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Famous People with Mood Disorders

Mood disorders what it is and a list of famous people who suffer and have suffered from various forms of mood disorders.

What are Mood Disorders?

A mood disorder is a condition whereby the prevailing emotional mood is distorted or inappropriate to the circumstances.

The two major types of mood disorders are depression or unipolar depression and bipolar disorder.

Bipolar I Disorder is a mood disorder that is characterized by at least one Manic or Mixed episode. There may be episodes of Hypomania or Major Depression as well. It is a sub-diagnosis of bipolar disorder, and conforms to the classic concept of manic-depressive illness.

Bipolar II Disorder is a bipolar spectrum disorder that is characterized by at least one hypomanic episode and at least one major depressive episode. It is believed to be underdiagnosed because hypomanic behavior often presents as high-functioning.

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is defined as a personality disorder primarily characterized by emotional dysregulation, extreme "black and white" thinking, or "splitting", and chaotic relationships. The general profile of the disorder also typically includes a pervasive instability in mood, interpersonal relationships, self-image, identity, and behavior.

List of Famous People with Mood Disorders
Richard Dreyfuss - Richard Stephen Dreyfuss (born October 29, 1947) is an Academy Award-winning American actor. Dreyfuss played his first lead role in the Canadian film The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. He went on to star in box office hits Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, both directed by Steven Spielberg. Around 1978, Dreyfuss began to use cocaine frequently; his addiction came to a head four years later, when he was arrested for possession of the drug at the scene of a collision. He suffers from bipolar disorder. In 2006, he appeared in Stephen Fry's documentary, Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, in which Fry (who also has the disorder) interviewed him about his life with manic-depression.
DMX - Earl Simmons (born December 18, 1970), better known by his stage names DMX and Dark Man X, is an American rapper and actor. In 1999, DMX released his best-selling album ...And Then There Was X, which featured the hit single "Party Up (Up in Here)". He has acted in films such as Belly, Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds, Cradle 2 The Grave, and Last Hour. In 2006, he starred in the reality television series DMX: Soul of a Man, which was primarily aired on the BET cable television network. In 2003, DMX published a book of his memoirs entitled, E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX. DMX has sold over 30 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling hip-hop artists of all time. In an interview DMX has talked about having bipolar disorder.
Britney Spears - Bipolar Uncomfirmed. Britney Jean Spears (born December 2, 1981) is a American singer, dancer, songwriter, actress, and author. Her debut album ...Baby One More Time propelled her to international stardom in 1999. Now that she has left the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, questions are being asked whether or not Britney Spears has bipolar disorder, a serious mental disorder characterized by mood swings between extreme depression and mania. The rumor about her possible bipolar disorder diagnosis comes from friends close to both Britney Spears and her ex-husband, Keven Federline. Though some say she's on drugs, while others say it's post-partum depression. According to Dr. Diana Kirschner, who has not treated Spears but is an expert on the subject, "people who show patterns of behavior like Britney Spears are suffering from a dual diagnosis. They have both a substance abuse problem and a bipolar disorder or manic disorder."
Harrison Ford - (born July 13, 1942) Ford is best known for his performances in the Star Wars film series and the adventurous archaeologist and action hero, Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones Junior, in the Indiana Jones film series. He suffered from depression in his youth, and would sleep long hours, often miss class and have trouble to keep up with his studies. He quickly got over it after signing up for drama class where he overcame all of his fears.
Abraham Lincoln - (February 12, 1809 - April 15, 1865) was the sixteenth President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1861 until his assassination. Lincoln closely supervised the victorious war effort, especially the selection of top generals, including Ulysses S. Grant. Scholars now rank Lincoln among the top three U.S. Presidents, with the majority of those surveyed placing him first. There have been reports that Abraham Lincoln may have suffered from which they then called melancholia, basically being todays form of depression.
Adam Ant - (born Stuart Leslie Goddard on 3 November 1954) is an English musician who gained popularity as the lead singer of 1980s New Wave/post-punk group Adam & the Ants and later as a solo artist. After the split, Ant went solo, taking his songwriting partner Pirroni with him. His greatest chart success was 1982's Friend or Foe album, which included the hit single "Goody Two Shoes". The British musician Adam Ant was seen to have Bipolar Disorder due to a conflict with the law which occured in 2002.
Ben Stiller - Benjamin Edward Stiller - (born November 30, 1965) is an Emmy-winning American comedian, actor, film producer and director. He is the son of veteran comedians and actors Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. Stiller is a member of the comedic acting brotherhood known as the Frat Pack. With multiple cameos in music videos, television shows, and films, he may be best known for his roles in There's Something About Mary, Zoolander, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Meet the Parents, its sequel Meet the Fockers, and Night at the Museum. In a 1999 interview with GQ and later in a 2001 interview with, Stiller stated that he had bipolar disorder, an illness he said that ran in his family. In two interviews in November and December 2006, Stiller claimed that this earlier interview's comment about the disorder was false. In one interview he said: "I said jokingly in GQ that I was, like, crazy, and it came out as: Ben Stiller, bipolar manic-depressive!"
