Stranger Things star David Harbour opens up about bipolar disorder 3 months ago

Stranger Things star David Harbour opens up about bipolar disorder

“Being mentally ill is a natural condition of poverty.”

Stranger Things star David Harbour has opened up about his struggles with mental illness.


Speaking to the Big Issue magazine about his experience of living with bipolar disorder, the actor said: "My particular big issue is what society would call mental illness. I was diagnosed at 26 as bipolar after an episode that landed me in an institution.

"I have definitely been in and out of the system. And there were times in my life where very easily I could have ended up on the streets, but I luckily had a family who could support me through those lean and very trying times."

The actor said that he views living in poverty as something that can lead to mental illness.


“Being mentally ill is a natural condition of poverty. When you can’t participate in society by going out buying lunch and go into a store and stuff, it’ll make you crazy.

“"It’s chicken and egg. They go hand in hand."

Before landing the role as Jim Hopper in Stranger Things that propelled him to global fame, Harbour struggled to make ends meet.

“It hit very hard a month after I hit 40. I remember going in and I was very upset because I still was in this place where I didn’t have any money, I was worrying about how I was going to pay my rent.”


Reflecting on the success of the show, he said:

“Even when we were shooting it, I felt like, this is a show I would love but nobody’s going to watch.

"It was different from anything I’ve ever experienced in my career. One by one I started to get tonnes of text messages saying, 'Stranger Things is amazing, I love this show’.

"I’ve never experienced that before or since. It was really a magical moment. The reviews and numbers hadn’t come in but I knew at that point it was something special that really touched people."