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Mel Gibson, Bipolar Disorder and Alcohol

As Mel Gibson’s voicemails to his ex-girlfriend continue to be leaked to the Internet this week, many media outlets are asking questions about Mel Gibson’s mental health. That’s no wonder — the voicemails are laced with profanity, racial epithets, and threats. In a 2008 documentary, Acting Class of 1977, he first talked about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

But are the rants to his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva related to a possible mental health diagnosis? Alcohol? Or something else?

It’s not easy to answer this question, because nobody except Mel Gibson, 54, and his doctors know. All we can do is speculate, based upon observations of his reactions, tone and behavior as recorded in the voicemails that are publicly available. So let’s take a look at some of Mel Gibson’s words and behaviors on these recordings.

50 Comments to
Mel Gibson, Bipolar Disorder and Alcohol

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  1. i also thought he was desparate and in pain… so much that he was in panic. what a pity.

    she – i guess naturally – reacted to his anger and not his neediness.. a great tel. conversation to work on!!!

  2. Wow. The previous comments are insulting; I hope you ignore them. Anyone can make a mistake with word choice. I’m sure you “know the difference” and it was a mistype. This is getting off on a side topic, but using the wrong word can actually be interesting psychologically… :>).

    More importantly, Mel Gibson may be in considerable emotional pain, but the ongoing rants indicate not only lack of respect for women in general but also reveal his lack of love for the ex-girlfriend. I have made this point many times about jealous people who cross over to the point of threats, violence, and other types of intimidation. They “love” someone only if everything is going well; that “love” goes out the door when they feel hurt or angry. A person who loves does not repeatedly spew hateful, vicious and ugly attacks against the loved one. This is desire for control and possessiveness; it has nothing to do with love.

  3. Rage is VERY much a part of the bipolar manic state. A manic person is very capable of harming someone or even homocide. Yelling, screaming, ranting are all part of a manic state. His warped perception is also part of the mania. He can become completely psychotic. Unfortunately, many people go undiagnosed for many years. Even after someone is diagnosed, it can take many years to figure out which medicines to take. Lithium is the top med for bipolar, someone may also need anti-psychotic and depression meds also. My relative always crashed into a deep depression after a manic or psychotic manic state and became suicidal. Things improved ten-fold after lithium was prescribed.
    Hopefully he will get the medical attention he needs. Unfortunately, bipolar gives the person the illusion that they are ok and everyone else has a problem. I pray that he has a supportive family to help him through this.

  4. Having lived with a bipolar mother, I disagree with Dr. Grohol’s assessment of the features of the disease. Rage and a warped perception of reality are key features of my mother’s experience of the illness (not so much so in the early years of her life, but the disease and her behavior have gradually morphed over the years, becoming more extreme). When I heard Gibson’s rant, it reminded me of my mother’s behavior and I instantly thought that Gibson may suffer from the disease as well.

  5. I’m simply tired of every ill-behaved celebrity or sensationalized criminal being “bipolar” all of the sudden. At least it seems to be all of the sudden.

  6. Poor Mel, now that he’s old, and has that dried up, worn-out look about him, we can see that whatever charm he once had, was just one of the gifts of youth. Remember Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Paul Newman, and guys like that— how they went on and on and never really lost the old mojo. This guy has lost all of it.

  7. I also strongly disagree with this author’s assessment. How is rage not a characteristic of bipolar disorder? The people I’ve known with bipolar disease have absolutely been known to fly into a rage during a manic period, usually over something pretty minor. That one assertion makes this whole article suspect for me.

  8. Chrisa,

    I used to think the same thing a long time ago about people blaming things on mental illness. Then my life was turned upside down by this illness. My family members’ bipolar was brought on by taking prednisone. There are so many symptoms to this disorder. He was overly sexually charged also. Many people will cheat on their spouses or are obsessed with porn. He kept spending money uncontrollably also. Racked up over $40,000 in spending in just 2 months.
    And yes, there are many famous people that do have bipolar. It was Jane Pauley talking on her show several years ago about how prednisone brought on her bipolar that made me realize the same thing had happened to my family member. He was hospitalized for psychosis while on prednisone and has been bipolar ever since.
    Now days more & more people are more open to talking and/or admitting that they have a mental illness. 20 years ago that wasn’t so. That would be why you are hearing more about it.
    It’s always easy to judge or criticize someone when you don’t fully understand the whole story. 10 years ago I didn’t understand, but certainly know a lot about it now.

