Scott Stapp explains his Holiday Inn breakdown: ‘I have bipolar disorder’

Last fall, I mentioned a story about Creed’s lead mulleted singer, Scott Stapp, being down and out in a Holiday Inn. Dude was in a bad state after his wife of 8 years, Jaclyn, filed for divorce. She claimed that Scott was dangerous to their children, as he was taking meth and behaving erratically. Jaclyn also released some of Scott’s text messages about government conspiracies, biological weapons, and Satan. He threatened to find Jaclyn and the children and show “no mercy.”

The Holiday Inn episode was rock bottom for Stapp, who somehow managed to find help before hurting anyone. He entered a dual diagnostic facility, which was able to treat his substance abuse issues (both drugs and alcohol). The facility also diagnosed him with bipolar disorder, which came as a huge surprise to Stapp. He initially had trouble with processing his diagnosis because “there’s a stigma associated with it.” Eventually, he realized that he finally had an answer and felt relief. Stapp spoke with People:

Scott Stapp knows that he’s a blessed man.

Sitting with People in the living room of his Florida home, the Creed frontman is candid as he talks about the hellish events of the past year.

“I’m lucky to be alive,” he says about his ordeal. Stapp, 41, made headlines in November when he released a disturbing video in which he rambled that he was broke and “under some kind of pretty vicious attack.”

Things took another disturbing turn when Stapp’s wife, Jaclyn, told a 911 dispatcher that Stapp believed he was part of the CIA and had made potential threats about President Obama.

And so it went for three long months, as friends and family watched Stapp unravel, his behavior becoming more and more erratic.

Now in recovery, Stapp is ready to share what happened. “I had a psychotic break that was brought on by alcohol and drug abuse,” he says. “I was hallucinating. I drove around the United States for a month, following an angel that I saw on the hood of my car.”

“In my delusional thinking, I thought my family was involved in ISIS, and that millions of dollars had been taken from me to support terrorism,” he continues. “All of it was nonsense. I was out of my mind.”

[From People]

Scott seems very serious about his recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. He participates in a 12-step program and takes meds for his condition. Jaclyn decided to stay married to Scott after he received help. Of Scott’s bipolar disorder, she says, “I definitely knew there was something going on for years, but I couldn’t pinpoint what it was.” Being married to a rock star can be a wild experience under the best circumstances, but it sounds like Jaclyn really went though hell. Add the substance abuse and violent threats on top of the bipolar disorder, and the situation quickly grew volatile. Scary. I’m glad Scott pulled himself out of rock bottom and hope he continues his recovery.

Scott Stapp

Scott Stapp

Photos courtesy of Getty & WENN

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22 Responses to “Scott Stapp explains his Holiday Inn breakdown: ‘I have bipolar disorder’”

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  1. aims says:

    There should never be any shame with mental health. I wish we had a better system for mental health. With treatment, people who suffer from certain mental health issues can live healthy and productive lives

    • Esmom says:


      I’m glad he’s talking about his experience — what he describes reminds me so much of my college boyfriend’s roommate who had a psychotic break after going off his bipolar meds. And I’m glad he’s getting better with treatment.

  2. MonicaQ says:

    There’s always a shame that you feel (or at least I felt personally) when being diagnosed with any mental disorder. I remember blurting to the doctor, “no, no, I wasn’t in Iraq or something, I can’t have PTSD.” I was afraid to even speak it out loud. I felt like I had failed some way, hadn’t dealt with my problems like a “normal” human being. My mom’s side of the family still asks if I get “crazy checks from the government” so you can tell there’s not much support outside my husband but we’ve made it through 8 years diagnosed and 5 years diagnosed.

    I hope Stapp gets the help he needs. He seems to be on the right track but a relapse is always lurking in the corner. You just have to tell that particular “demon” “Not today, arsehole” and take it one day at a time.

    • Jag says:

      All mental illness is can be described as the neurotransmitters in our brain not working properly – that’s it. It’s not a failing of ours, nor is it our fault. We do have the responsibility to help ourselves, and it sounds like you and Stapp are doing that. (As am I.) My being bipolar with PTSD, too, isn’t fun at times, and I definitely feel for you both. Good luck!

  3. Cel says:

    Best wishes to him and his family as he recovers. This isn’t an easy road for anyone. I can’t imagine how much more complicated it is by being in the public spotlight.

  4. Sherry says:

    My 17 year old daughter has bipolar. It was a relief to finally get the correct diagnosis and get her the right medication. Her life has been on a steady upswing ever since.

