September 27, 2004

Author Sidney Sheldon and Bipolar Disorder

In a September 23rd CBS News show, Julie Chen interviewed Author Sidney Sheldon.

Sidney Sheldon won a Tony for co-writing "Redhead," the best musical of 1959. The Oscar came a decade earlier for writing "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer."

Despite those achievements, Sheldon is best known for creating the hit situation comedy "I Dream of Jeannie" and for writing a string of sexy best-selling novels, including "The Other Side Of Midnight," "Bloodline" and his latest thriller, "Are You Afraid of the Dark?"

Despite his success, he was having many problems - sometimes he was inappropriately and extremely depressed, and other times manic. It started when he was young, as he explains briefly here:

"I was 17. I wanted to kill myself. But, please, it's all right. I didn't. I just had a lot of emotional problems. I won an Oscar for "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer," and that was one of the worst nights of my life. I should have been exhilarated, and I was depressed. And I thought, you know, this is--there's something wrong. I'm not happy. And I went to a psychiatrist, and he said, `You have bipolar disorder. You're a manic-depressive.' And that's when I first learned about it. But meanwhile, I'd done a lot of bad things. I'd walked out on a lot of successes that I could have had. And I finally knew what was wrong.

CHEN: And how did they start treating it?

Mr. SHELDON: There's a medication for it, which they didn't even have back then. And the medication controls it. 'Cause now I'm perfectly normal.

The early treatment for his bipolar sounds like it allowed him to be the success that he is today.

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