Top 10 Celebrity Mental Breakdowns
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by William Regot
Hey, just because you are a celebrity, doesn't mean you aren't vulnerable! Or, in this case, capable of a total mental breakdown. Unfortunately for her, we've all seen the epic Britney Spears footage of her shaving her head and slaying cars with umbrellas. But, she is by no means the only famous person to have a breakdown right in front of the public's prying eyes. We're also shifting the focus onto Mel Gibson, Kanye West, Sinead O'Connor, and Demi Lovato.
Top 10 Celebrity Mental Breakdowns
We all go a little mad sometimes. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today, we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Celebrity Mental Breakdowns.
For this list, we’re looking at celebrities who have seemingly experienced mental illness, whether it was a fleeting bout of instability or more long-term.
#10: Kanye West
In November 2016, police were brought in after a 911 call from Kanye’s doctor, who claimed that the rapper was reportedly “acting erratically.” Following the incident, West was admitted to the UCLA Medical Center where he was placed under psychiatric evaluation, remaining there for a nine day stay. The media speculated as to what caused the nervous breakdown, but eventually exhaustion was deemed to be the most likely cause, as West reportedly hadn’t slept for a week prior to the hospitalization. His need for some rest and relaxation was so great that Kanye ultimately cut his Saint Pablo Tour short.
#9: Mel Gibson
This Academy Award winning actor and director has seemingly been battling alcoholism his whole life, and in a 2002 interview, he revealed his then-recent discovery that he suffered from manic depression. Those struggles all culminated in one devastating DUI stop in July 2006 when Gibson drunkenly went on an anti-Semitic rant that effectively ruined his reputation in Hollywood. He later claimed that the words he used were “blurted out in a moment of insanity.” Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only such lapse of judgement Gibson has experienced, having left aggressive, angry and racist voicemails on his ex’s phone, which went public.
#8: Randy Quaid
This actor is known for playing eccentric, oddball characters, and it turns out such roles may not actually require that much effort on his part. In 2010, Quaid and his wife were detained in Canada after seeking asylum from a vast conspiracy network. The couple claimed they were the target of an international group of Hollywood Star Whackers that plot to kill celebrities. As if that weren’t weird enough, Quaid posted a video in 2015 where he pretended to have sex with his wife while she donned a crude mask of Rupert Murdoch.
#7: Mariah Carey
For this iconic singer, the pressure proved too much in the summer of 2001 while promoting her film “Glitter”. During an infamous appearance on “TRL,” Mariah took her shirt off in front of a live television audience and handed them ice cream bars. Just days after this bizarre episode, towards the end of July, Carey was taken to a hospital in Westchester County, New York, and subsequently transferred to another hospital in Connecticut where she stayed until August. The pop star later claimed the cause of her meltdown was exhaustion from regularly putting in 21-hour days for the better part of three months. Yeah... that sort of workload would set anybody off.
#6: Sinéad O’Connor
Throughout her career, this Irish singer has been known for her quirky and often incendiary behavior - remember her controversial performance on “Saturday Night Live” where she tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II? She’s developed a reputation for being incredibly open about her struggles with mental illness and thoughts of suicide in interviews, even taking to Twitter in search of psychiatric aid in 2012. These bouts with mental illness have led to multiple hospitalizations over the years. Though in 2007 O’Connor publicly announced that she had been diagnosed as bipolar, she later claimed to have been misdiagnosed after seeking more than one second opinion.
#5: Demi Lovato
While on tour with the Jonas Brothers in November 2010, this Disney star sought help at the Timberline Knolls treatment center where she stayed for over 2 months at the behest of her family and manager. While at Timberline Knolls, the singer was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and has since opened up about her struggles with bulimia, drug and alcohol abuse, and cutting herself. Today, Lovato is a mental health advocate whose goal is to spread awareness and take away some of the stigma for those who have been going through the same problems.
#4: Charlie Sheen
This successful movie and TV star is no stranger to breakdowns or hospitalizations. In 1998, Sheen had a stroke at the age of 32 that was the result of a cocaine overdose. However, the actor didn’t hit the peak of his instability until 2011, when he shared some thoughts about his boss, “Two and a Half Men” creator Chuck Lorre, which he probably should’ve kept to himself. Sheen would ultimately find that his series of reckless and seriously strange interviews not only got the whole world talking but also cost him his contract. During the meltdown, Sheen called himself a “warlock”, among many other things.
#3: Mischa Barton
In July 2009, while seeking treatment for a tooth infection, “The O.C.” actress violently confronted professionals and was reportedly suicidal. Afterwards, Barton, then 23-years-old, was committed for two weeks under 5150, a code under California law that allows a patient to be held involuntarily. Unfortunately, her troubles didn’t end there. In early 2017, neighbors reported seeing Barton hanging over her backyard fence, rambling incoherently about the “world shattering” and how her mother was a “witch.” This resulted in her being taken back to the hospital, though this time voluntarily.
#2: Amanda Bynes
From a young age, Amanda Bynes seemed to buck the trend of young female stars engaging in reckless behavior. But in 2012, that reputation began to unravel. In April of that year, the former Nickelodeon actress was busted for a DUI, and in July 2013, got in trouble for a setting fire to a neighbor’s driveway, among other offenses. For this string of behavior, Bynes was put in what was originally supposed to be a 72 hour psychiatric hold, but eventually wound up lasting well over a month. Sadly, she has had to undergo repeated treatment, with conservatorship being handed over to her mother on more than one occasion.
#1: Britney Spears
Divorce rarely brings out the best in people, but Britney Spears’s split from Kevin Federline seemingly sent her over the edge. For more than a year, starting in 2007, Spears engaged in a series of bizarre behaviors that caught the attention of the media and the public - she shaved her head, was repeatedly heard using a British accent and attacked a car with an umbrella. These eccentric actions resulted in the singer being put under psychiatric hold and, arguably a low point, losing custody of her two kids to K-Fed. Thankfully, Spears has since managed to recover, regain custody of her children, and continue to produce hit songs.