General Hospital star Maurice Benard plays Sonny Corinthos on the ABC soap opera. However, he spends much of the time he isn’t working on set to help others. His own experience with mental illness has inspired him to reach out to his fans and followers on social media. Recently, he explained what the “MB State of Mind” means.
General Hospital News – GH Star Maurice Benard’s Mental Illness
When the actor was 22 years old, he was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. While medication treats the symptoms, it doesn’t prevent the cycling episodes from returning. It only makes them less severe and more manageable.
Benard joined General Hospital in 1993. According to BP Hope magazine, Maurice spiraled into a manic episode within weeks of his debut. As with many of those with Bipolar Disorder, he then went into a depression after coming down from the “mania high.”
While many would simply say, “Why me,” the actor takes a more optimistic approach to his illness. He uses the condition to spread awareness and education. He does this often with social media, a medium that can be used to reach out to others who are struggling.
GH News – Sonny Corinthos’ Bipolar Disorder Storyline
In Sonny Corinthos’ early days, his mean streak was summed up to him having an abusive childhood. However, in 2006, his character ended up having undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder. It was a plot that was aimed to explain his wild mood swings.
Soap operas have been tackling mental health topics more frequently in recent years. It can help get people talking about mental illness and raise awareness. However, the GH veteran didn’t just play someone with Bipolar Disorder on the ABC daytime series. He also used his mental health challenges to portray characters with Bipolar Disorder on a movie.
General Hospital News – Using the Struggle to Help Others
He starred in a movie called The Ghost and the Whale. It is cited as one of the best movies about the condition, both by mental health professionals, advocates and those that live with the condition. Due to the complexity of the disorder and the wide range of symptoms, it can be difficult to realistically bring the illness to life. However, this is exactly what The Ghost and the Whale achieved. It is also a great film to watch to educate loved ones on what someone with the illness goes through.
Benard has also consulted with television and film projects to give input on mental health storylines. There is no better person to give guidance on the subject than someone that actually lives with it every single day.
— SOS/CTS/HH (@SoapOperaSpy) October 7, 2019
GH News – General Hospital Actor Shares MB State of Mind
On Instagram, Maurice shared another inspiring mental health post. He wrote,
“Behind the scenes— people always ask me, what’s this @mbstateofmind thing? I say it’s a communion I have with my audience. I speak of my life living with mental illness, we talk,we laugh, sometimes we cry. In the end I always feel like I’ve gone through something.”
Just a few weeks ago, during Mental Illness Awareness Week, Benard posted on social media for those struggling to get help. He explained that even if people don’t think they matter, they do. Many of his followers responding sharing their own stories and thanking him for reaching out to those who might be hurting.
General Hospital News – Mental Health Resources
If you are someone you know are struggling with mental health issues, there are many ways you can get help. Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is a great resource. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the International Bipolar Foundation are also great places to learn and get support.
Many of these organizations provide assistance online, by email, phone, online chat and some even have forums and discussion boards.
We would like to thank Maurice Benard for taking his challenge and using it to help others. Even if he just reaches one person, then it is worth it. He is certainly an inspiration, especially to those that struggle with mental illness in their own lives.
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Maurice Benard Instagram Post
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
National Alliance on Mental Illness
International Bipolar Foundation