Does Kendall Roy have bipolar? (+7 Signs of bipolar)

This brief article will be explaining if Kendall Roy has bipolar. We will also be looking at the various signs of mental health issues that Kendall Roy demonstrates in the ‘Succession’ series. Finally, we will also list the various stressors which could have contributed to these issues.

Does Kendall Roy have bipolar?

Yes, Kendall Roy has bipolar. The comedy-drama series, ‘Succession’ certainly does not confirm that Kendall Roy is suffering from bipolar and neither does the character undergo a clinical diagnosis while on the show.

However, it is pretty clear to viewers that Kendall Roy is definitely suffering from some mental health issues, which is mostly bipolar in nature. Throughout the episodes, the character can be seen portraying almost all the signs and symptoms of this mental illness.

At the same time, there are many other alternate theories as to what mental illness Kendall Roy is specifically suffering from. Some of these alternate theories of Kendal Roy’s mental illness are listed below.

  • Depression: One of the mental illness diagnoses which Kendall Roy is assumed to have is depression. The character can be often seen going into a depressive phase for extended periods of time.

At the same time, Kendall Roy does not fit all the criteria for depression since he can also be riding a high at many other times of his appearances. His depression may also be caused by his substance abuse.

  • Substance Abuse Disorder: Kendall Roy also definitely has a problem with addictions and abuse and this is also clearly portrayed in the series. His addictions range from alcohol to cocaine and he even had to go to rehab for this.
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Post-traumatic stress disorder is another alternate diagnosis that has been tossed around when it comes to the mental health status of Kendall Roy. However, this is not easily visible and not accepted by everyone.

At the same time, looking at Kendall Roy’s family structure and the way their father treats the children, it is easy to conclude that there has been a lot of abuse going around in the family. The PTSD here is not basic but actually complex in nature.

Compared to basic PTSD, complex PTSD or CPTSD revolves around a large multitude of traumatic experiences. This can be easily seen in children who have lived in abusive households, similar to Kendall Roy and his siblings.

Signs of Kendall Roy’s mental health issues

‘Succession’ has been praised as a comedy-drama series for not only its interesting portrayal of a rich life filled with troubles, but even for showing the mental health struggles of the Roy family, especially that of Kendall Roy.

While it is not confirmed as to what mental illness Kendall Roy is specifically suffering from, it is mostly assumed that it might be bipolar disorder. Some of the signs of bipolar disorder and also other mental health issues that Kendall Roy portrays are discussed as follows.

He shows manic signs

In many episodes of ‘Succession’, Kendall Roy can be seen going through the typical highs and lows which are characteristic of bipolar disorder. His manic phases are also easily visible and accurately demonstrated in the episodes.

One of the examples of his manic phase is when he is in an interview with a reporter and even in his birthday party. However, his manic phases have actually given him the confidence and self-belief that he needs in many of his business relationships.

His siblings have noted his mental health issues

While Kendall Roy realizes pretty late that he is actually suffering from some mental health issues, his siblings understand this very early on. His sister Shiv and his brothers have pointed to his mental health issues as a reason to drop their confidence vote for him.

He suffers from addiction

Another characteristic trait of Kendall Roy is his addiction issues. Throughout the ‘Succession’ series, Kendall Roy can be seen abusing drugs and alcohol multiple times. His toxic relationship with drugs is such that the addiction has also led to many physical problems.

In one of the episodes, Kendall can be seen having an accident caused by a seizure which was induced by his addiction with cocaine. He also goes through withdrawal patterns when he is trying to quit.

After he accidentally kills a British child, he goes into rehab to a center in Iceland. While his efforts to change were definitely commendable, the effects of the rehab do not last, as Kendall Roy can be seen going through addictions later on as well.

He deep dives into relationships

Kendall Roy is introduced as being married to Rava Roy who is separated from him. He goes on to be infatuated with many other women later in the series. Another sign of an underlying mental health issue in Kendall Roy is the way he approaches relationships.

Kendall Roy can be seen deep diving into infatuations at a moment’s notice. He develops with an infatuation with other women and even grows obsessed with them in a short span of time. This sign is often seen in bipolar disorder and even Borderline Personality Disorder.

He acts grandiose at times

Another sign of the mental health issues that Kendall Roy has is his tendency to act grandiose at many times. Acting grandiose is often very characteristic of the manic phase of bipolar disorder and can make the person feel very important and different from others.

Kendall’s grandiosity is also noticed by his siblings who do not trust him as much as a result of this. Many times, the grandiosity also leads to unwise decisions and tactics that Kendall Roy employs.

He has poor self-esteem

While Kendall Roy has been blessed to be born into such wealth, he still does not feel so, especially since he is yet to gain the full-confidence of his father. Logan Roy also pits one child against the other, continuously keeping them on the edge to fight for the main seat.

This plays with the self-esteem of Kendall Roy. Between the siblings, Kendall is also portrayed to be the slowest one and is often outwitted by the smart strategies and ploys of the others. Poor self-esteem can also depict the presence of a mental illness like bipolar disorder.

He shows signs of impostor syndrome

Kendall Roy can also be seen to depict signs of impostor syndrome. Despite his talents and his fantastic skill sets, Kendall still does not feel confident enough and feels like he has only been lucky or fortunate until now.

Impostor syndrome is not exactly a clinical diagnosis but demonstrates the poor self-esteem and poor self-confidence of the person. It is also present when the person has been brought up in an abusive household.

Causes of Kendall Roy’s bipolar

Kendall Roy’s bipolar disorder along with his other mental health struggles have been very accurately portrayed in the ‘Succession’ series. A few factors which could have contributed to these mental health struggles have been described in the following section.

  • His controlling father: The main reason for the mental health and emotional struggles of Kendall Roy can be definitely blamed on his controlling father. Logan Roy is definitely not an easy-going person and his children know this too well.

Kendall also has a big burden to bear as the next in line to take over the family business, but is constantly undermined by his own father. All these could have contributed to the mental health struggles that Kendall goes through in ‘Succession’.

  • His substance abuse: Another causal factor which could have simply worsened the pre-existing mental health issues in Kendall Roy is his substance abuse. Even when he decides to go to rehab, this is cut short by a press meeting related to the family business.


 This brief article has explained if Kendall Roy has bipolar. We have also looked at the various signs of mental health issues that Kendall Roy demonstrates in the ‘Succession’ series. Finally, we have listed the various stressors which could have contributed to these issues.

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