Saturday, January 20, 2018

Grandma Weil

I never knew my grandfather on my father's side. He died of an aneurysm when I was a young boy. He left a sizable fortune to my grandmother, but my father got nothing. He hated him for that, and he once told me that when his father died he didn't give two shits.

I never really knew my grandmother either. She never sent birthday cards, she never called on Christmas, but once a year, she sent everybody in the family a sizable check, and all she wanted in return was a thank you, and if it didn't come fast enough, you heard about it from my father.

We only saw her on Thanksgiving. This was a compulsory event. Every Thanksgiving we went up to Rochester, New York, where she lived in a stately home on East Avenue, just a few blocks down from the George Eastman Museum. The Rochester Planetarium was also within walking distance.

Her house was one of the few on East Avenue that hadn't been subdivided into apartments or multi-family homes. It was built in 1929, and everything in the house, with the exception of the dishwasher, was still original. I always loved the old-fashion refrigerator, with all the little doors that opened from the kitchen or the pantry, which was on the other side. If you opened a door in the kitchen, and the corresponding door was opened in the pantry, you could see right through and have a conversation with whoever was standing in the other room. I was always fascinated by this.

The one thing that was constant about my grandmother's house was that nothing ever changed. Everything had its place. Every picture, every knick-knack, and every book remained exactly where it was put, year after year.

My grandmother had hired help. She would never deign to clean her own house. Everything in that house was spic and span. The basement was spotless. The kitchen, despite it's antiquities, still looked brand new. The attic looked like it was cleaned on a regular basis, and the only thing up there were racks of old, expensive clothes, that were neatly sealed in plastic bags and were pungent with moth balls.

Thanksgiving was a formal affair. Jackets and ties for the men, and formal dresses for the women. Extra help was brought in to help with the serving and the cooking. My father always carved the turkey, and the food was sumptuous. My father had a younger sister, and her husband and three children were in attendance too.

As time went on, and my cousins and I had children of our own, Thanksgiving dinner became more elaborate. Years ago, when I first wrote Harmony House, I sent a copy to my grandmother in the hopes that she would intervene with the insanity that was going on in my family. I never heard from her, and I didn't dare ask about it.

The years went on, and nothing changed. The family got bigger, but that's about it. Finally, my grandmother announced that she would no longer be hosting Thanksgiving. In a way, I was disappointed, but I was also glad. Being around my entire family was more than I could take.

On our last Thanksgiving, my grandmother invited me and my youngest sister to tea at a little bistro in downtown Rochester. I told them a story about when I was a kid in Switzerland. During heavy blizzards, the snow drifts would reach as high as the second-story windows. The windows were large, and they opened sideways. Sometimes, we'd sneak into a room, open the window, and the kid who was closest, we'd tilt up the end of his bed, and he'd slide out of his sheets and comforter into the snow. It was hysterical.

My grandmother looked at me and simply said, "I don't believe you. It reminds me of that short story you sent me. I didn't believe that either."

I was in shock! She waited all these years to tell me now? How could she not believe it? How could I make up something so horrific? I was only 18 when I sent it to her. But I held my tongue. My sister, Margo, took her fair share of abuse as well. She didn't say anything either. I was so angry I could spit.

Later, I had a talk with Margo about it. She rationalized the situation by simply saying, "What do you expect? She's an old woman. She doesn't want to know what a bastard her son is." Well, that only made me more angry. Why does my father get a free pass for what he did to us as children, and continued with his abusiveness all the way into adulthood?

The day after Thanksgiving, extra staff were brought in to clean the kitchen. A middle-aged woman was on her hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor, while my grandmother stood over her and screamed at her for doing a lousy job. This poor woman was beside herself, and my grandmother's eyes were feral with rage, as she continued berating this woman.

At last I couldn't take it anymore, so I reached into my front pocket and pulled out my money clip, handed the woman $100.00, and told her to go home and enjoy her family. She took the money and bolted out of there. My grandmother was so incensed with me for interfering with her affairs, she wrapped her bony hands around my neck and tried to throttle me. 

She wasn't strong enough to leave even the slightest mark, so I just stood there, waiting for her temper tantrum to subside. After that, I could't wait to leave, knowing I would never see this old bitch ever again.

My grandmother was known for her philanthropic endeavors. She was a major contributor to the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and was an advocate for mental health, something I am certain she knew absolutely nothing about.

