Risa Dorken plays spunky Nurse Amy on General Hospital, but the actress revealed in an Instagram post this week that things in her life aren’t always so happy.
Risa Dorken And Her Struggle
The actress posted a video explaining how she’s been writing about her struggle with mental health over the past couple of months and wanted to share her experiences with fans.
“I was hesitant to share my story at a time like this when everyone is struggling with anxiety, loss, grief and more, but perhaps, that is the exact reason to share it,” she said, reading from a paper in her video message. “It’s a hard time, but there is always a reason to connect and to share who you are with others.”
A New Normal
Dorken detailed her 30th birthday, talking about picking out a dress for dinner, indulging in sweet treats while having stress, paranoia, fear, anxiety, rage, power, and terror pumping through her entire body as she welcomed in her new diagnosis.
“I’m Risa, and I have bipolar disorder,” she revealed, looking straight at the camera. “My whole life, I’ve been described as the personification of sunshine. Heck, my name in various translations means smile or laughter. I’m the kind of girl who is afraid of taking an Advil for fear of it affecting me or ‘my groove.’”
Dorken noted that although she had seen depression and mental illness in loved ones, she didn’t see it in herself.
“I had heard the term ‘manic,’ but never associated it with my perfectionist self—ha ha. Bottom line, I knew mental illness and I didn’t have it,” she shared. “Boom, just like that, my whole universe, life and body changed.”
In February, Dorken was restrained and put under two involuntary holds—one 72 hours and one 48 hours. She notes she was let out early from each for “good behavior” even though she wasn’t stable or better.
“At these for-profit facilities, for $1,700 a night, not optional without mental health coverage, they worsened my condition in my opinion,” she said. “I was ignored, laughed at, endangered, bullied, and terrified.”
The only way to get through the holds, she shared, was to call on her acting training and think of everything as a show. That was her reality.
“I am sharing my experience because as I continue to get back to my reality and back to my self, back to Risa, I feel helpless. I feel alone,” she said.
Experiencing this at a time when she, like the rest of the world, must go through it during the pandemic is extremely challenging. She admits she is struggling but is happy, safe, and stable and urges anyone who may be feeling what she did to seek out help from a professional or trusted loved one. General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.