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April 15, 2005

Bipolar Disorder and Famous

Ophrah Winfrey featured bipolar disorder on her April 5th show featuring TV stars Maurice Benard and Linda Hamilton. Singer/musician Shawn Colvin was also featured on the show and talked about her experiences with depression.

Short clips from the show:

"Maurice Benard sizzles as Sonny Corinthos, the gorgeous star of ABC's hit soap opera "General Hospital." In real life, the devoted family man has been married to his sweetheart, Paula, for 14 years, and they live a quiet life in Los Angeles with their two daughters. But Maurice's life isn't as picture-perfect as it seems. Every day behind the scenes, Maurice battles a mental illness that once left him violent, suicidal and, at its worst, locked inside a mental institution wondering if he'd ever get out."

WINFREY: So were you on medication at the time that you became violent and threatened...

Mr. BENARD: I'd been off it for two years.... And the pressure of getting "General Hospital" and doing this dark character, that's why, you know, I...

WINFREY: You took yourself off. This is what's interesting to me. So many people, I've heard, were on medication, doing really fine, then you start to feeling great, and then you take yourself off.

Mr. BENARD: Yeah.

WINFREY: Why? Yeah, why?

Mr. BENARD: Because you start feeling like you don't need it, you can do without it. And then--but I remember what happens if I don't take it.
Linda Hamilton

Remember when Linda Hamilton burst onto the big screen in the 1984 blockbuster "Terminator" opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger? A few years later, she became a star on the small screen in the hit series "Beauty and the Beast." But it was when she reprised her role in "Terminator 2" that Linda Hamilton, leaner and meaner than ever, became the epitome of the strong, sexy woman of the '90s. She fell in love and married "Terminator" director James Cameron, and they became fixtures on the red carpet.

But away from the spotlight, Linda was living a personal hell. Volatile, violent relationships, panic attacks and alcohol and drug abuse. Today Linda, a single mother of two, is revealing the truth behind her private battle, a lifelong struggle with mental illness.

WINFREY: Today Linda Hamilton is speaking publicly about her manic depression that went undiagnosed for most of her life.

(Excerpt from videotape)

Ms. LINDA HAMILTON (Has Bipolar Disorder): And I know that my parents found me beating a puppy with a stick when I was five. I'd remembered ever since then that horrible tale of, you know, beating a precious soul with a stick, and that's pretty much the way my life went.

WINFREY: For Linda Hamilton, a lifelong battle with mental illness began early.

Ms. HAMILTON: My whole childhood was lost to me.

To see a video clip, or order the entire transcript - see:

Opray Winfrey: Depressed, Mentally Ill and Famous


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