She lived in a sanitary glass bubble, where nothing could touch her. She went on two music cruises per year, where she consorted with famous opera singers, conductors and musicians. She always sat at the captain's table. All my sisters were invited on her cruises, but I was excluded. I guess I didn't live up to her expectations.

She died at age 99. No doubt, her longevity was attributed to her pampered lifestyle. Over the years, I somehow collected several pictures of her holding my children, or of me washing her car while she smiled in the background.

I took all those pictures and burned them in the kitchen sink. She was a woman without substance. And as our family matriarch, she was a miserable failure.

Love to all!

James M. Weil

Monday, January 8, 2018

Charlatans & Thieves

I was ecstatic when I was offered a publishing contract by Dailey Swan Publishing, effective 09/01/2008. What I didn't know was that Casey Swanson and his wife, Jessica Theresa Dailey, had filed Chapter 13 on 02/09/2008.

I knew there was something amiss, because the date on the contract was wrong, and despite my objections, he never fixed the date, claiming it didn't really matter.


Agreement between author James Weil and publisher Dailey Swan Publishing, Inc. Sept 1, 2008 Page 1 of 9

This agreement is made on April 20, 2007, between Dailey Swan Publishing, a California corporation ("Publisher"), and James Weil ("Author"), represented by the Canton Smith Agency.


Nobody knew that Casey Swanson filed for Chapter 13 because he made a motion not to make it public. It also explains why he tried to backdate the contract, in case of legal ramifications. Casey Swanson is a compulsive liar. He lied about everything! He even lied about stuff that he didn't need to lie about. It drove me nuts! His unprofessional and unsavory business ethics made it almost impossible to deal with him. And my agent just didn't have the balls to back him down. I was on my own. 

Swiss Chocolate was delayed publication by almost two years. It eventually came out on January 28, 2011. The first print run was 3,000 copies, but I never saw any royalties. The most I made was less than $25.00. Strangely, when Dailey Swan Publishing finally did go belly up, Casey offered to send me what was left of my inventory if I paid him the shipping cost of $35.00.

I received two boxes filled with 211 books! That was the last of my inventory? What happened to the remaining 2,789 copies? As you can guess, the first thing I did was fire my agent. But I am still being screwed! Swiss Chocolate was never transferred to my account on all major bookstore websites, meaning he is still collecting my royalties.

I am not going to take this sitting down any longer. I have a good lawyer working on this. At least I will get control over my intellectual property and be reimbursed all the royalties he stole from me.

I don't trust anybody involved in the publishing industry. Too many charlatans and thieves.

Love to all!

James M. Weil

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Divorcing Apple Redux

I am so disgusted with Apple I have removed every component of iTunes and iCloud from my computer. The last straw was when iOS 11 was released and I could no longer use Bluetooth with my Audioengine HD6 speakers. After countless chats and conversations with Apple Support, my issue was still not resolved.
Apple is now up to iOS 11.2.5, and my Bluetooth still does not work! I have been monitoring the Apple Forums, and there seems to be thousands of people with the same issue.

But's that's not all I have to gripe about. Before Apple Music made it's debut, I had purchased a lot of music, but somehow most of it was mysteriously usurped into the Apple Music Cloud. That just burns my butt. Another problem with iTunes is that it freezes a little too often. Also, many of my albums are mysteriously separated into two, with some songs on one album and other songs on the second. This happens just about every other day. Fixing the problem is not all that difficult, but why should I have to go through that kind of shenanigans? iCloud for Windows has destroyed my bookmarks in Chrome on more than one occasion, and in Outlook, it mysteriously creates about a dozen data files that constantly need to be deleted.

I have had it with Apple, so I bought myself a Samsung Galaxy S8+ What I like most about this phone is that is uses the aptx Bluetooth codec, which Audioengine makes perfectly clear is the preferred codec for best performance. They are almost tongue-in-cheek about supporting Apple's AAC codec.

I have a very high-end system that supports four inputs: Bluetooth, optical, the 3.1 mini jack from your computer, or a high-quality DAC that will bypass your sound card, giving you high-definition audio. There is an internal DAC in the speaker that supports Bluetooth and optical, but if you decide to use your sound card, the performance will suffer. Most sound cards were not designed to stream high-definition audio, which is why I purchased Audionengine's D1 DAC. It makes a big difference.