Carrie Fisher - Carrie Frances Fisher (born October 21, 1956) is an American actress, screenwriter and novelist. She is most famous for her portrayal of Princess Leia Organa Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy. Carrie Fisher is the child of two Hollywood stars Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. Her younger brother is Todd Fisher and her half-sisters are actresses Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher, whose mother is actress Connie Stevens. Fisher published a Suzanne Vale sequel novel, The Best Awful There Is in 2004. Since Postcards from the Edge, Vale has married, become a parent, and divorced. She also is undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder.
Billy Joel - Born (May 9, 1949) Being a singer, a pianist and a songwriter Billy Joel has won 6 Grammys and is both in the songwriter's Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has top ten hits in the 70's, 80's and 90's which is quite rare for any pop artist. He battled many times against depression and has tried to commit suicide by drinking furniture polish. He then said "I drank furniture polish, it looked tastier then bleach". He is now semi-retired and continues to write and perform.
Boris Yeltsin - Boris has suffered from depression and used drinking to try and reduce his problems, causing periodic disappearances while being president of independant Russia. He even drank himself to sleep missing an appointment with the foreign minister of New Zealand. At one point he had consumed enough champagne to take the baton from a conductor of the Russian Army Orchestra to perform a little conducting himself. All being funny it was not accepted and yeltsin eventually ended up a political outcast, mainly due to the fact that he was not in a condition to be in power of the nations nuclear force.
Brooke Shields - Brooke had everything fame could bring along with a pleasant marriage and child. The birth of her child had caused her to suffer from severe postpartum depression, it was suddenly at the point where seeing a window would give her the feeling that she had to jump out of her misery. She was suddenly feeling shame and emptiness from the bottom up and would sometimes not even answer to her crying baby. Fortunately she has worked through the initial post natal depression and enjoys the challenge of being a mother.
Buzz Aldrin - (born January 20, 1930) The American astronaut Buzz Aldrin had reached the moon and came back to Earth with global fame. Although Buzz did want to reach the moon through his love for space he did not want the fame that accompanied it. Eventually it all came crumbling down with simultaneous events including a divorce which ultimately caused Buzz to fall into depression and alcoholism.
Drew Carey - The famous comedian Drew Carrey has tried to commit suicide twice by taking large doses of sleeping pills and has always been mad with the world. At the early age of 8 his beloved father died and left Drew completely alone, whenever Drew would not be with his friends he would rapidly become depressed and use food and alcohol to help him fight the disturbing feeling he had inside. He would not be able to appreciate anything from small to big and would frequently curse the world putting it to blame for all that had happened to him. Today Drew is constantly on the road to recovery by reading books and writing his comedy stand-up scripts.
Jim Carrey - A well known comedian actor appreciated by many. Jim Carrey has been in some very funny movies, most of them being funny because he is the leading actor. He has mentioned how he got into making all those entertaining faces that characterize him. The main reason is that when he was younger his mother was very sick in bed and would take a lot of pills for her pain, Jim would do everything necessary to make his mother laugh. Even if it meant throwing himself down the stairs or doing the most ridiculous of faces. When he was younger he was many times depressed and mad with the world because poverty forced hard labor upon his family, he did eventually go through it and now loves life with a passion without drugs or alcohol.
John Denver - Denver's career fell somewhere in the 80's and he found himself without a wife. His songwriting and creative music before the 80's were inspired mostly by the feelings of depression he already had throughout his life, and alcoholism had been strongly with him during the composition of most of his songs. He was using those emotions to write some of the best country songs there were at the time, many wish he was still among us and the music he contributed to the world will forever remain in the hearts of country music lovers.
Diana Princess of Wales - Diana, Princess of Wales (Diana Frances, nee Spencer; 1 July 1961 - 31 August 1997) was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales. In the late 1980s, the marriage of Diana and Charles fell apart, an event at first suppressed, then sensationalised, by the world media. Diana received a lump sum settlement of around 17,000,000 Pounds along with a legal order preventing her from discussing the details. Many struggles with depression led Diana to the eating disorder bulimia nervosa, which recurred throughout her adult life.
Ludwig Van Beethoven - Beethoven was as we know a great source of confidence for himself and for others, being able to create music and play music even after being completely deaf is by itself quite a miracle. Although it was clear to everyone that beethoven was but a man, he conquered his disability and led himself to being one of the greatest musicians of all time. If there was one thing that was affecting his struggle to succeed it was not only being deaf, but having to fight all the emotions that he felt inside when he had to turn around to look at the audience applause because he could not hear. Or more so the emotions that he felt inside when all that was good to his ears could no longer be heard, and would forever remain still in his mind, making all dynamic sense of touch from music removed from his daily life. That may have led him to a certain depression, but the downfall of his feelings were present and actively falling way before the screeching in his ears. When he was younger his father had left him alone and responsible of his two younger brothers due to alcoholism and would be severe on penalties, loud in teachings when Beethoven wouldn't understand. When Beethoven wanted to play music with mozart and he could feel it in his dreams, the time came to do so and mozart died a year before. Basically his dreams were constantly shattered in every way but he still stood, and what he gave to the world is not a reflection of what the world had given him, it's the reflection of a man who crossed the sea in raging waters only to sing one of the most soothing songs before heading back. Great was this man who was deaf and depressed.