    • Julia says:

      Sherry, I work with a lot of young adults who struggle– they don’t get a proper diagnosis, they don’t get the medication. And, unfortunately, they are the ones that are almost always in the news. What so often makes the difference is a parent (or two) who just keep after it– who won’t take an excuse, won’t take a half-assed diagnosis, and who often have to threaten insurance companies who want the cheap and easy way. I am so glad your daughter is on far less publicized, but critically important positive side of that equation. Congratulations to you both– cheers to an upward future for you and your family.

      • Sherry says:

        Thank you. A year ago, I went through the worst thing any parent can go through because she was just diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Fortunately, her attempt to leave this world was unsuccessful. Last fall, she came to me and said, “I’ve been reading online and I think I might have bipolar.” I did some research and it is exactly what we had been dealing with. Manic episodes of working all night, rarely sleeping, hallucinations, only to be followed with periods where it was all I could do to get her out of bed. We started seeing a new psychiatrist and I told him, “I know you probably hate this, but we’ve been doing research online and we both think she has bipolar.” He met with her for an hour, called me into his office and said, “I usually don’t like for my patients to self-diagnose, but I agree.” From that point on, she has been on several combinations of medication. She is about to graduate high school (something I did not think would be possible), she has a job, is learning to drive and has not had a single hallucination since she started getting a good night’s sleep.

        I wish everyone who is suffering could find the help they need. It has made a world of difference for her and for our family.

  5. CariBean says:

    Wow, good for him for getting help, and I’m glad he seems to be doing well.

  6. Illyra says:

    If he hadn’t been abusing drugs and alcohol, I wonder if any of this would have happened? For some people substance abuse or prolonged, severe stress of any kind doesn’t just burn them out—it can tip them over into mental illness, sometimes permanently.

    Glad to hear he got help and seems to be doing alright now… good for him. I wish him and his family all the best.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      How do we know prolonged abuse of drugs and alcohol can actually bring on mental illness such as a catalyst v. prolonged abuse of drugs and alcohol causes permanent brain damage?

      • Nicole says:

        bc drugs and alcohol don’t cause mental illness – they can trigger it in those with a genetic predisposition.
        Many studies have shown this to be true with schizophrenia for example.

    • jc126 says:

      Lots of people with (diagnosed or undiagnosed) mental illness self-medicate – even for many years – before getting proper treatment. Drugs CAN cause psychosis at times – substance induced psychosis which may or may not be reversible, and use of drugs, even supposedly the miracle cure-all marijuana, can trigger psychosis or schizophrenia in people who are genetically prone to that. Or trigger it earlier than it would’ve appeared otherwise.
      And to Jennifer’s point, certainly prolonged use of drugs and/or alcohol absolutely can cause brain damage.

  7. snowflake says:

    good for him for being open about this. it’s happened to someone I know. the more people are open about it, the more it will lessen the stigma.

  8. lucy2 says:

    Wow, he was in a really bad place. Glad he got treatment and has a diagnosis, and that his family was safe during the worst of it. Hope things are better for him from now on.

  9. jo says:

    I know how she feels. I’m not sure if meth or BP or both exacerbated his condition, but being on a psychotic break is absolutely the worst. Watching your loved one suffer psychosis and the extreme mood swings are unbearable. And it sucks because you can’t do anything about it because they won’t voluntarily commit themselves. You just hope and pray that if they do get in an incident in public that the cop who responds is well trained and recognize that this a health issue and have some compassion because they don’t know any better. getting help or staying on track of meds is hard because one admits they are not in control and the stigma and side effects are debilitating at most. I wish we are more advanced in neurology research.

  10. jugstorecowboy says:

    I have to comment, thanks for publishing this!

  11. PrincessMe says:

    I’m just going to say it, I would be scared as f#ck to stay with him (if I were his wife). I’d be so scared for my children (and myself) that he could snap and do serious harm. Just reading what was written here about him threatening to show no mercy freaked me the hell out.
    I wish him all the best though and I’m happy that he’s getting treatment for his illness. I hope he continues to make strides and doesn’t slip back to where he’s coming from. I also hope more than anything else that his family remains safe.

  12. WillowS says:

    I give him credit for being honest. Sounds like it was very frightening for himself and his family. Scary. Glad that he’s gotten help and is thinking clearly now.

  13. unicorn says:

    I’m glad he was able to talk about this because there are so many people suffering from mental illness and they are afraid of the stigma and shame surrounding it. I hope more people come forward and talk about it so that more resources can be made available to people and that eventually it won’t be considered something shameful and embarassing to seek treatment from.

  14. Naddie says:

    Bipolar disorder is a pain. I don’t have it now, (thanks God) but in my worst moments, I’ve had some episodes of euphoria followed by a heavy depression, and I can only wonder how hard it is for someone who has it for life. Where I live, people love to joke about this condition and label every mood change as “bipolar”, as if it was a cool thing. I feel personally offended.