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'Black-ish' Star Jenifer Lewis Reveals Struggle With Bipolar Disorder & Sex Addiction

Jenifer Lewis Bipolar Disorder Sex Addiction
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Nov. 1 2017, Published 6:59 p.m. ET

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In her new tell-all memoir, Jenifer Lewis opens up about battling bipolar disorder, sex addiction and issues with alcohol.

The black-ish actress writes in The Mother of Black Hollywood about how her problems became clear after she started out in the business performing on Broadway, in New York City, where she said taking the stage was “a rush.”

But after the lights dimmed and the applause faded, the crash was “intense” and she looked for an as equally exhilarating a time between the sheets.

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“Let’s just say that post show I had a sort of habit of sex serving as a nightcap,” she revealed. “I was Cleopatra, Pam Grier, Marilyn Monroe, and Jezebel rolled into one. For me nothing could extend the thrill of a standing ovation like great sex with a gorgeous guy.”

At the end of the 1980s, Lewis had fallen prey to self-medicating with even more sex, and then alcohol — until a therapist diagnosed her with bipolar disorder.


“Just as alcoholism isn’t really about the liquor, my addiction wasn’t really about the sex,” she wrote. “It was about the unresolved psychological problems that caused me pain. Sex was simply my painkiller.”

The proper medication and therapy helped Lewis regain her footing, and she’s been able to successfully move on with her life.

“I have peace of mind now; I’m in my skin,” she noted. “It took years to get to that place, but I did it — and I have a smile on my face.”

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