Three-time Daytime Emmy winner Maurice Benard, who has been open about his lifetime battle with bipolar disorder, revealed that he contemplated suicide during the pandemic.
In a candid interview with People, the actor who plays mobster Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital said he thought about ending his life “every day” during the lockdown. His ABC sudser had gone dark for four months and his tour for his book Nothing General About It: How Love (and Lithium) Saved Me On and Off General Hospital was put on hold.
“I felt a real cold rush in me,” he told the magazine. “And then that night I was shaking like a fish out of water and crying like a baby. This had never happened in my life. [His wife] Paula’s on the bed and I’m like, ‘Baby, I’m done. What’s going on with me?’ In a calm voice, she says, ‘Honey, you’re fine. You’re gonna be fine.’ And I’m like, ‘What the f— what do you mean. I’m gonna be fine?’ I was stuck in this horrific panic that wouldn’t leave.”
Now 60, Benard was 22 when he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder — known as manic depression at the time. “For about a two week period, I was just acting strange,” he said, such as acting violent with his family.
His mother ended up calling the police.
“The next morning, they took me to the mental institute,” he said. “It was just really scary in there. I was tied down from my wrist, my waist and my ankles. And all I wanted to do was escape the whole time I was there. ‘Get me outta here! Get me outta here! Get me out!’ They didn’t know what I had for about a month, maybe two months.”