  9. As a recovering alcoholic, I know in my situation, it was impossible for me to work on the myriad of problems and feelings I had until I had honestly addressed my alcoholism. No amount of court-ordered rehab or public rebuke will likely help Gibson until he has that moment where he can see the insanity of his drinking as the fuel feeding the fires of his other serious personal shortcomings. There are some unfortunates who will never hit bottom. Pity unto not only them but also to anyone who lies in the destructive wake of an alcoholic’s tornadic path. However, the pain every alcoholic causes, the pain I caused, is real, and alcoholism in and of itself should not be seen as a generic free pass onto social absolution. The disease is physiological, psychological, and social in nature. The individual has to work toward repairing all three fronts, and there is not much room for entitlement or narcissism.

  10. BiPolar Disorder may very well be the Axis I diagnosis in this case (or maybe not) but it is separate from the behavioral issues Mr Gibson is presenting in his life. Alcoholism/addiction has behavioral components and/or Mr Gibson may have an underlying Axis II disorder.
    But there are certainly individuals with Bipolar Disorder who do NOT have Axis II issues, as there probably are many who do.
    Let’s all please diagnose correctly and not blur Axis I & II.
    Furthermore, the man may be experiencing Axis III issues (medical problems) which are exacerbating other areas.

  11. Of COURSE rage is a component of Bipolar Disorder. My mother is BP and so is my husband. Without medication they’ve found themselves doing and saying incredibly destructive things they very much regret later. With all due respect, this doc needs to go back to med school.

  12. OK…mystery solved. Grohol is a psychologist and NOT an MD. I assumed someone writing about a medical disorder was an actual doctor. I stand corrected.

  13. “Anger or rage are not typical symptoms of bipolar disorder. While certainly someone might exhibit rage while in a manic phase of bipolar disorder, it is not a symptom one could draw conclusions from.”

    Dr Grohol states the above and does not suggest rage and anger is not a part of bipolar.

    It is always prudent to read and and reread articles before posting so that what one is commenting on is relevant to the article.

    I too agree that the bipolar card is played by too many celebrities who are simply narcissistically inclined.

  14. Interesting….Mel Gibson’s telephone rants are an exact duplicate of my bipolar ex-husband’s rants toward me. Rage was a huge part of his disease prior to being properly diagnosed and medicated.

    Recently diganosed bipolar myself, I can attest to suffering form those same uncontrolable and overwhelming feelings of rage. Fortunately, I rarely acted on them.

  15. Unsure as to what the author is trying to say with this article. If he is Axis I, that means he needs to be more responsible and take his BP medications and quit drinking. If he is Axis II, then what? He is scorned by humanity? Sent away on the ship of fools?

    This man seems deeply troubled and needs help, both so that others around him are not hurt and to allow him to heal as well. For all we know this man’s rage could have been the result of a nightmare childhood and he could no longer contain it and is now having a total breakdown.

    When will mental health people realize that no child goes around wishing to be antisocial or borderline when they grow up? Axis I and Axis II are both mental illnesses that need to be treated, and I’d bet there are many mental health professionals out there with their own share of Axis II traits. It’s as if we are still in the dark ages of mental illness and continually need a scapegoat to stigmatize-so it just shifts from one concept to another.

    What is the message here-how dare the media mix up people who have Axis I illnesses with Axis II people? At least Mr. Gibson won’t have trouble finding appropriate treatment as therapists will gladly take him as a client unlike the average Betty Borderline who had been sexually abused as a child while society looked the other way.

  16. My husband is bipolar and we’ve been married 15 years. He has gone into rages as well and said many ugly things to me. His rants did not include racist epithets or threats to kill me but calling me names, accusing me of stealing his money spying on him etc. were a part of these rants. I believe the racism threats come naturally to Mel Gibson because he was raised with these beliefs and is not able to suppress them in his psychotic state. He definitely sounded bipolar to me! I was very much reminded of my husband’s episodes.

  17. If John is really a doctor, I question if he has actually seen someone in a psychotically manic state. If he had, he certainly would not say that rage and anger are not symptoms of bipolar. He acknowledges that a warped perspective is a symptom of psychosis, yet says it’s not a symptom of bipolar. That’s contradictory since psychosis can certainly accompany mania.