But with all this high-end equipment, I needed a music source substantially better than iTunes. That's when I decided to go with Tidal. Wow! The two upper levels of playback, Lossless High-Fidelity and Master, made me realize how much I was missing. Tidal is also much more fun to use, and I know that I can rebuild my library much faster with Tidal than with iTunes or Spotify.

I will never buy another Apple product again.

Love to all!

James M. Weil

Two days after I made this post, Apple announced that they were intentionally slowing down the iPhone 6 and 7. They claim it was done to save the battery and to prevent the phone from shutting off. After upgrading to iOS 11, I noticed that my phone was A LOT slower, and the battery life took a serious dive. Now, there are a slew of law suits against Apple all across the country. This is horrible, and Apple should pay for its unethical behavior. Will anyone have faith in Apple products again?

I won't.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Divorcing Apple

When iTunes first came out, I bought an iPod Classic. Back then, iTunes was truly a wonderful thing. The ability to stream music and download it into a library changed the way I listened to music forever. But then I lost my iPod, and so Verizon talked me into getting a 64GB iPhone 4s. And I loved it.The ability to sync my music automatically to my iPhone and PC made purchasing music easy and fun.

I even bought a pair of Bose Q3 headphones to make my listening experience even that much more enjoyable. The Bose headphones have a jack that is compatible with most of the iPhone's functionality.

I am a Salsa aficionado. My Salsa collection is truly vast, but I soon found out that iTune's Latin collection is incomplete at best. I don't buy just single cuts. I want the whole album, and I certainly want to complete my collection of artists I really love. But in many cases that is not possible on iTunes. I have invested hundreds of dollars into my iTunes collection, only to be frustrated by an acute lack of choices where Salsa is concerned.

When the iPhone 5s came out I was furious. I was eligible for an upgrade, but there was no way I would take it. The iPhone 5s was the biggest disappointment from Apple that I have seen yet. Although it is a faster phone, the only real benefit is the improved camera, which isn't enough to warrant an upgrade.

Then Spotify came out. At first I was morally against paying 9.99 per month for unlimited downloads because many artists I know feel that Spotify is rather usurious for musicians. But then I found out that putting iTunes on a Droid is impossible. Plus Spotify's Latin collection is much more extensive. Aside from my iPhone, I also have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. I mostly use the iPhone for my music, but I love my Samsung.

I know of some apps for the Droid that will import your iTunes library into a the Google music player, complete with album art and titles. That's one way around Apple. The problem with Spotify is that it will import your iTunes music, but there is no easy way to organize it once it is imported, unless you are willing to build endless playlists.

The Samsung has so many great features that the iPhone lacks. Apple has once again backed itself into a corner by not opening iTunes to other platforms, like they have in the past on multiple occasions. Still unable to part with my iPhone because of my music, I finally got a premium Spotify account.

A few regrettable limitations with Spotify is that you can only have an account registered with three devices, and out of those three devices, you can only play music on one device at a time. I put Spotify on my home computer, work machine, and on my iPhone. So, now I download all my music from Spotify. Why should I pay .99 cents for a single cut on iTunes, and between $6.00 and $9.00 for an album, when Spotify charges $9.99 per month for all the music I want. Beyond that, I have found a way to import my iTunes library to a Droid, if I ditch Apple.

Apple has announced that iOS 8 is coming out this November. No doubt they will unveil the next generation of the iPhone before Christmas. If the new iPhone does not completely rock, Apple's stock is going to tank. I'm not the only person frustrated with Apple.

So, I am faced with a dilemma. Do I wait for the next generation iPhone and take the upgrade? Or do I ditch Apple altogether and get a new Samsung? Time will tell. It is a tough decision, but a really innovative new iPhone and a dramatic change in policy with iTunes are probably the only things that will save Apple. And I am certainly not going down with a sinking ship.

All my love!

James M. Weil

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Second Amendment

How could such a simple sentence be twisted and debated for so many years?

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Friday, July 4, 2014

List of People with Bipolar Disorder

List of people with bipolar disorder From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of people, living or dead, accompanied by verifiable source citations associating them with bipolar disorder (formerly known as "manic depression"), either based on their own public statements, or (in the case of dead people only) reported contemporary or posthumous diagnoses of bipolar disorder.

