According to the National Institute of Mental Health, at least 5 million people have been diagnosed with some degree of bipolar disorder. Many times, those diagnosed are familiar faces.
Actress Jenifer Lewis, who appeared in Tyler Perry's film Madea's Family Reunion
, recently revealed that she is bipolar and says she is finally ready to talk about it. "After years of therapy and after years of medication, I feel experienced enough now to come out and say bipolar disorder is treatable and you can get help and you don't have to live such a tortured existence," she says.
Jenifer says she knew for years that something was wrong, but she didn't know what it was. To cope, she used her one-woman shows to hide her manic tendencies. "On stage I could be big and loud and everybody said, 'Well, she's fabulous,'" she says.
But after the curtain went down, Jenifer says she lived in a dark place. "I would cry and I didn't know why I was crying," she says. "You
can wake up and the sky is blue. But for [people with bipolar], it's black. It's dark…. It's a dark place to go."