A friend told me earlier this week that Adam Ant is in hospital. Not because I am a particular fan of his music, but because Mr Ant suffers from the same condition as I do: bipolar disorder.
The eighties star, famous for songs such as Stand and Deliver and Kings of the Wild Frontier, spent many years concentrating on his acting career, but has been working on a new album and recently played his first live shows in several years.
But his health has now led to another hospital stay. Adam Ant was sectioned after displays of bizarre behaviour at a number of public events. Sectioning is a legal process of confinement where a person can be locked up for their own safety.
This is not the first time that the condition has resulted in Ant (real name Stuart Goddard) being hospitalised. And he has also had several brushes with the law over the years.
Bipolar disorder can affect anyone. Around one in every hundred people has the condition – and that would suggest around 600,000 sufferers in the UK alone.
The press, of course, only picks up on the story when someone in the public eye is involved. But many of us battle the condition every day through a combination of drugs and self management techniques.
Major episodes are not inevitable. But when they do strike they can be absolutely devastating. Mania brings excessive energy and a dangerous loss of judgement. In extreme cases it can result in psychosis. I know: I’ve been there.
I don’t have the medical details of Adam Ant’s case. But I do understand the demons he is fighting. So I wish him well in his recovery. Time in hospital can be absolutely the best thing when a manic episode strokes: time out from everyday life to gain strength and to get well once more.
If you want to do something to help, why not send Adam Ant a postcard? I’m sure he would appreciate the support.
Adam Ant c/o 1 Nightingale Place, Mulberry South Ward, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, 369 Fulham Road, London SW10 9NG.
Get well soon Adam!