Regarding posthumous diagnoses: many famous people are believed to have been affected by bipolar disorder. Most of these listed have been diagnosed based on evidence in their own writings and contemporaneous accounts by those who knew them. It is often suggested that genius (or, at least, creative talent) and mental disorder (specifically, the mania and hypomania of bipolar disorder) are linked; the connection was widely publicized by Kay Redfield Jamison in Touched with Fire, although many of the diagnoses in the book are made by Jamison herself. Also, persons prior to the 20th century may have incomplete or speculative diagnoses of bipolar disorder (e.g. Vincent van Gogh.)


  • Sherman Alexie, Native American poet, writer, and filmmaker
  • Rigoberto Alpizar, fatally shot by United States federal air marshals after exclaiming that he had a bomb on board a plane.
  • Sophie Anderton, British model.
  • Adam Ant, British musician.
  • Emilie Autumn, American musician. 
  • Maria Bamford, American comedian.
  • Andy Behrman, author of the book Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania.
  • Max Bemis, frontman of the band Say Anything, spoke about his diagnosis in an interview with Spin magazine in 2006.
  • Maurice Benard, actor. He has discussed his diagnosis with Oprah Winfrey, and has since become active in promoting bipolar awareness.
  • Mary Kay Bergman, voice actress
  • Ludwig Boltzmann, physicist and mathematician. He "suffered from an alternation of depressed moods with elevated, expansive or irritable moods."
  • Adrian Borland, British musician.
  • Russell Brand, comedian and actor. "In a low-key admission at the end of the book, he says he was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder – manic depression – after he kicked the drugs for good in 2002 which goes some way to explaining his almost superhuman indifference to the chaos and catastrophe that almost lead [sic] him to obscurity."
  • Andrea Breth, German stage-director.
  • Jeremy Brett, actor.
  • Katherine Brooks, director/writer/filmmaker. "I don’t believe Bipolar holds me back as a person or a filmmaker. I actually believe it makes everything I do have more meaning, passion, and purpose. I’m thankful to be this way … thankful to be born Bipolar."
  • Brotha Lynch Hung, American rapper. He has discussed his diagnosis in various songs and interviews.
  • Frank Bruno, boxer; was hospitalized for a short period and as of 2005 is on lithium.
  • Barney Bubbles, graphic designer.
  • George Gordon, Lord Byron, English poet, writer, and adventurer.
  • Alastair Campbell, press advisor.
  • Georg Cantor, mathematician. Cantor's recurring bouts of depression from 1884 to the end of his life were once blamed on the hostile attitude of many of his contemporaries, but these bouts can now be seen as probable manifestations of bipolar disorder.
  • Quincy Carter, American football player.
  • Dick Cavett, television journalist. "CAVETT: Both in hypomanic, which I have had, and incidentally, one has to admit many patients say I am cured now, I am fine. But I must say I miss those hypomanic states. They are better off where they are."
  • Eason Chan, Chinese popular music singer.
  • Iris Chang, historian and journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • John Clare, poet.
  • Kurt Cobain, musician. His cousin, Beverly Cobain, a "registered nurse (…) [with] experience as a mental health professional" and author of a book, When Nothing Matters Anymore: A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens ISBN 1-57542-036-8, stated in an interview: "Kurt was diagnosed at a young age with Attention Deficit Disorder [ADD], then later with bipolar disorder; (…) As Kurt undoubtedly knew, bipolar illness can be very difficult to manage, and the correct diagnosis is crucial. Unfortunately for Kurt, compliance with the appropriate treatment is also a critical factor."
  • Neil Cole, former Australian Labor party politician. "Associate Professor Cole was the first politician in Australia or overseas to admit to having a mental illness, namely bipolar mood disorder."
  • Rosemary Clooney, singer and actress.
  • Patricia Cornwell, American crime writer.
  • Robert S. Corrington, theologist. In his book Riding the Windhorse: Manic-Depressive Disorder and the Quest for Wholeness he gives a personal account of his own struggles with the condition.
  • Michael Costa, former Australian Labor party politician and Treasurer of NSW. "Mr Costa said a number of state parliamentary colleagues approached him about their mental health problems after he publicly revealed his battle with bipolar disorder in 2001."
  • Vincent Crane, keyboard player of Atomic Rooster.