    I doubt seriously that Mel is using being bipolar as an “excuse.” It hardly will help him with his reputation in Hollywood. It’s unfortunate he apparently is not getting the medical help he needs, despite having the resources. I hope he hasn’t run across some quack who tells him he doesn’t need meds.

  18. John has a doctorate in psychology – as far as I am aware he does not have a medical degree. Which in my opinion makes him far more qualified than a medical doctor to recognise bipolar when he sees it. I imagine he has treated more bipolar patients than I have had hot dinners in my lifetime.

    He states in his article that while someone might exhibit rage, it is not a typical symptom.

    An alcoholic rage (such as what Mel displayed) does not mean one is bipolar. It just means he is a mean drunk. Plenty of non-bipolar people are violent when drunk.

    I tend to think he suffers from narcissistic personality disorder, something that is notoriously difficult to treat as the person does not recognise there is a problem with themselves – just everyone else.

  19. I’m surprised by how many people have read the article and believe it said something it did not. I never said rage couldn’t be a part of a manic episode. What I did say is that it is not typical of people’s manic state.

    What I also should’ve noted was that virtually every component that defines a manic episode is present in these phone calls. A mood marked not by its elevation but rather by irritability (rage or anger is not noted in the diagnostic criteria); inflated self-esteem; pressured, loud and rapid speech; racing thoughts; inability to differentiate between thoughts relevant to the conversation and those that are not (he gets easily distracted on tangents in the phone calls); increased goal-directed activities (although it’s not entirely clear what specific goal he has in mind); increased sexual drive (he talks a lot about his sexual needs); and poor judgment (threats to his ex-girlfriend).

    Taken as a whole, these phone calls would be consistent with someone who is suffering from a manic episode.

  20. Jasie:

    As the mom of a teen with schizoaffective disorder, I’m well aware of the symptoms and what it’s like to live with someone with a mental illness.

    But please explain to me how his first wife – to whom he was married for 28 years – says in court documents that this is not his typical behavior? You don’t suddenly become bipolar in your late 50’s.

  21. Isn’t the public’ feeding frenzy over one man, simply because he is a Hollywood star, when these same behaviors take place every day in families, with your neighbors, fellow employees and church members called – obsession or idolization? If people dislike the man, why the non-stop interest in his personal life? There are doctors making guesses without a family history, health records, a proper intake evaluation. If they did that with the average patient it would be called malpractice. Then the wild and ludicrous DX’s made by ignorant, untrained minds that can’t let go of an idea – now, that’s mental illness. One woman on a post yesterday said “He’s a psychopath and we should ALL be afraid for our lives!” I’d be far more concerned about her.

    Anyone who claims to be totally free of guilt when it comes to anger, rage, making threats and insults to a partner in the heat of a fight, using perverse language, tossing about bigotry & racism is either a liar of ignorant as all hell. Just listen to comedians; they talk that way most the time! I suffered from BPD and believe me I did and said things that made Mel look like Mother Teresa! Come on folks – I’ve got an autobiography about this. Three generations of BPD that make his story look tame. Make me into a star so maybe you’ll be a fraction as interested as you are in this one man! But alas, I lack the notoriety. I believe people with less build their own egos by tearing down those with more. They gain a sense of Schadenfreude – pleasure derived from other’s misfortunes. And they call us crazy!

    Bipolar was the dx of choice years ago (and still is) because it is an axis-1 disorder (organic brain disorder) and therefore, doctors receive higher cost reimbursement from insurance companies. BPD – Axis-II is comprised of personality disorders and hence receives a lower reimbursement if any. Why treat if you are not going to get paid. The symptoms overlap so much, no one will question the dx.

    BPD shows up in males as addiction, narcissism, anti-social behavior (which would include rage, lack of remorse, reckless behavior, warped perspectives of situations and the words of others, panic disorders, anxiety, behavior not conforming to social norms, verbal, emotional & physical abuse, especially towards the opposite sex) is based on earlier life neglect, trauma or abuse (something NO ONE knows about in this case as it took place BEFORE he was famous) and is set off by stressors such as abandonment which IS occurring in this situation.. BPD can lie dormant in remission until a trauma or stress sets it off. Yes you can love someone dearly but threaten them when you are in the middle of a attack. I’m still married and in remission (no longer qualifying for the 5 necessary criteria). Mel displays at least 6 out of 9.As the previous post points out, “you do not become Bipolar over night”. However, a life of reckless behavior, addiction, insecurity masked by outward narcissism, stormy relationships, inappropriate anger & rages, frantic efforts to avoid abandonment would make total sense, even to those with basic abnormal psych training. Also in Bipolar the shifts are much longer lasting while in BPD they can last hours with times of stable behavior (the ability to work) in between. He IS panicking due to rejection. Let’s get real!!!

