Demi Lovato, Disney teen actress and pop star, recently completed three months of in-patient therapy. She has recently started opening up to the public about her issues and healing process, and has joined Seventeen as a contributing editor.
After news broke that Catherine Zeta Jones spent five days being treated for bipolar II disorder, Demi Lovato also announced to People that she is bipolar, and that it was one of the things she discovered and dealt with in therapy.
I can’t say I’m a fan of Demi Lovato as I am not very familiar with any of her work, but I do support her decision to tell the world about her personal struggle. I usually think people should stay private, that celebrities don’t need to share as much as they do (keep some mystique, people), but I think this is something that it is especially important for kids and teens to hear about. It is not shameful to be bipolar, and more people struggle with the illness than most of us realize. I have two very close friends who have struggled with it their entire lives, and I have witnessed some of the things they have gone through.
Teens should know about bipolar disorder. Those who have it, or who think they might have it, should definitely not feel alone. They should not feel ashamed. There appear to be a few nonfiction books about the subject available for young adults, but what about YA novels that include characters with this mental illness? Unfortunately, the Library of Congress website is stalling on my search today. If you know of any great books out there with bipolar characters, post a comment! And if there aren’t any books like this, I hope a great author writes one soon.