  • Disco D, record producer and composer. On returning to the United States from his 2005 Australian trek, Shayman went public about his struggle with bipolar disorder.
  • DMX (rapper), has spoken openly about his manic depression.
  • Mike Doughty, musician. First described himself diagnosed as bipolar in 2007 on his blog.
  • Charmaine Dragun, former Australian journalist/newsreader. Misdiagnosed with depression. Inquest concluded she had bipolar II disorder.
  • Richard Dreyfuss, actor, BBC Documentary.
  • Patty Duke, actress.
  • Edward Elgar, an English composer, many of whose works such as the Enigma Variations and the Pomp and Circumstance Marches have achieved enduring popularity.
  • Florbela Espanca, Portuguese poet.
  • Carrie Fisher, actress and writer.
  • Tom Fletcher, English singer, songwriter, pianist, and guitarist McFly. admitted to suffering from bipolar disorder. He has also described his struggles with his weight and obsessive dieting.
  • Ellen Forney, comics artist and creator of Marbles: Madness, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me
  • Larry Flynt, publisher and the president of Larry Flynt Publications (LFP).
  • Connie Francis, singer.
  • Stephen Fry, actor, comedian and writer. Fry was the center of the Emmy Award-winning documentary Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive in which he openly shares his experiences of living with the disorder and interviews a number of celebrities who suffer from it as well.
  • Mary Kay Fualaau, American schoolteacher who had sexual intercourse with a 13 year old student.
  • Justin Furstenfeld, Lead singer of the band Blue October.
  • Alan Garner, novelist. According to the Guardian, "In The Voice that Thunders (Harvill), a collection of critical and autobiographical essays, Garner casts light on his writing and thinking, and the role that manic depression plays in his creativity".
  • Paul Gascoigne, English footballer. "His second book, released this year, centres on his therapy - for alcoholism, eating disorders, OCD, and bipolar disorder, among others."
  • Mel Gibson, actor and director.
  • Matthew Good, Canadian musician. He first disclosed his illness in a personal blog. It was during the writing and recording of Hospital Music that he suffered one of his worst episodes.
  • Philip Graham, publisher and businessman. "It had finally penetrated to me that Phil's diagnosis was manic-depression…"
  • Katharine Graham (1997), Personal History, p. 328; Knopf, 1997, ISBN 0-394-58585-2 (book has numerous other references).
  • Macy Gray, musician and actor. As documented in an interview with Saul Williams.
  • Graham Greene, English novelist. Extract from Graham Greene: A Life in Letters: "Greene was managing the impulses of bipolar illness, involving mood swings from elation, expansiveness or irritability to despair and would quickly be guilty of repeated infidelities."
  • Ivor Gurney, English composer and poet.
  • Beth Hart, Singer, songwriter, musician, painter.
  • Terry Hall, lead singer of The Specials.
  • Linda Hamilton, actress. Star of the Terminator movies. Was diagnosed at the age of 40.
  • Robert Hansen, serial killer.
  • Mariette Hartley, American actress, has publicly spoken about her bipolar disorder.
  • Jonathan Hay, Australian rules footballer
  • Ernest Hemingway, writer
  • Kristin Hersh, musician, of rock band Throwing Muses, has spoken about her bipolar disorder.
  • Abbie Hoffman, political activist: "Abbie was diagnosed in 1980 as having bipolar disorder, more commonly known as manic depression."
  • Marya Hornbacher, writer. Hornbacher wrote Madness, a memoir of her struggle with bipolar disorder, after writing Wasted, which detailed her eating disorder.
  • Jack Irons, drummer, formerly of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam.
  • Jesse Jackson, Jr., American politician and son of civil rights pioneer.
  • Daniel Johnston, musician: "Johnston's output in his late teens and early 20s proved to be a symptom of his worsening manic depression." The Guardian Unlimited, Saturday August 20, 2005: "Personal demons", review of film, The Devil and Daniel Johnston:
  • Andrew Johns, Australian rugby league player. Publicly announced his condition following retirement.
  • Lee Joon, Korean actor and musician
  • Krizz Kaliko, American hip hop musician.
  • Chris Kanyon American professional wrestler.
  • Kerry Katona, English television presenter, writer, magazine columnist and former pop singer with girl band Atomic Kitten. BBC.
  • Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy has been open about mental health issues, including being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
  • Otto Klemperer, conductor.
  • Margot Kidder, actress — self-described.
