Mental illness is a disease that is still shrouded in shame and secrecy. Last week, former Days of Our Lives star Patsy Pease stepped out into the light to reveal her difficult diagnosis — she suffers from bipolar disorder.
The actress admitted in a heartbreaking blog that her diagnosis came very late in life. It happened after decades of embarrassing behavior.
Her sobering revelations proved how dark her life was when she was stuck in moments of mania.
“Unfortunately, (my diagnosis) was after I was arrested for smacking a guy upside the head with a mop and spent 5 days (and 4 scary nights) in a Van Nuys, Ca. jail,” she wrote. “I was also 21 years sober, a mother of 2 teenage sons and volunteered in recovery homes. Nonetheless, no diagnosis….no help..off to jail.”
Pease talks about other incidents that involved posting nude pictures on the Internet, having unprotected sex with strange men and even receiving a tattoo during a manic spell. She has a memory of that night wrapped around her right bicep in Japanese calligraphy. For the actress, it’s a reminder of her daily battle.
“I thought about having it removed, but I never EVER want to forget what can happen again, if I stop my meds, therapy, diet and exercise, etc.,” she said. ”It took me years to finally discover what the hell I had permanently inked on my arm though. Finally, I saw its exact replica on a symbol site. It simply means ‘white light.’ A Johre symbol for peace, protection and healing.”
Even though her diagnosis didn’t come until the age of 50. The former daytime star isn’t blaming her doctors for missing the signs, because she thinks the acting profession helped hide her illness.
“My psychiatrist probably credited that to my profession (I’m an actor) rather than my disorder,” she explained. “Understandably confusing, some actors can have erratic, intense if not down-right ‘kooky’ behavior. (I owe that part to my own childishness and immaturity, not mental illness.)”
The good news is that Pease is doing well and staying on track with her health. She has even returned to DOOL for occasional appearances as Kimberly Brady, the character she originated back in 1984.
She also reminded her fans in the blog to get help if they are “suffering in silence” by contacting the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Pease summed up, “Please know you are not alone.”