Does Marcella have bipolar? (+5 Signs of issues)

The following article will be answering if Marcella has bipolar. We will also be looking at the various signs and symptoms of Marcella’s struggles with mental and emotional health. Furthermore, we will discuss the different factors which may have contributed to these struggles.

Does Marcella have bipolar?

No, Marcella does not have bipolar. In the detective series of the same name, the main character Marcella actually suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder and not bipolar disorder. However, the diagnosis has not been confirmed by the show.

Marcella also does not undergo any clinical diagnosis which confirms the presence of such a disorder in the character. Many mental health experts who have studied the show have come up with this theory based on their observations.

In the show, Marcella can be seen to have a number of violent blackouts and seems to don many new identities. All of these are characteristic of a mental illness like Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Signs of Marcella’s mental health issues

While the show does not confirm as to what mental illness Marcella is actually suffering from, it is clearly evident that the character suffers from some disorder or the other, most likely Dissociative Identity Disorder.

In the following points, we have established the different signs and symptoms of mental illness and emotional trauma that Marcella portrays throughout the episodes of the British Nordic Noir detective series.

She experiences many blackouts

The main sign of mental distress that Marcella is experiencing in the series is her many violent blackouts. Many times, she goes completely amnesic and has no recollection as to where she has been and what she has done.

She cannot handle stress

Marcella clearly cannot handle any type of stress, despite which she somehow stays in her job as a detective. During times of great stress, Marcella can be seen to dissociate and forget the events that have transpired during the period of her dissociation.

She creates multiple identities

Marcella is the master at forging new identities from scratch. This seems to be her safety net and she regularly employs them. At the same time, a quality like this is not exactly healthy since she is running away from the problem rather than facing it.

She feels she is capable of murder

Marcella also strongly feels that she is certainly capable of killing. In many of her dissociative states, she can be seen near bodies with weapons, which makes her suspect this dangerous quality of hers.

Marcella has indeed murdered before. During her hypnosis, it is revealed that she actually killed her own baby after shaking her too much. This death was not tied to Marcella and was ruled as a ‘cot death’ which allowed her to get away with it.

She admits to not feeling so well

Marcella definitely knows something is wrong with her. While she keeps her mental illness a secret to herself in most of the series, she eventually confesses to her estranged husband Jason that she does not feel well.

She tries to kill herself

Another sign of mental illness in Marcella is when she tries to self-harm and kill herself. However, she actually tries to kill herself by jumping off a building after learning that she had indeed killed her own child, which could have been shocking to hear.

After her suicide attempt was stopped, Marcella goes ahead and slashes her face and escapes to create yet another new identity. This behavior of self-harming can definitely indicate that the character needs some serious professional help.

She never smiles

Marcella’s body language throughout the series can also imply that the detective is actually suffering from some deep mental issues. The detective never smiles and is almost in a state of constant worry that something bad is going to happen.

Causes of Marcella’s mental health issues

The series ‘Marcella’ does not exactly reveal that the main character is suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder, but it can be concluded by looking at the symptoms which are portrayed. The main causal factor which could have led to this is the death of her daughter.

Marcella is not able to get her baby daughter to stop crying and as a result she shakes her too much. This eventually kills the baby, but was concluded to be a case of ‘cot death’ by the authorities.

However, this guilt stayed with Marcella afterwards which led to her dissociating whenever she encountered something that reminded her of this incident. At the same time, there is not enough backstory on the character to reveal what may have led her to kill her own child like this.


The following article has answered if Marcella has bipolar. We have also looked at the various signs and symptoms of Marcella’s struggles with mental and emotional health. Furthermore, we have discussed the different factors which may have contributed to these struggles.

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