Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mariette Hartley- Actress/ Advocate (Co-founder of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention)

Mariette Hartley’s film career started in 1962 with a leading role in the film Ride the High Country. During her long acting career she has performed in almost every venue. She won an Emmy for her appearance in a 1978 version of The Incredible Hulk (Who doesn’t love The Hulk? I mean hello, he’s a Big Green Monster like person, who is bad/good. Of course she’s going to win an award in that movie. Duh!) Her versatile performance allowed her to play a variety of roles, including the famous “you can’t show your belly button on TV” part in the episode of the original Star Trek. (Again who doesn’t love Star Trek?) Mariette was diagnosed with severe depression in 1994 while experiencing a suicidal episode. The prescribed antidepressants sent her into mania. (Antidepressant’s can cause a bipolar person to “switch” bringing on a manic or hypo manic phase. Needless to say it is used with much caution for a person with Bp, but mostly is an avoided medication for.) That, she says was when she realized something else must be going on. She was first diagnosed with ADD, before finally being diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. (That is a common mistake, because, many of the symptoms are almost identical). In 1987she co-founded the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. (An excellent foundation that really helps people, I would sincerely recommend it if you’re having suicidal thoughts, of course going to your doctor would be the best option.) Her father had already committed suicide in 1963, and her mother attempted suicide shortly after. She also lost another bipolar family member to suicide, her uncle. In an interview with USA Today she said something that I believe in with every fiber in my being. (And I have a lot of fiber in me; shockingly I’m not just full of hot air) In a final quote she said “ If you are on the right medication now, for God’s sake stay on it and don’t change, but if it doesn’t seem to be working, then go to a doctor and find the right one for you”. For God’s sake take her advice.

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