodes is when everything in your life is where you want and going well, but you still feel depressed and you’re not sure why. It’s very hard for people to see that from the outside.

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  • John Prudom

    I suffer from the same condition like Diane. Its a hard dog life, but suicide isn’t a cure it’s the saddest resort of a cowardly hypomantic episode including paranoia. RIP he was a truly talented man.

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  • kim bunchalastnames

    just like so many other commenters here, i have bipolar disorder. there is no “cure,” only management, and even that fluctuates as your body adjusts to medications which then may simply quit working for you. *shrug* as most people with bipolar disorder will admit, though, TAKING our meds in the first place is … an issue. while the medication moderates our depression, it also reduces mania — and williams’ best improvisational work was a manifestation of his mania: that rapid-fire, freely associative ideation and wordplay. i don’t know if he was taking his medication, but imagine this: if he did, it might have compromised his career. what a terrible choice to have to make.

  • Elli(e)

    Other than Carrie Fisher saying her and Williams discussed bipolar disorder, did Robin Williams ever actually say he was bipolar? Fisher did the interview on August 22nd and said that Williams said he didn’t think he was bipolar. During the show he had come to see, she gives the audience a bipolar test. Williams “took the test that [Fisher] gave the audience and got all the answers right, but didn’t think [being bipolar] was something that had anything to do with him”.

    Judging from what fans have seen of Robin Williams, bipolar disorder seems like a good fit, but I think it’s incredibly important to not diagnose a man with a disorder he may not have had. We can’t pretend to know him or know the pain he was suffering and we shouldn’t try.

    • Paperthintelevision

      yea, I’ve looked online for sources, but all that came up was “it has been said on other news sites blah blah blah that he has bipolar” so it hasn’t been confirmed actually, it’s just been word of mouth, I suppose.

      I have no idea if Robin Williams said he is suffering from bipolar disorder.

      I don’t think taking a simple test will give you a correct diagnosis of any sort of Bipolar disorder. Typically, a patient who is being treated for bipolar/undergoing diagnosis must be monitored at all times in a controlled environment from a professional practitioner to properly analyze and be given the correct treatment. Could take weeks of observation, could take months.

      If a person is not being treated effectively for Bipolar Disorder, the outcome can be devastating. “Suicide is the permanent solution for temporary problems”, as Robin Williams said in the movie World’s Greatest Dad. The person in the above comments who said if he had pulled through for a few more hours he might have not hung himself.

      But who knows. The coroner’s report also said that they would not disclose if there was a suicide note or not. I suggest everyone watch the movie World’s Greatest Dad, as Robin Williams’ actions in real life overlay the entire plot of the movie he starred in. It is also a fantastic movie.

  • Susan Maree Jeavons

    Musical Lobotomy

    If I could purge

    that part of my brain

    which stores pain,

    I would replace it

    with a gentle refrain;

    Bach, Beethoven

    or simply rain…

    © 2001 Susan Maree Jeavons-BipolarPoet

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  • tammy espach

    I have bi polar and it is a living get nightmare ….interesting to read that there are more of me out there ..
    . The fear of the next depressive episode is horrible… I am currently I that now …but awaiting my happy episode so I can feel human again..

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  • Soup Momma

    DEFECTIVE by Susan Sofayov “I recommend this book if you know anyone who has struggled with Bipolar Disorder or Depression. The insights Maggie shares into her illness are staggering in both their beauty and their scope.”

  • ed343

    Robin Williams never said he had bipolar disorder.