Maurice Benard (Sonny, General Hospital) got candid with People for the release of his new memoir, Nothing General About It. He opened up about how he balancing his mental health and diagnosis with bipolar disorder with his acting career.
When Benard nabbed his first soap role in the late '80s, he didn't tell anyone outside his immediate circle about his personal struggle. He said:
I didn’t talk about it because an acting coach told me that if I said I was bipolar or mentally ill, I wouldn’t get cast.
Prescribed lithium at age 22, Benard found the drug to be extremely helpful in treating his condition. However, he took himself off his medication a few times, admitting:
I was feeling great. My head told me I didn’t need meds because I wasn’t sick.
Things got so bad that he suffered a severe break in 1993. In a heartbreaking excerpt from the memoir, Benard wrote about threatening to harm his wife and their dog (check the excerpt out at People).
The process of writing the book and recording the audiobook proved cathartic for the soap star. He shared:
I let myself be vulnerable in this book. And especially when I did the audiobook recording — oh man, I would cry like a baby and then pull myself together and keep going.
Nothing General About It is on sale now.