‘When I tell people I have bipolar these days the response I get is quite different to how it was just a few years ago. The old response was “What’s that?” but nowadays I’m more likely to hear “Catherine Zeta Jones has that!” or “Isn’t Robbie Williams bipolar?” Positive representation of someone with a bipolar disorder can only be a good thing in helping people understand and come to terms with the illness’.
So writes Nigel Griffiths in his Independent Newspaper blog. I agree with him that celebrities ‘coming out’ with their bipolar diagnosis is a good thing. That said, overemphasis on celebrities as mental health role models can be counterproductive. What we really need is people from all walks of life being open and honest about their condition; unfortunately though this can be a high risk strategy in the current climate where ignorance is still an issue. However, if celebrities talking about their diagnosis does indeed have a positive effect, that is it encourages others to be more willing to seek treatment and to talk about their struggles, then we should embrace it. So let’s hope the celebrity trend has a positive effect on a wider societal basis and acts as a catalyst for enlightenment. Goodness knows we need it!
You can read Nigel’s entire blog entry here: http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2012/11/26/celebs-coming-out-with-bipolar-bring-it-on/