  • Patrick Kroupa, writer and hacker, has been very open about his drug use and mental health issues, after his last heroin detox in 1999. He mentions bipolar disorder openly in several interviews.
  • Kerli Kõiv, better known mononymously as Kerli, Estonian recording artist and songwriter.
  • Debra LaFave, schoolteacher who had sexual relations with minor student.
  • Albert Lasker displayed the symptoms of Bipolar II according to the book "The Man Who Sold America."
  • Yoon Ha Lee, Korean-American science fiction writer.
  • Vivien Leigh, actress, most famous for her role as Scarlett O'Hara in David O. Selznick's movie "Gone With The Wind".
  • Jenifer Lewis, American actress, spoke about her diagnosis on Oprah in September 2007.
  • Bill Lichtenstein, print and broadcast journalist and documentary filmmaker, profiled in Time magazine, October 10, 1994.
  • Demi Lovato, American actress, singer and writer, revealed her illness in April 2011 in an interview with People magazine.
  • Tina Malone, British television actress, writer, director and producer. Brookside Shameless diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar disorder in 1998.
  • Arthur McIntyre, Australian artist.
  • Kristy McNichol, actress. The former child star and teen idol left the show Empty Nest due to her battle with the depression. McNichol later returned to the show for a few episodes during the series' last season. 
  • Burgess Meredith, actor; with cyclothymia.
  • Spike Milligan, comedian.
  • Ben Moody, musician. The former guitarist from Evanescence.
  • Seaneen Molloy, Northern Irish blogger.
  • Marilyn Monroe, American Actress.
  • John A. Mulheren, American financier, stock and option trader and philanthropist.
  • Edvard Munch, artist.
  • Robert Munsch, author.
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher.
  • Florence Nightingale, nurse and health campaigner. BPW "Florence heard voices and experienced a number of severe depressive episodes in her teens and early 20s - symptoms consistent with the onset of bipolar disorder",
  • Dr. Kathy Wisner, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
  • Kim Novak, actress: During an interview with Robert Osborne for TCM in 2012 she stated that she wasn't diagnosed until late in her life.
  • Sinéad O'Connor, musician. She discussed her diagnosis in a Guardian interview in 2010.
  • Graeme Obree, Scottish racing cyclist. World hour record 1993. Individual pursuit world champion in 1993 and 1995. Cited in 2003 autobiography, Flying Scotsman: Cycling to Triumph Through My Darkest Hours and 2006 film.
  • Phil Ochs, musician.
  • Bill Oddie, naturalist, comedian and television presenter.
  • Craig Owens, singer for American bands Chiodos, and Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows.
  • Nicola Pagett, actor. Wrote about her bipolar disorder in her autobiography Diamonds Behind My Eyes ISBN 0-575-60267-8
  • Jaco Pastorius, jazz musician. "Jaco was diagnosed with this clinical bipolar condition in the fall of 1982. The events which led up to it were considered "uncontrolled and reckless" incidences."
  • Jane Pauley, TV presenter and journalist. The former Today and Dateline host describes being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in her autobiography "Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue", which she wrote in 2004, as well as on her short-lived talk show.
  • Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, American basketball player
  • Fernando Pessoa, Portuguese poet.
  • Edgar Allan Poe, poet and writer, may have experienced bipolar disorder.
  • Jackson Pollock, American artist.
  • Odean Pope, American jazz musician.
  • Gail Porter, British TV presenter.
  • Emil Post, mathematician.
  • Charley Pride, country music artist. (autobiography) Pride: The Charley Pride Story. Publisher: Quill (May 1995). "Pride discusses business ventures that succeeded and those that failed, as well as his bouts with manic depression. He tells his story with no bitterness but lots of homespun advice and humor."
  • Gabriele Rabel, botanist, physicist
  • Rene Rivkin, entrepreneur.
  • Barret Robbins, former NFL Pro Bowler.
  • Axl Rose, lead singer and frontman best known for Guns N' Roses. "I went to a clinic, thinking it would help my moods. The only thing I did was take one 500-question test - ya know, filling in the little black dots. All of sudden I'm diagnosed manic-depressive."
  • Richard Rossi, filmmaker, musician, and maverick minister, revealed for the first time in a live interview on the Lynn Cullen show on June 5, 2008 the link between his artistic productivity and his depression to bipolar disorder, stating that "my father was bi-polar one, and I'm bi-polar two." He spoke of the relationship between creativity and the illness.
