Does Walter White have bipolar? (+7 Signs of issues)

The current blogpost will be answering if Walter White has bipolar. We will also be discussing the various signs of mental health issues that Walter White demonstrates in the Breaking Bad series. Finally, we will be checking out some of the causes of these issues.

Does Walter White have bipolar?

No, Walter White does not have bipolar. In the drama series, Breaking Bad, Walter White is not confirmed to have bipolar disorder nor does he portray any of the main diagnostic signs and symptoms of this mood disorder.

Breaking Bad is actually a beautiful story of how circumstances can lead to a huge metamorphosis. Walter White is a chemistry teacher who becomes a drug kingpin after learning about his diagnosis of lung cancer.

While Breaking Bad actually does not point out to any mental illness that Walter White suffers from, many fans who have closely studied the character and the show have come up with many alternate theories. Some of the mental health diagnoses for Walter White are discussed below:

  • Schizoaffective Personality Disorder: Some fans who have closely followed Walter White from his first appearance in the Breaking Bad series have speculated that he might be suffering from Schizoaffective Personality Disorder.

This is mostly because of the constant mood shifts that Walter White goes through, swinging from depression and almost manic-like phases. However, the mood shifts do not follow a specific pattern, nor does he experience any psychotic symptoms.

  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder: It is most likely that Walter White actually has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Although this has not been confirmed in the series, Walter White definitely shows a number of signs of the personality disorder.

However, the character is pretty much the exact opposite of this in his first appearance as a simple high-school chemistry teacher. He goes on to become self-obsessed and deluded with grandiosity after his involvement with the drug mafia.

  • Sociopathy: Some mental health experts and fans of the show feel that Walter White is a great example of sociopathy. This is because of his criminal activities and even the murders of many at his hands.
  • Schizophrenia: Another alternate diagnosis of mental illness for Walter White is schizophrenia. This is mainly deduced to the sudden change in his personality after getting involved in the drug business.

At the same time, Walter White does not exactly depict any other psychotic symptoms like hallucinations and delusions, other than those of grandeur. Therefore, this alternate diagnosis can be easily ignored.

  • Split-Personality Disorder: Certain arm-chair mental health experts have felt that Walter White actually suffers from Split Personality Disorder. The character goes by the name ‘Heisenberg’ when he is dealing with his drug business.

Heisenberg is very much different from Walter White and comes into play in order to serve a certain purpose. This is the reason why many people stick with this mental health diagnosis for Walter White.

Signs of Walter White’s mental health issues

Walter White’s character arc in the Breaking Bad series is very interesting as it changes a normal high-school chemistry teacher to a full-on drug kingpin. Throughout the series, Walter White depicts many mental health issues, some of which have been described below.

He does not stop when he has to

Walter White initially steps into the drug business in order to save money for his family so that they are taken care of even after he dies. He has an initial goal of $70,000. However, after he learns that he is pretty good at this new job, he keeps working for more money.

This actually contradicts the original aim that Walter White is working towards, since he actually started the whole thing to only create a fund that his family could use after he was gone. This actually shows his addiction to money and power.

He shows a lot of self-importance

Walter White definitely exhibits a lot of self-importance which is one of the main signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. After he establishes himself as an expert in creating and selling meth, he expects everyone else to already know him and respect him.

He expects his from even those who are not in his field and are not close to him. He easily assumes that everyone must have heard about him for his prowess in the meth-industry. Self-importance can also be attached to manic episodes as seen in bipolar disorder.

He is greedy for more power

As mentioned in the first point, Walter White wants to get more than his original $70,000 as he planned first. It can be seen that more than money, Walter White wants power. He also states that he is not in the business for the money but wants to create an empire.

Power-hunger is seen in a lot of sociopathic personality types but may not be a clear sign of mental illness. At the same time, being too hungry for power leads to many other mental health issues and can even point to the presence of some underlying emotional conflicts.

He only associates with those who are at his level

Walter White also only tends to associate with those whom he considers to be at his level. This is again, only seen after he gets into the drug business. This is another sign of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and is noted as one of the diagnostic criteria.

He wants to be admired

Walter White not only considers himself a very important person but wants everyone else to do the same as well. He expects constant admiration and respect from others. In one episode, Walter is visibly disappointed after his family did not throw a big birthday party for him as he expected.

He wants everyone to agree with him

After he establishes himself as a very powerful kingpin in the meth business, Walter White shows his true hunger for power. He thereby wants everyone to agree with him even though as a group, all the members are expected to pitch in their ideas.

In one incident, the group decides to vote on using the extermination company for the meth business. Walter was the one who came up with the idea, and when Mike asks for a vote, Walter White can be seen immediately dismissing it as he expects everyone to go with his plan always.

He is known to manipulate others

As a true narcissist, Walter White also manipulates many people in his journey, including Jesse. He uses words and his excellent oration skills to cook up speeches in order to change the thought patterns of others so that he gets his way at all times.

Some fans wrongly assume that Walter White lacks empathy. In fact, it can be seen that the character actually is very emotionally intelligent. He actually uses his high EQ levels to manipulate others which is a true sign of sociopathy and narcissism.

Cause of Walter White’s mental health issues

Walter White displays many toxic and negative traits throughout the series, which are mostly interpreted by fans to be right considering his situation. The main cause for Walter White’s change in persona is his brush with death in learning that he has a terminal illness.

After learning about his diagnosis of lung cancer, Walter White decides to earn as much money as he can in order to support his family in the event of his death. However, this triggers off a different side to Walter White.

Breaking Bad actually shows how circumstances actually shape a person and can bring out a completely unknown side to them. The before and after personas Walter White are contradictory and conflicting to each other, each bringing its own share of emotional struggles.


The current blogpost has answered if Walter White has bipolar. We have also discussed the various signs of mental health issues that Walter White demonstrates in the Breaking Bad series. Finally, we have checked out some of the causes of these issues.

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