This week on Maurice Benard’s State Of Mind video podcast, he tapped into the mental health and effects of social media on the younger generation with General Hospital’s Haley Pullos.
Haley Pullos: Touching Base With The Next Generation
Daytime Emmy-nominated Pullos has pretty much grown up in the spotlight, making her television debut at age 8 on the sitcom ‘Til Death, and landing the role of Molly Lansing-Davis on General Hospital by age 10. But early successes did not come without speed bumps along the way. The young actress had to deal with the stresses of show business and self-esteem early on.
Benard (Sonny) was eager for her to share her thoughts. “I want to talk to young people. I want to get their perspective on mental health, on life, on everything.”
Pullos shared her recent diagnosis of ADHD and Anxiety, and revealed that Attention Deficit Hypersensitivity Disorder symptoms manifest differently in women than men.
“In women, it was more like hypersensitivity to rejection, either real or imagined,” she noted. “Sometimes things hurt me so bad because I take it so personally, even if it has nothing to do with me. And I think that is an ADHD thing. And it is truly debilitating. Oh my gosh, all of the anxiety in the world.”
She went on to explain how acute the anxiety could be. “It literally feels like the inside of my body is engulfed in flames like I am on fire from the inside and my body is dying. I’m dying. And that is how my brain reacts, as if I am in the process of dying, and I am getting shooked up just talking about it! It is genuinely the most overwhelming, uncomfortable, painful, awful experience. It literally feels like death.”
Benard nodded in understanding. “It feels like you are in a nightmare, and you are not able to wake up,” he empathized. “Then reality hits, and reality is a nightmare also.”
She agreed and added that medication has helped. “For anxiety, I am taking Zoloft,” she explained. “I know for some people it just doesn’t work for them, but for me, it happens to work.”
The Good And The Bad Of Social Media
The actress explained how growing up in the limelight has placed her in the crosshairs of social media. “People feel like they know me personally, and because of that, they feel like they can say things to me that are not actually very appropriate,” she explained. “Like about how I look, and whether they like it or not. I remember when I was 18 years old, and I had my first breakup, and I cut my hair really short, there were people who made specific social media pages dedicated to hating my haircut.
“Honestly, I am still dealing with it and still learning to accept it because it’s hard,” she continued. “Especially when it is something so personal, like literally the way that I look.”
Pullos went on to describe her coping skills. “But it is a little bit of a mixture of not looking and thick skin,” she said. “And knowing where to look, because I know there are so many nice things on social media too. There are way more nice things than horrible things, but for some reason, it is easier for me to find those horrible things. I know I need to be better about not looking for those horrible things and focusing on the wonderful things that people are saying.”
The duo also discussed her early roots, growing up in front of the camera, escaping the Britney Spears phenomenon, the effects of social media on depression and suicide, spiritual self-help books that have helped them get through tough times, and her true-crime podcast called Criminally Insane.
If you are suffering from ADHD or Anxiety, or know someone who is, reach out to NIMH. For more on their book recommendations, check out The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on General Hospital spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
Haley and I talk about anxiety, depression, ADHD, the good and bad of social media. We even touch on Britney Spears and our thoughts on what she’s been going through.
— Maurice Benard (@MauriceBenard) February 27, 2022
— Maurice Benard (@MauriceBenard) February 28, 2022