On Feb. 11, 2016, “Days of Our Lives” star Patsy Pease (Kimberly) revealed on her blog that she had been diagnosed as bipolar. In a world that isn’t always kind to those with mental illness, it was a brave move.
Soap Hub sat down with this veteran actress–and even more amazing person–to learn why she chose to reveal her diagnosis. Read her reason, told in her own words.
“I feel that the proper use of the platform of celebrity should be social service. It can’t be a self-serving platform. Also, it redeems any kind of affliction that I might have, and it transforms pain to grace. So any complaint I may have had about why do I have this affliction and living with bipolar — it’s ‘why not?’ Instead of why me, it’s why not me? Because, if I’m going to have it, then let it be useful to serve someone else who may not know what it’s like, or may not know how to help someone they love.”
“With suicides outnumbering homicide in this country today, and in case people don’t know, if you check with the National Association of Health or NAMI [National Alliance of Mental Illness], the suicide rates are phenomenal in this country today. As far as firearms are concerned, they far outnumber in suicide rates. We’re killing ourselves more than other people are killing us – and nobody is talking about that. We’re talking about other people killing us — why aren’t we telling the story about why we are killing ourselves?”
Media Silence is Deafening
“The media, well, it’s not sexy and it’s not glamorous for the media to harp on stories of suicide. Murder is. But the stats still bear out, and let me remind people that numbers don’t lie. We’re killing ourselves more than other people are killing us, so we need to have a conversation about untreated mental illness. I don’t want to be a part of the problem of silence by shame. If I keep quiet, I’m contributing to the problem. That’s why I spoke out.”
“I get a great deal of joy out of people writing me and saying, ‘I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I thought I was just a bad person. I didn’t know I was a sick person. I thought I was bad so I thought I had to kill myself to get rid of being bad.’ I think that’s life changing. Not that I’m saying it’s about me. But to play a part in correcting someone’s thinking, to give them a new idea, to introduce a new way of thinking is… It feels good to be part of enlightening someone’s thought process. It redeems your own. It’s like your greatest shame all of a sudden becomes your greatest asset.”
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