Was Elvis Presley’s bipolar disorder the cause for his demise?
Published: December 09, 2009
Undisputed rock’n’roll star Elvis Presley had a hectic life and it seems that he was born to be successful. His passion for music made him a household name and even after his sad demise, his fans still remember him as the legendary star of rock ‘n’ roll.
Growing up just above the poverty line in Mississippi, Elvis shot to fame in 1954, at the age of 20. “From the time I was a kid, I always knew something was going to happen to me. Didn’t know exactly what.”
Yet his destructive and self-abusing behavior have led many experts to claim Elvis was suffering from a personality disorder; namely bipolar. Many psychologists place Elvis’ chronic depression, drug abuse and eating disorders into the category of a personality disorder, and say the star was not aware of how serious his condition really was.
Another element of Elvis’ life that coincides with the definition of a personality disorder was his extremely active sex life. Despite having married Priscilla and claiming she was his one true love, he continued to have sex with a bevy of women. Some experts even labeled his sex life as “compulsive”.
Some believe that his being bipolar inevitably brought on his demise: stemming from a poor laboring family, Elvis struck success at the young age of 20. All of the fame on top of his disorder saw him begin taking drugs, and commit to substance abuse. As his drug use spiraled out of control, many noticed he was no longer the man he used to be. In 2006, journalist T. Scherman, wrote: “Elvis Presley had [in 1977] become a grotesque caricature of his sleek, energetic former self.”
His “compulsive” sexual behavior is of course to be added to the list, as well as an eating disorder that saw himself stuff himself with food and gain weight. In the end, it reads as a list shouting symptoms of bipolar (which may also be seen as a form of depression), for which he should probably have received help. But back then, psychologists and other mental and emotional experts weren’t as savvy about the effects of such disorders, and Elvis was left to his own fate, which saw him die in 1977, fat and alone, of a heart attack while on the toilet.
For more on expert analysis on Elvis and his death (as analyzed by psychological experts), please click here.