  • John Ruskin, the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist
  • Robert Schumann, German composer
  • Nina Simone, American singer. Interview with her daughter Simone, The Sunday Times June 24, 2007
  • Frank Sinatra, American singer and actor. "Being an 18-karat manic depressive, and having lived a life of violent emotional contradictions, I have an over-acute capacity for sadness as well as elation."
  • Michael Slater, International Australian cricketer, forced to retire because of related symptoms.
  • Tony Slattery, actor and comedian. "I rented a huge warehouse by the river Thames. I just stayed in there on my own, didn't open the mail or answer the phone for months and months and months. I was just in a pool of despair and mania." BBC Documentary
  • Sidney Sheldon, producer, writer; wrote about being a victim of bipolar disorder in his autobiography The Other Side of Me.
  • Tim Smith, rugby league player whose career with NRL side Parramatta Eels was ended due to his bipolar condition, and pressure from the media.
  • Charlene Soraia, British singer-songwriter, musician has cyclothymia.
  • Britney Spears, American singer-songwriter
  • Alonzo Spellman, American football player
  • Dusty Springfield, English pop singer
  • Peter Steele, frontman, Type O Negative.
  • David Strickland, Actor, Suddenly Susan.
  • Poly Styrene (real name Marion Elliot-Said), singer.
  • Stuart Sutherland, British psychologist and writer
  • Mackenzie Taylor, British comedian.
  • Michael Thalbourne, Australian psychologist and parapsychologist.
  • Steven Thomas, American entrepreneur.
  • Gene Tierney, Academy Award nominated actress, Best Actress (1945).
  • Devin Townsend, musician, Strapping Young Lad, The Devin Townsend Band. He took himself off of his medication to write lyrics for Strapping Young Lad's album Alien.
  • Nick Traina, singer, "in the last year of his life, he began telling people he was manic-depressive."
  • Timothy Treadwell, American environmentalist and bear enthusiast, featured in the 2005 documentary film by Werner Herzog titled Grizzly Man.
  • Margaret Trudeau, Canadian celebrity and ex-wife of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau (deceased). She now travels Canada and other countries speaking out against the stigmas on mental illness.
  • Ted Turner, American media businessman.
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme, actor.
  • Vincent van Gogh, artist. (among numerous other hypotheses)
  • Townes Van Zandt, singer-songwriter.
  • Eric Victorino, vocalist of The Limousines, author.
  • Mark Vonnegut, author.
  • James Wade, darts player.
  • David Walliams, actor/comedian/author/charity fundraiser.
  • Tom G Warrior- Lead singer/guitarist of heavy metal bands Celtic Frost, Apollyon Sun and Triptykon
  • Ruby Wax, comedian.
  • James M. Weil, Author, Journalist, and Dancer
  • Scott Weiland, musician. (Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver)
  • Pete Wentz, musician. 
  • Fall Out Boy Delonte West, American basketball player
  • Mark Whitacre, business executive described in the true story movie, The Informant.
  • Brian Wilson, musician, founding member of The Beach Boys.
  • Amy Winehouse, musician
  • Virginia Woolf, writer.
  • Lee Thompson Young, actor
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones, actress, has bipolar II disorder.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bipolar Depression

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.

This is my mantra. Several years ago I went into a deep, bipolar depression that lasted for months and months. Every morning I stood on the train platform waiting to catch the 8:07 to Penn Station, and debated whether or not I should throw myself in front of the oncoming train.
I talked to my doctor about this, and I told him that these were just thoughts, and thoughts do not necessarily translate into actions. The only reason he did not hospitalize me was because I convinced him that I would never act out on my thoughts of hurting myself. The bottom line is that I always knew, no matter how much I was suffering, that depression does not last forever. And I was right.
I learned a valuable lesson from all this: Most people get depressed because they feel sorry for themselves, and once they let go of hope, all hope is lost. At that point many bipolar people do end up hurting themselves.
Ever since that debilitating depressive episode, I have not gone into depression since. Life is a about choices, and although I do become manic at times, I will never allow my spirits to sink so low again. Depression is simply unacceptable.

Love to all!

James M. Weil