“General Hospital’s” Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) will be appearing on the Thursday, February 25 edition of “The Dr. Oz Show,” the actor announced on his Instagram page yesterday. “Going to discuss something very important to me,” wrote the actor.
Benard, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 22, following a major breakdown, is expected to discuss in detail the disorder that has been greatly stigmatized by those who aren’t aware of how to deal with it or what brings it on. In his posting, which included a photo of himself alongside his family, Benard used the hashtags #bipolar #mentalhealthawareness #erasingthestigma which seemingly confirms what he will be talking about on the syndicated talk show.
“If you think back, you see signs,” Benard said in a 2007 interview with BpHope Magazine about the disorder. “I was brought up to never cry. I had to hold that in, because it’s not macho, it’s ‘weak.’ So I’m sure that didn’t help. I was drinking a lot in my teens. I was fighting a lot. So you take the drinking, the self-medicating, and the fighting—to release whatever was inside of me—you add that up and I think I just blew up. I remember that, in the hospital, I was crying all the time, probably letting it all out.”
Talking more about the episode that led to his diagnosis, Benard says, “I pretty much attacked my mother one night and told my mom and dad I was the devil. They called the cops and it was crazy. I asked my mom, ‘Who’s that?’—I heard her on the phone downstairs—and she said, ‘It’s the doctor.’ I replied, ‘It better not be the cops …’ and the doorbell rings. And it’s the cops. I looked at her the way Sonny Corleone looked in ‘The Godfather.'”
Once the police came into the house, Benard recognized one of them – an old friend of his from high school. “There was nothing they could do because I wasn’t violent at that time, so they just left. And the next morning, my mom and dad took me to the hospital.”
For more from Benard on his battle with bipolar disorder, make sure to tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” on Thursday, February 25. Check local listings for time and station.