    Stop the stigma, give him privacy to get help (something the studios, his agents & handlers would rather avoid) and stop making a bad situation worse.

  22. irritability when manic? That’s a bit like saying climbing Mt. Everest is just a leisurely stroll up and over a small hill.

    The *rage* can be *profound*, malicious.

    It may not be listed in the diagnostic criteria (I suspect because so many physicians, clinicians never really see this side of mania in outpatients, it’s rarely directed at *them* thus they term it atypical), but the families and friends of people with Bipolar disorder know it all too well.

    Your loved one turns into a wild animal – *that* is typical of a manic episode.

  23. Im releived that finally the world sees how horrible the efffects of bipolar disorder have on a family. Im disappointed that you disregard the obvious symptoms. Irritibility, ranting, verbal abuse, drinking are all major symptoms and typical. Why do you downplay it?

  24. Mel Gibson is an alcoholic……period!!

    Alcoholism is a progressive disease and he’s in “end stage”

    Sad to say, society is in denial about alcoholism.

    Why do you think Obama fired the general?

    What’s happened to John McCain?

    Same answer, ALCOHOLISM……period!!

  25. To begin with I don’t care for Mel Gibson movies . He is too high energy for my liking But, when I heard the tapes and the condasending comments made by his girl friend and the tone of her voice I would guess she is a provoker. She knows exactly what to say to turn him on. I’d be interested in what kind of conversations they have when she is not recording him. I’m married to a provoker and I honed in on that condasending tone right away. They are so frusrating they drive you almost insane. I say to Mel “Get away from her before you do something you will regret” She used him abused him and now wants to casgh in and she’s also using their child in the process.

  26. Good of the doc to restate his position. Kay Redfield Jamieson literally wrote the text in most med school text books on bipolar disorder. Her insight into irritability during what she calls “black mania” is helpful. Google it for more info…

    Mel Gibson may be a self-centered man and even a narcissist but he strongly appears to present bipolar behavior. Just my two cents…

  27. Good of the doc to restate his position. Kay Redfield Jamieson, MD literally wrote the book/text in most med school text books on bipolar disorder. Her insight into irritability during what she calls “black mania” is helpful. Google it for more info…

    Mel Gibson may be a self-centered man and even a narcissist but he strongly appears to present bipolar behavior. Just my two cents…

  28. I don’t think it’s helpful that people are speculating that the woman tried to provoke him. Even if she did, so what? That’s not the point.

    People all over the world are looking for opportunities to provoke you, spouses, coworkers, obnoxious drivers on the street, etc. That’s just a part of life. If a person is functional, even IF a person is being provoked, they will keep their responses within a normal range.

    Mel Gibson obviously went far beyond anything typically considered a nornmal reaction. So provoked or not provoked, Mel Gibson obviously had a problem.

  29. Provokers ALWAYS blame the person who responds and they can sound so togather so controlled and ther-in is the rub CONTROL they love to control.

    I would guess that she used her beauty and her promise to be his love forever and then spent his money without restraint.

    His anger was a mixture of disbelief that she would use him in such a way that old saying “There is no fool like an old fool” and he has been made out to be a fool.

    That is why I advice the man to get away from her she is toxic for a healthy person and deadly to one suffering from a mental illness.

  30. Sorry, but where did we get the information that rage is NOT a part of bipolar disorder? Tell that to the nurses I worked with who had a client chase them around the parking lot screaming threats at them. He ended up bending a car door off its hinges and – before he was four-point restrained – threw a chair through an observation window at a hospital. Combine bipolarity with alcohol and you sure enough can get some serious, violent rage going.

  31. What a waste of time for a thread. Maybe I missed it in one of these comments, but, (1) who released these recordings and put this personal dialogue in the middle of public view, and (2) how can you diagnose a disorder based on peripheral viewing and often biased, unobjective reporting?

    From what very LITTLE I know of this man, he has issues and needs to accept help and the need for change, and he should be very angry this is now in full view of the public. But, why are we a culture of voyeurs and just maintain the status quo? Does anyone drive by an accident anymore and stay focused on the road in front of them? Says a lot about this society.

