British comedian Stephen Fry opens up about his long-term battle with bipolar

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By VT

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With people becoming more informed about mental health and the stigma that surrounds it, it's evident that society has undergone a shift in recent years. However, we still have a way to go. Statistically, one in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives, but many people's symptoms worsen on account of the discrimination they face - from society, but also from their family, friends and employers.

Now, beloved British comedian and actor, Stephen Fry, has opened up about his struggle with bipolar disorder.

While Stephen Fry has battled bipolar disorder for much of his life, he wasn't diagnosed until he was 37.

On Fearne Cotton's podcast, Happy Place, the 60-year-old talked about his struggle with the disease, and how it affects his day-to-day life, disclosing that he sometimes feels in danger of becoming "professionally mentally unstable".

"There was and still is, and I still feel it occasionally, a danger of becoming sort of professionally mentally unstable, that that’s what I am, that’s who I am," the Fry and Laurie comedian stated. "I’ve always viewed it’s not who I am. It’s a condition I live with. I’m always prepared to talk about it, but there’s also a danger, because I do live with this condition. I'm not going to kid myself that it's cured, because it isn't."

[[instagramwidget||https://www.instagram.com/p/BSGB7tsgXxc/?hl=en&taken-by=stephenfryactually]]

Fry then went on to assert that his team are very aware of his condition and that they actively aid him in managing it. The comedian revealed that if he takes on a project while going through a difficult period with his mental health, his assistant will convince him to delay production until he is more stable.

"I’ll say, 'Yes, I’ll do it', because I think it’s my duty. They’ll say, 'No, don’t. Don’t, or if you do, do it in a month’s time'," he stated.

Fry also told the television presenter about how much he missed his "dear friend", Carrie Fisher, who also suffered from bipolar disorder. "I saw her in some states where it really was touch and go," he confessed. "But she would go for electric shock therapy. Of course, she never lost her sense of humour."

"I remember her saying, she said, 'The thing about it is it works for me. It works. It has a few drawbacks. Memory, short-term memory. You lose your short-term memory. The other thing is you lose your short-term memory, losing your short-term memory.' I said, 'Carrie, you’re so bad'. She was able to laugh at herself. That’s an amazing thing.

"She was a hero, but she also showed that it can bring you down. Her life was shortened by it, there’s no question about that."

Fry's transparency about his mental health struggles come a month after he released a 13-minute video revealing that he has prostate cancer, which is now in remission.

"Cancer is a word that rings in your head. 'I’ve got cancer' I kept saying to myself, good heavens. You’re not supposed to get cancer. I know it’s a cliche but you don’t think it’s going to happen to you, cancer is something that happens to other people," he stated.

"So far as we know, it’s all been got. Are there greater chances of me getting other cancers now? Apparently not. But I won’t know for sure until I get my PSA levels checked. They should be zero because I have no prostate, so the prostate-specific antigen should be zero."

British comedian Stephen Fry opens up about his long-term battle with bipolar

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

With people becoming more informed about mental health and the stigma that surrounds it, it's evident that society has undergone a shift in recent years. However, we still have a way to go. Statistically, one in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives, but many people's symptoms worsen on account of the discrimination they face - from society, but also from their family, friends and employers.

Now, beloved British comedian and actor, Stephen Fry, has opened up about his struggle with bipolar disorder.

While Stephen Fry has battled bipolar disorder for much of his life, he wasn't diagnosed until he was 37.

On Fearne Cotton's podcast, Happy Place, the 60-year-old talked about his struggle with the disease, and how it affects his day-to-day life, disclosing that he sometimes feels in danger of becoming "professionally mentally unstable".

"There was and still is, and I still feel it occasionally, a danger of becoming sort of professionally mentally unstable, that that’s what I am, that’s who I am," the Fry and Laurie comedian stated. "I’ve always viewed it’s not who I am. It’s a condition I live with. I’m always prepared to talk about it, but there’s also a danger, because I do live with this condition. I'm not going to kid myself that it's cured, because it isn't."

[[instagramwidget||https://www.instagram.com/p/BSGB7tsgXxc/?hl=en&taken-by=stephenfryactually]]

Fry then went on to assert that his team are very aware of his condition and that they actively aid him in managing it. The comedian revealed that if he takes on a project while going through a difficult period with his mental health, his assistant will convince him to delay production until he is more stable.

"I’ll say, 'Yes, I’ll do it', because I think it’s my duty. They’ll say, 'No, don’t. Don’t, or if you do, do it in a month’s time'," he stated.

Fry also told the television presenter about how much he missed his "dear friend", Carrie Fisher, who also suffered from bipolar disorder. "I saw her in some states where it really was touch and go," he confessed. "But she would go for electric shock therapy. Of course, she never lost her sense of humour."

"I remember her saying, she said, 'The thing about it is it works for me. It works. It has a few drawbacks. Memory, short-term memory. You lose your short-term memory. The other thing is you lose your short-term memory, losing your short-term memory.' I said, 'Carrie, you’re so bad'. She was able to laugh at herself. That’s an amazing thing.

"She was a hero, but she also showed that it can bring you down. Her life was shortened by it, there’s no question about that."

Fry's transparency about his mental health struggles come a month after he released a 13-minute video revealing that he has prostate cancer, which is now in remission.

"Cancer is a word that rings in your head. 'I’ve got cancer' I kept saying to myself, good heavens. You’re not supposed to get cancer. I know it’s a cliche but you don’t think it’s going to happen to you, cancer is something that happens to other people," he stated.

"So far as we know, it’s all been got. Are there greater chances of me getting other cancers now? Apparently not. But I won’t know for sure until I get my PSA levels checked. They should be zero because I have no prostate, so the prostate-specific antigen should be zero."