Creed's Scott Stapp reveals bipolar diagnosis: 'I was out of my mind'

Creed's Scott Stapp reveals bipolar diagnosis: 'I was out of my mind'
Scott Stapp, seen with wife Jaclyn Stapp in Nashville in June 2014, is now being treated for bipolar disorder after a serious manic episode late last year. He's also traded in his trademark long hair for a cleaner look. (Terry Wyatt / Getty Images)

Scott Stapp, the longtime frontman for rock band Creed, says he's "lucky to be alive" after a meltdown last year that saw him placed on a psychiatric hold and losing custody of his kids.

He also knows now that he's dealing with bipolar disorder.


"I had a psychotic break that was brought on by alcohol and drug abuse," Stapp, 41, told People. "I was hallucinating. I drove around the United States for a month, following an angel that I saw on the hood of my car."

Now the "Arms Wide Open" singer is taking medication after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, as well as going through a 12-step program and working with a sponsor as part of what People called "intensive therapy."

"It was hard to process," he said. "There's a stigma associated with it. But ... [i]t became a big sign of relief, because finally, we had an answer."

Jaclyn Stapp, his wife, said she'd known for years there was something "going on" with her husband but couldn't put a name to it.

Other celebrities who have revealed disorders on the bipolar spectrum -- primarily bipolar disorder II -- include Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kim NovakRene RussoSinead O'Connor and Demi Lovato. People with bipolar II swing from severe depression to a milder and briefer manic state called hypomania, and aren't impaired to the extent that those with bipolar I can be. Those with bipolar I experience major depression and at least one episode of mania, according to the diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Assn., with the latter state possibly requiring hospitalization or bringing on a psychotic break, as Scott Stapp described.

Stapp's ordeal went very public in November after he posted a 16-minute video, since removed from Facebook, in which he claimed to be broke, homeless and under attack by the IRS and others out to humiliate him.

TMZ reported that two weeks prior to Stapp posting the video, on Nov. 13, he'd been placed on a 72-hour psych hold in Florida after being found on the side of a road. A police report said he'd warned his son's school on Nov. 10 that it was about to be attacked by ISIS, the website said.

Jaclyn Stapp had called 911 to report that her husband thought he was a member of the CIA who was supposed to assassinate the president; meanwhile, Scott Stapp also called 911 and alleged that his wife had stolen his truck. In the call, obtained by TMZ, he accused her of blackmailing him, defaming him and ruining his career.

"All of it was nonsense," the singer told People, in hindsight. "I was out of my mind."

Also in November, Jaclyn Stapp filed for divorce and revealed in the filing that he'd left their home in October, the Miami Herald reported. The divorce papers alleged he'd been using amphetamines, crystal meth and steroids. She was the one who filed a petition Nov. 11 asking that he be placed on a short-term psych hold.

In mid-December, a judge gave her full legal and physical custody of their three children. It's unclear exactly when Scott Stapp went into the treatment that led to his diagnosis and current sobriety, but People refers to "three long months" of struggle before he got help.

About a month ago, Jaclyn Stapp filed papers to call off their divorce, GossipExtra reported. He's now doing things with his kids again, the couple said in a video interview with People that was shot at their Florida home.

Though Creed has reunited several times since first disbanding in 2004, Stapp has most recently been a solo act.

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