Celebrities with Bipolar

Celebrities with Bipolar – Robert Downey, Jr

It`s no secret, some successful celebrities have been diagnosed with bipolar. It`s unfortunate reading about people with bipolar and I personally know how tough it can be because I’ve been living with it for 17+ years. I had to change a lot of things about myself so I can learn how to manage my depression and mania effectively. I believe, it’s about learning what your triggers are and avoiding them so things don’t spiral out of control. But, no matter how unfortunate it is being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you can still accomplish all your dreams. Celebrities are a great example of what you can accomplish no matter what obstacles are in your way.

Robert Downey, Jr`s life has been in the media ever since he was in his teens. He has gone through up’s and down’s due to him experimenting with illicit drugs and alcohol and being arrested in 1996 for weapon charges. For the next four years, he was in and out of prison. It’s been a tough life for him, but he has managed to battle back being cast in blockbuster movies a few years later. It’s another example of how, when you put your mind to it, you can come back from even the toughest adversity. In a nutshell, Robert Downey, Jr’s life spiraled out of control, he gained control and is now back on top. 🙂

Robert Downey, Jr’s – Actor

He was born in Manhattan, New York on April 4th, 1965. Robert Downey Jr’s dad (Robert Downey. Sr) was an actor and producer. His mom was an actress.

Since a very young age, he was surrounded by drugs because his dad was a drug addict. Robert Downey Jr was smoking marijuana by the time he was 6 years old. Because his dad was a drug addict, Robert said that drug use would form a bond between them two – “When my dad and I would do drugs together, it was like him trying to express his love for me in the only way he knew how.” – Wikipedia

Robert Downey Jr had a boost in his acting career because he had minor roles in his father’s films. In 1970,  at the age of 5, he made his acting debut playing a sick puppy in absurdist comedy Pound. In 1972, at the age of 7, he was in the movie surrealist Greaser’s Palace, and at 10 years old moved to England to study classical ballet as part of a larger curriculum.

Career Success

Robert Downey Jr gained popularity in theater roles. In 1983, he was in a musical American Passion, and in 1985, Robert Downey Jr was hired for Saturday Night Live. In the same year, he had his acting breakthrough in Tuff Turf and then played a bully in John Hughes‘ Weird Science. He had a line of casting calls going forward until the early 90’s. For example, in 1987, Robert Downey Jr played Julian Wells, a rich boy addicted to drugs whose life is spiraling out of control. In 1992, he was in the movie Chaplin, and the role gave Robert an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor at the Academy Awards 65th ceremony. But then, from 1996-2003, Robert Downey Jr experienced a downshift losing focus and running into legal troubles.

Legal Troubles

During the period of 1996-2003, he was arrested several times for cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. He was in and out of treatment programs unsuccessfully. He told the judge during this time – “It’s like I have a shotgun in my mouth, and I’ve got my finger on the trigger, and I like the taste of the gun metal.” – Wikipedia

In April 1996, Robert Downey Jr was arrested again for having heroin, cocaine and an unloaded .357 Magnum. These items were found when a police officer stopped him speeding down Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. A month later, he was arrested again for trespassing into the home of his neighbor and falling asleep in one of the beds. In 1999, Downey missed a required drug test as part of his probation and was sentenced to 3 years in a Substance Abuse Treatment Facility.

Bipolar Diagnosis

Robert Downey Jr in interviews throughout the years has answered questions regarding his bipolar diagnosis. But, first, we should address what Downey’s stepmother told People Magazine in December 2000. She told author Alex Tresnlowski the following –

Rosemary Rogers Downey, 52, the actor was diagnosed a few years ago as having bipolar disorder, more commonly known as manic depression. “He’s gotten no help for that,” and… “It’s the reason he has a hard time staying sober” – People Magazine

In the same article, Dr. Manijeh Nikakhtar, a Los Angeles psychiatrist stated she received a letter from Robert Downey Jr when he was in prison. He was asking for advice on his condition, so she decided to review his previous psychiatric evaluations. She discovered “no one had done a complete evaluation,” she says. “I asked him flat out if he thought he was bipolar, and he said, ‘Oh yeah. There are times I spend a lot of money and I’m hyperactive, and there are other times I’m down.” – People Magazine

My Thoughts

Robert Downey, Jr is a great example of how you control your overall success. You control, what will hold you back from conquering your dreams. Robert Downey, Jr battled through substance abuse, and 7 years of legal troubles to become a box-office sensation once again. But, Downey had to figure out what habits and negative energies were holding him back, then he made positive changes in his life. This applies to all of us too.

If we want to conquer our dreams and not let bipolar disorder hold us back, we must figure out what habits are causing us to lose focus. After, we need to come up with a game-plan to overcome these negative habits, and replace them with more positive ones.

other photo credit: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/robert-downey-jr-trials-tribulations-iron-man

feature photo credit: http://www.canindia.com/robert-downey-jr-california-governor-issues-pardon-for-drug-convictions/

Helping others beat bipolar disorder. After living with Bipolar for over 16 years, I have self-educated myself to come up with creative ways to live a normal productive life. It`s time to give back by helping others transform!