The Mental Health Minute

Articles and news about mental health issues

Glenn Close on mental illness: ‘Say it out loud’

Here’s an article from USAToday that describes how mental illness plays no favorites.   No one is immune from being touched by mental illness.  It really doesn’t matter who you are or how much money you have.  This article is from back in November 2010, but I still think the message bears repeating.


By Mary Brophy Marcus, USA TODAY
Actress Glenn Close and National Institute of Mental Health director Thomas Insel will discuss mental illness at a Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego this weekend.

A conversation with Glenn Close about families and mental illness:

Q: Tell me about family members of yours — what have they struggled with?

A: My sister has bipolar disorder. She was first diagnosed with just depression about a decade ago and medicated for that, which really exacerbated the manic side of bipolar until she was properly diagnosed. She also had substance abuse, which made it even harder to diagnose and treat. Calen, my nephew, her son, was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder around the same time.

Q: Have they bonded over their experiences?

A: Who wants a bond like that?

Q: And you also had a grandmother with depression?

A: I don’t think she was ever diagnosed. But it looms very large in my childhood memory. I also had an uncle who committed suicide. But we had no vocabulary for it. It wasn’t a time … The kind of culture my parents came from … it was considered a dumb thing to go to a psychiatrist, even though my dad was a medical doctor, a surgeon.

Q: Have you ever struggled with mental-health problems yourself?

A: Absolutely. There are times when I have sought help, when I’ve been on antidepressants. But I’m not a seriously depressed person. There are times when it helps you get through.

Q: You’ve been doing advocacy work to try to erase the stigma of mental illness.

A: There’s still a huge stigma. We need to get over the fear of saying it out loud — get rid of the shame.

A lot of people have approached me. They frequently say, “I’ve had mental illness in my family, too.” And I say, “What do you have?”

Close does advocacy work with


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    February 22, 2011 - Posted by | Mental Health | , , , , ,

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