    And, Bipolar Disorder is an illness of gray shades. There is not one presentation that fits all. Hence Dr Grohol’s use of the word “typical”.

    Finally, anger is a symptom, not a diagnosis and not only associated with one type of disorder. Addiction has anger, as does depression, mania, psychosis, anxiety, deliruim, even dementia.

    Maybe all these issues could be applicable here!

  32. This article was badly written, because while not factually inaccurate, it was certainly misleading: the strong implication is that Mr Gibson’s ranting should be interpreted as most likely the result of alcohol or drug problems rather than as a symptom of Bipolar Disorder.

    Only Dr Grohol’s subsequent comment clarifies that a manic episode is completely consistent with the evidence of the conversations, and could clearly be a strong contributing factor to Mr Gibson’s behaviour.

    As a sufferer of Bipolar Disorder, I have certainly found that “irritability” is, in line with the diagnostic criteria, far more typical than “rage” during hypomanic and manic periods. Nonetheless, I do periodically experience overwhelming rage – without any influence of drugs or alcohol – during episodes of mood elevation, completely disproportionate to my typical range of quite mild anger. Fortunately for me, unlike Mr Gibson I have never expressed these emotions in such an abhorrent and personal fashion; my ranting tends to be either directed at the world at large, or kept to myself.

    While this and other commentators experiences are of course only anecdotal, I’d expect studies into the matter to confirm that this kind of occasional rage is certainly typical of at least a substantial subset of the bipolar population, in the same way that paranoia is typical in the psychosis suffered by at least part of the schizophrenic population.

    When communicating mental health issues to a lay audience, experts such as Dr Grohol should take special care not to gloss over complexities in a way that is likely to cause confusion or misinterpretation.

  33. I also disagree with the article. My husband has bipolar disorder. As soon as I heard the rants of Mel Gibson, I said “he has bipolar disorder”. No question. His rants are so much like my husband’s were before he was on medication. Warped sense of reality, rage, narcissism – all symptoms that my husband has shown. I feel sorry for Mel, and also for his girlfriend. Untreated, this disorder can be terrible and scary. It is a shame that this is getting broadcast all over the media. He needs help and medication.

  34. Whether or not Mel Gibson has bipolar, this is pretty sad because the public is now getting the message that bipolar equals crazy and violent, without seeing it in context.

  35. Hilary Smith,

    I agree with you. The media has always contributed to stigma of mental illness that hurts people who have such health conditions.

    Dr. Grohol has posted articles of TV series that more accurately portray mental illnesses that represent more common symptoms. Still, if I recall correctly, on of the TV shows in a series highlighted people such as someone with some sort of rage/reactive disorder, and someone with OCD who had a very rare and ‘weird’ compulsion (people seem to be sympathetic about germaphobic behavior). Then you have the ‘hoarder’ and other ‘reality’ shows.

    No wonder so many people suffering from mental illness live in isolation-as people become wary of you or scared upon disclosing your illness and sometimes look at you as some sort of freak they saw in the last TV show.

    Glenn Close did a great job portraying someone with Borderline, didn’t she?

  36. mel gibson has a personality disorder. he is not bi-polar. he is an abusive controlling narcissist.

  37. Yes, you can become bipolar later in life or all of a sudden. This happened with my relative due to taking Prednisone. He went in the hospital in a psychotic state and has been bipolar ever since. And, many people do turn to alcohol & drugs trying to deal with what’s going on with their body. Many go undiagnosed for many years. Then, not all psychiatrists are great at treating bipolar. My relative went many years on numerous medications that did not work. 7 years later & 4 psychiatrists later he was put on lithium and his life improved dramatically. Yes we still deal with mania & depression, but nowhere near the magnitude we did before. He has not been in the hospital since then & has not been suicidal since.