David Bohm - David Joseph Bohm (b. December 20, 1917, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania - d. October 27, 1992, London) was an American-born quantum physicist who made significant contributions in the fields of theoretical physics, philosophy and neuropsychology, and to the Manhattan Project. Bohm also suffered great distress when forced by McCarthyism to leave his home country in the early '50s on account of the Marxist views he held at that time. He found refuge in Brazil, but had a hard time far away from home without friends and colleagues, and was subject to bouts of depression.
Dick Cavett - Richard Alva "Dick" Cavett (born November 19, 1936) is an American television talk show host known for his conversational style and in-depth discussion of issues. Cavett has openly discussed his bouts with clinical depression in recent years, an illness he has had to deal with since his freshman year at Yale. He was the subject of a 1993 video produced by the Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association called A Patient's Perspective. Cavett underwent electroconvulsive therapy to treat his depression. In 1992, he was quoted in People: "In my case, ECT was miraculous. My wife was dubious, but when she came into my room afterward, I sat up and said, 'Look who's back among the living.' It was like a magic wand."
Amy Tan - Amy Tan (born 19 February 1952) is an American writer of Chinese descent whose works explore mother-daughter relationships as well as relationships between Chinese American women and their immigrant parents. In 1993, Tan's adaptation of her most popular fiction work, The Joy Luck Club, became a commercially successful film. Tan believed that her grandmother and her mother suffered from depression. Amy suffered from this as a child because everytime her mother became upset with her present life and surroundings they would move house. On the other hand the constant moving and changing of schools gave her an "excellent training as a budding writer" as it sharpened her skills as a writer.
Brian Wilson - Brian Douglas Wilson (born June 20, 1942 in Hawthorne, California) is an American musician best known as the lead songwriter, bassist, and singer of the American rock band The Beach Boys. Wilson was also the band's main producer, composer, and arranger. Psychologically overwhelmed by these failures and by the birth of his first child in 1968, Wilson began to take on a diminished creative role within the Beach Boys. After the failure of "Break Away", Wilson spent the majority of the following three years in his bedroom sleeping, taking drugs, and overeating. Some of his "new" contributions were remnants of SMiLE (e.g., "Surf's Up"); those that were genuinely new reflected his depression and growing detachment from the world.
Billy Corgan - William Patrick Corgan, Jr. (born March 17, 1967 in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, U.S.A.) is an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Billy Corgan is the vocalist and lead guitarist for alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. Billy Corgan dated Courtney Love prior to her courtship and marriage to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. In 1993, he married his longtime girlfriend, museum worker Chris Fabian. Corgan has been writing about his life on his Web site detailing everything from the childhood abuse he says he suffered at the hands of his father and stepmother to his very adult battles with depression and other demons.
Kurt Cobain - Kurt Donald Cobain (February 20, 1967 - c. April 5, 1994), was an American musician, best known for his roles as lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter for the Seattle-based rock band Nirvana. Throughout most of his life, Cobain battled depression, chronic bronchitis, and intense physical pain due to an undiagnosed chronic stomach condition. This last condition was especially debilitating to his emotional welfare, and he spent years trying to find its source. However, none of the doctors he consulted were able to pinpoint the specific cause, guessing that it was either a result of Cobain's childhood scoliosis or related to the stresses of performing.
Mike Wallace - (born Myron Leon Wallace - May 9, 1918 - April 7, 2012) was an American journalist, and a correspondent for CBS's 60 Minutes since its debut in 1968. During his career at 60 Minutes, he interviewed a wide range of prominent newsmakers. Wallace suffered from clinical depression triggered by accusations of libel and a related lawsuit. He revealed on 60 Minutes that he once attempted suicide with an overdose of pills. Wallace went public with his long-standing fight against depression. He was also interviewed on the illness on Larry King Live and for various documentaries. Speaking on the issue, he urged those who suffer depression to seek treatment.
Winston Churchill - Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, PC, FRS (30 November 1874 - 24 January 1965) was a British politician known chiefly for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II. He is widely regarded as one of the great wartime leaders. He served as Prime Minister from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. In the 1959 General Election Churchill's majority fell by more than a thousand, since many young voters in his constituency did not support an 85-year-old who could only enter the House of Commons in a wheelchair. As his mental and physical faculties decayed, he began to lose the battle he had fought for so long against the "black dog" of depression. There was speculation that Churchill may have had Alzheimer's disease in his last years, although others maintain that his reduced mental capacity was merely the result of a series of strokes.
Kurt Cobain - His cousin, Beverly Cobain, a registered nurse with experience as a mental health professional and author of a book, When Nothing Matters Anymore: A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens ISBN 1-57542-036-8, stated in an interview: Kurt was diagnosed at a young age with Attention Deficit Disorder, then later with bipolar disorder.


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