Post-punk artist Adam Ant, creator of 80’s hits like Goody Two Shoes, Stand And Deliver, and Desperate But Not Serious, was a favorite of mine as a teen back when I was a post-punk/new-waver myself, and with the release of his new album just released January 22, he has stepped up into full on hero status. Adam Ant, born Stuart Leslie Goddard, has been absent from the music scene for 17 years, but he had a reason. Adam Ant has had bipolar disorder most of his life, pretty much as long as he can remember, and he was deep in the effects of it for the past decades. As with many artists, we could have seen it. As he told the Telegraph in 2012: “If you look at the symptoms of bipolar disorder, in all seriousness, the actual alarm signals are practically my job description: promiscuity, spending money lavishly, and wearing weird clothes.” Yeah don’t we know a lot of people that could be assessed to.
But he is back and just released a new album named Adam Ant is The BlueBlack Hussar In Marrying The Gunners Daughter – a title that brings us back to his pirate brocade jacket roots (which he passed onto Michael Jackson and Prince after him as can be seen here, listen in around 4:50), and the fact it is seventeen manic songs long – also hints at his disorder which is detailed in a recent article on Yahoo! Music about the new album. The article covers Ant’s revelation about the disorder and the fact that he feels that by talking about it in the open during the release of the new album he believes is a public service.
Having a relative with bipolar disorder, I am fully aware of the difficulties it causes. The medications needed to control it cost a lot, and must be taken with food. But since it is hard to function until you are stable you can’t hold down a regular job and thus the money and consistent schedule to get well are hard to come by. Then when you feel well the effects of the drugs are bad enough that you want to stop. It becomes a cycle of episodes of being well and not, and that is usually a best case scenario. As a family member, it is hard to support them as you never know which stage they are on and what level of help they need which may even include forced care to get the well again if they won’t go in themselves. And this complexity of wellness can create family discord as different people have different ideas on when and how to step in. There are other mood disorders as well and as with many health issues there are probably many more people in your life affected by them than you know.
The fact that Adam Ant was able to do what he needed to do to be functional and turn his life around to be back in the business, and then use the platform to talk about his disorder to me is awe-inspiring and worthy of being included among those considered a ‘hero’.
In looking into bipolar disorder, I was surprised to find that there is no main organization for awareness, fundraising, and so on like we see with other health issues from cancer, lung, and heart issues to other mental disorders like ADD though there is one combined with depression in the DBSA – the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. If you are affected by Bipolar disorder in your friends or family and want to learn more or just want to help I suggest checking out their information.