  38. As a recovering alcoholic myself, I believe Mel Gibson’s rants are very indicative of an alcoholic who was drunk. Having heard many stories from alcoholics, but also having seen my own personality change when I was drinking, this is totally what I see going on with Mel. Jumping around of issues, intense and out of proportion rage, self focus…all of this can come out big time when an alocholic with rage tendencies is having a bing. That’s not to say there are not issues he must take responsibility for, and that he probably has some anger and other issues that need to be dealt with…the first thing that must go…totally…is the alcohol and any mood altering drugs. I agree with the other post that our society underestimates or does not understand the impact of alcohol on an alcoholic. Having been there myself…the bells ring loud and clear to me that this is what is going on with Mel. There’s probably even a big chance that he doesn’t remember much of what he ranted about since, if he is in the later stages of alcoholism, black outs are common and volatile and higher risk behaviour starts to reveal itself more and more. The problem is that, in between binges, and alcoholic can seem quite normal…and the public view of an alcoholic is someone on a park bench reeking of alcohol. Such is not the case…and an alcoholic can go without alcohol for days or months or even years…but if they pick up a drink, they will almost always end up binging and picking up where they left off from the last one. He ‘must’ stay away from alcohol in order to heal himself.

  39. Most clinicians I know see narcissistic personality as the more likely background. Mr. Gibson’s rage has the quality of narcissistic fragmentation.

    There has been a growing tendency to misdiagnose persons with narcissistic and borderline personality organizations as bipolar, partly because of a widespread tendency to diagnose a disorder that is pharmacologically responsive. As they say, when you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    I would also add that most of the clinicians I know suspect that the relationship between Mr. Gibson and Ms. Grigorieva is far more complex and mutually pathological than the self-selected leaked recordings would suggest. There has been much in Ms. Grigorieva’s behavior to raise questions about the how she is representing the relationship.

    We want simple morality plays: he’s a bad guy or he’s a sick guy and she’s a victim. Sometimes that occurs, but more often what we see are couples locked in mutually destructive patterns of abuse. Judging from afar, we can speculate, but we don’t know for sure.

  40. The next search I did after posting my comment above finds precisely the speculation that I’ve heard in my local professional community.

  41. The speculation is getting a bit ridiculous. The speculations do not seem relevant to a situation for which much of it is unknown.

    “It is certainly known that individuals in the midst of a manic episode often exhibit antisocial behavior.” (antisocial = severe narcissist)

    Glen Gabbard “Psychodynamic Psychiatry in Clinical Practice”, page 527.

    The Psychology Today article was unimpressive as well.

  42. “He is an abusive controlling narcissist” ? narcissism can be a co-morbid disorder under the umbrella of Bi-polar Disorder. My husband and son both have bipolar disorder. They each exhibit different traits of the disorder, my son has extreme social anxiety, which creates frustration, then anger rages. He’s 18, has no friends at school and won’t eat lunch at school due to the debilitating social anxiety. My husband has self centered narcissism, he’s very self righteous,he blames me for his mistakes, everything is about him, and where he wants to go, do, see ect…

  43. “It is certainly known that individuals in the midst of a manic epis

  44. Wake up people! Bipolar presents in phases – weeks long or longer. Bipolar rages are not emotionally based. The anger just appears. And, YES, bipolar disorder treatment is covered by medical insurance. Borderline-Narcissistic Personality Disorder is NOT covered by insurance so many many many people are purposefully misdiagnosed so that their therapy costs are covered by insurance. Most cannot afford therapy without insurance coverage so if the therapists wants a long term patient, then the diagnosis must be bipolar.

    Mel Gibson may have been less inhibited because of alcohol but the rage was already inside of him – if you look at his first marriage, it was probably there from his childhood. He also could have left those messages and not have been drinking at all.
    My not-yet-ex left many messages similar to Mel’s to me after 20 yrs of marriage – four kids. I, however, had a protection order and when he finally was arrested at my hiding house – he had an abduction/torture kit in his car!! He was arrested for attempted aggravated murder, etc.

    If you have someone around you that exhibits this kind of warped thoughts and raging — get away from them!! What’s keeping you together is fear of abandonment, not love!! I was not healthy when we were together – a mentally healthy person doesn’t allow themselves to be treated in verbally, emotionally, and/or mentally abusive ways. I never realized his behavior was abusive because my mother was the same way. Plus, I wanted to maintain the facade of our beautiful looking life – while living in hell. I WOKE UP!!!

    In order to truly save my marriage, I would have needed to separate from him and thereby force him to get help for himself. Cause and Effect is so simple. He had what he wanted… me and the kids together as a family. I wanted him to get help to stop abusing me and the kids. But he had no reason to get help other than my begging and pleading. Had I felt worthy of being treated well, I would have looked for that while dating. I was looking for someone who acted like he wanted me around. I found my emotional equal as we always do. I hated myself and he hated himself. He found someone who would take care of him and I found someone who I could take care of — and then, he would never be able to leave me, right? Well, eventually he hated me too but, I had started my own journey of healing myself and eventually believed I was priceless, and not worthless like he showed me everyday in the end.

