General Hospital star Maurice Benard is a mental health advocate and speaks out his personal experiences on his talk show State of Mind. Recently, he chatted with another GH star, Risa Dorken (Amy), about her battles with being bipolar.
Maurice Benard And Risa Dorken
“Honored to have the opportunity to sit down with @mauricebenard for a conversation on YouTube for @mbstateofmind talking about Bipolar,” Dorken posted on Instagram. “Thank you for your leadership, and friendship, Maurice. Treatment and recovery are possible!…💕 #endthestigma.”
Dorken joined GH in May 2016 as nurse Amy Driscoll, a character inspired by Laura’s (Genie Francis) sister, Amy Vining R.N., played by the late Shell Kepler.
Benard admitted at the top of the show he was a bit nervous going into this episode of State of Mind. “[Risa] is a singer, a dancer, an actor – that’s a triple threat,” Benard said in his State of Mind sit-down with GH’s Amy. “And she’s bipolar, which for me, makes her strong…what I like to say is, ‘You’re like my sister now. We’re in the same club.'”
Dorken shared that she also was nervous but was ready to talk about what she’s been through. The episode starts off with some chat about where Dorken is from (Minnesota) and her family, including her siblings. Dorken opened up about depression, anxiety, and anger being in her family. Benard shared that his father was abusive to him, which may have led to other stuff and could have led to his first breakdown.
“I was pretty happy, pretty go-lucky until [my bipolar diagnosis] happened,” she said. Dorken talked about how she felt the anxiety she experienced as a child felt normal. She adds that she was unaware of her stress level until a mental health episode earlier this year, which led to her being put on medication.
“Things would come up where I’d be extremely stressed or anxious,” recalls Dorken. She credits her husband, Bo Clark, as being her savior, saying he knew things about herself before she did. “My episode, to me, happened in two weeks.”
In the State of Mind episode, Benard probes further, hoping that Dorken’s story can help others. Check out the episode below to hear Dorken’s full story. General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC. Check local listings for air times.
View this post on Instagram