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Famous actress opens up on struggle with bipolar disorder

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 • Tamil Comments

American actress Chyler Leigh, who is famous for portraying Janey Briggs in the 2001 parody film 'Not Another Teen Movie' has opened up on her decade-long battle with bipolar disorder, a manic-depressive illness that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

As part of the "Be Vocal: Speak Up" for Mental Health initiative, the actress opened up on her issues with bipolar disorder, mentioning that her mother had faced similar problems as well. "My mother was diagnosed with - at the time they were calling it manic depression - and I saw such an extreme version. Because I saw what happens when you aren't advocating for yourself or taking care of yourself, when I first got the bipolar diagnosis it was sort of like, 'Oh my gosh, if that was me, how on Earth am I going to deal with this?' Am I in the same place? Am I equipped? Do I have what it takes to actually really genuinely take care of myself?'" Chyler reportedly stated.

Further talking about the mental health issues of her children, she added, "We have three kids that are also living with either a mental health condition — we have ADHD, we have Asperger's, high-functioning autism — that's all of my three kids. So that, [and my] career, trying to make [our] marriage work, dealing with all these symptoms and not knowing what to do with it, that's where I kinda hit my breaking point and I shut down completely. During that point, right before I was diagnosed, I was like, 'I'm drowning, I’m drowning.'"

I hit mania so high that I couldn't sleep. They gave me medication particularly for not sleeping and it would not work. At that point, it was a matter of 'Okay, I need to kind of start fresh, and see what works with me.' I did find a medication that works that I still take, which keeps me very level, much more even. There are not really big peaks and valleys. It makes me function as a human being where I feel like, 'Okay, I can manage when things are really hard and I can also really celebrate victories.'"

Admitting how difficult it has been for her to open up on her condition, Chyler feels that her transparency will embolden others facing mental health issues to speak up as well. "I've always been a very kind of private person. I think mostly because of being afraid of having my story out there and being labeled as anything because there is very often such a negative stigma about it. That fear of judgment and 'Oh, if people see me this way, that means that I'm not good enough or I'm not well enough to be able to take care of myself' or whatever it might be. But, being able to have a fantastic platform to be able to speak my story and know that it’s going to reach a tremendous amount of people, that was major motivation for me [to speak out]."

It's okay to not be okay. And it's incredibly important to reach out. Be willing to let your guard down a little bit to be able to find that community. And also know that if you're really struggling that there are so many resources. Be Vocal is a great way to go online and find all the advocacy partners," she concludes.

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