    And he’s still out there, about to be let loose to come after me again. God has gotten me this far – so my faith and trust are in the right place. God loves me for me!! RJ

  45. Diagnosing someone, even speculatively, from edited tapes, apparently created with two different microphones, is highly irresponsible. It does a disservice to the individual, and the field of psychology as well.

    And whether it is a situational, or chronic, manner of responding we don’t know. We draw all kinds of conclusions from a paucity, yes a paucity, of publicly leaked information.

    All I know is that many individuals, both male and female, attempt to relationally exploit each other emotionally and financially. And the more unsuccessful they are in the attempts, the more they increase their efforts. And everyone of us is at risk of becoming volatile in such situations. None is exempt.

    It amazes me how easily we distance ourselves from the tribulations of the emotional world by assigning labels, and then dismissing the person as “sick”. Very very sad. Very very unproductive, or curative, or helpful.

  46. Was this really written by a doctor/psychiatrist? Rage, distorted reality, even narcissism can all be part of a bipolar person’s list of symptoms. It’s true that not all bipolar people have all — or any — of these symptoms.I’m bipolar and I have a more rapid-cycling hypo-mania (and dysphoric mania) variety. I have some of the symptoms some of the time. I can say that rage and irritability, even at the slightest most insignificant thing, occur in my neurochemical cycle. My fiancee can even tell when it’s going to happen since we’ve charted my brain’s cycles so it’s pretty predictable. There were times at the beginning of our relationship that he looked at me wide-eyed and aghast clearly thinking how inappropriate my anger was and later told me “i could tell it wasn’t emotional, it was chemical. That’s just not you.” And he’s right. Bipolar turns you around and can change you — even if temporarily — into someone you’re not. It can be very “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” at times.

    In response to another comment here: he wasn’t diagnosed “all of a sudden” just because of his behavior. I may be wrong but it’s my understanding that Mr. Gibson had discussed his condition openly at least a couple years before these incidents took place.

    Lastly, I have to say that while most people may not be quite this “crazy” about harrassing an ex, it’s not as if people don’t fight during/after a breakup! A lot of people are probably going to say that I’m off my rocker if i think what he said is normal. I think he sailed into crazier waters than most people do, sure. But I’m wondering how crazy some of the worst arguments you or I have had would sound if played to the whole country with absolutely NO context. You may be thinking “context doesn’t matter! that was pure insanity!” but I still think that it DOES matter, and these things get blown up out of proportion because we expect celebrities to be something other than average human beings. They’re really just human beings who have the same set of mind boggling emotions and stupid gut reactions that can lead to mistakes and a lot of regret.

  47. Watching Mr.Gibson spiral from stardom just reminds me that we are nothing without our God. Being a religious catholic does not help.. Mr. Gibson has to seek help fast and reconnect with his God and how he understands his loving God.. The belief system of his God through his father has to be redefined. .. I will continue to pray for him

  48. I believe Mel may be suffering from bipolar. I believe I have been suffering for quite a long time and getting worse. I am seeing the psych next week. My Dad is bipolar and Mom has Clinical Depression. I have said similar things to my loving wife of 12 years but never threatened her life. And then I feel terribly depressed and guilty. It apppears my cycles are speeding up and intensifying. I have all the traits except hyper sexuality and obsessive spending. Please get help for yourself if you are suffering. Your loved ones deserve a healthy relative.

  49. Who is ALL good & has perfect mental & physical health @ all times….for the rest of their lives from hereon ?
    …and who else is a bi-polar notable ?
    Unfortunately Bi-polar has it’s insanely vile moments as well as it’s brilliant geniuss’ who benefit & change the world like no other.

    Not only forgiveness but pills, counsel, or herbs should b the best friends;-)

    More AWARENESS about the deathily issue in Everyone’s family circle is key; surprise ! Auntie Pam or Dad might just hve it!

    TY Mr. Grohol 4 bringing up the conversation

  50. I Have bipolar disorder. It very much includes having almost uncontroable fits of passionate rage. But having this disorder or being an alcoholic does not give you a get out of jail free card.Mel.



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