Today we’ll be exploring another celebrity with Bipolar Disorder. I’m surprised at how many celebrities have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and been living with it for years. However, they just started talking about it openly because of the awareness surrounding bipolar nowadays. I’m so happy that I can put these celebrity posts together because it helps shed light on how no one is different. It helps everyone understand that bipolar disorder doesn’t discriminate and success doesn’t dictate if you’re bipolar or not. With that said,
I want everyone to take time and read through my Celebrities with Bipolar Disorder series. This will help you understand the struggles famous people live with and what they have done to help them get through the tough times. It’s a way for you to connect with others and learn coping strategies going forward. 🙂
Maria Bello – Actress, Producer, and Writer
She was born on April 18, 1967, in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Her mom was a school nurse, and dad a contractor. After graduation from Villanova University, Maria honed her acting skills in many New York theater productions. She was cast in early episodes of The Commish in 1991, Due South in 1994, and Nowhere Man in 1995. Bello was also in the medical drama ER from 1997 to 1998.
Bello landed a role in the film Coyote Ugly in 2000 which increased her popularity. She was cast in The Cooler in 2003 and A History of Violence in 2005. She was nominated for two Golden Globe’s each for her performance in these films. Bello also starred in The Jane Austen Book Club (2007) as Jocelyn.
In 2008, Bello played Evelyn O’Connell in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Around this time, she started to develop a drama for HBO. For this new series, she will be executive producer and be starring in it too. In 2009, Bello starred in the drama film – The Yellow Handkerchief. This drama film was released in theatres on February 26, 2010.
Bello has been involved in several humanitarian efforts. After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, she founded WE ADVANCE with Aleda Frishman, Alison Thompson, and Barbara Guillaume. This organization encourages Haitian women to make health care their number one priority, and put an end to domestic violence. Bello is a board member of Darfur Women Action Group (DWAG).
Maria Bello has talked about her bipolar disorder in many interviews. She has also talked about her struggle with bipolar in her memoir – Whatever…Love Is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves.
In an interview with WENN, she talked about not being able to get out of bed and how she tapped into her bipolar disorder to portray a mentally unstable mother in new supernatural horror movie Lights Out.
“I was able to use my experience from that and put it on the screen for the first time; remembering what it was to be that person who couldn’t get out of bed for three months,” she tells WENN.
“To really try to understand what it would be like to have my child at a time when I was in that space of not understanding what reality was; that was a real gift.”
In an interview with TheGuardian.com, Bello said –
“Now you’re just going to have to run out and get my book! In it, I talk about the gift of bipolar disorder I had to struggle with when I was younger. And that really informed how I played this character. I feel fortunate in that I was able to put something on the screen in a real way that came from my gut, and my own experience.”
Next, Maria stated the following about her disease –
“I think that my disease, since I’m medicated, is a gift, because I’ve gone so far through extremes — from the very bottom to the very top of human emotion and feeling,” Maria said. “I think that I am more empathetic because of it.”
I’m going to keep this short because Maria Bello describes my feelings when she says – “I think that my disease, since I’m medicated, is a gift”. I’ve always said that being bipolar has been a blessing for me because it allowed me to connect with my true emotions. I’ve had to come up with creative ways to handle my mental illness and this has made me a better person.
Read my “Awesome Series” and you’ll learn how being diagnosed with bipolar disorder has made me more empathetic, confident, motivated, and forced me to better my habits. 🙂
other photo credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/maria-bello-gay_n_4371106
feature photo credit: http://www.instyle.com/celebrity/transformations/maria-bellos-changing-looks#254371