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In 2004, actor Maurice Benard, who plays Sonny Corinthos on the ABC soap opera General Hospital, appeared on The Oprah Show. In the interview he spoke openly about his debilitating battle— and a period in his life when he stopped taking his medication. When off his meds, Maurice says he plunged into a dark mania, rapidly started losing control and couldn't distinguish what was real from what was on TV. He began talking to his wife, Paula, with his character's lines. "It was probably about a week's time that I saw the transformation," said Paula. "It wasn't just, like, one moment or one day that it happened. But, literally you see someone becoming a totally different person."

Then, one frightening night while Paula's nieces were sleeping over, Maurice drank half a bottle of wine. "And I started feeling very violent. And I remember [Paula] crying," he said. "And she wouldn't stop. So I started yelling. And I told her if she didn't stop, that I was going to kill her—in my mind I didn't believe I would."
FROM: Exclusive: Did Bipolar Disorder Drive a Mother to Kill Her Child?
Published on September 24, 2007


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