Patty Duke opens up about personal struggles with bipolar disorder

By KBJR News 1

May 29, 2014 Updated May 29, 2014 at 10:17 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Academy award winning actress Patty Duke has dealt with her fair share of mental illness and on Thursday she shared her story with the Northland.

Patty says her acting was really a stepping stone to be a spokeswoman for mental health.

Patty has been bipolar for most of her life and says before her diagnosis when she was out in public people looked at her as a "goody two shoes," but behind closed doors she was much more like a wicked witch.

Patty is a two-time best-selling author with publications on her rise to fame along with her diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

She says much too often tragedies manifest from those who go untreated for their mental illnesses in the form of school shootings, or other mass disasters.

Duke was the first celebrity to open up about her diagnosis, and says she seeks to de-stigmatize the disorder.

"For me I stayed in bed for three months at a time, except to go to the bathroom, and cried. Didn't know what I was crying about, but I cried, and I resisted treatment. How many more shootings do there have to be?" she said.

Duke says she resisted all treatment and thought everyone else was crazy until she was 35.

Ever since she began receiving treatment medication she has lived a balanced life, and hopes others learn from her journey.

Patty says often times people don't take the medication they need for being bipolar, and that doing nothing leaves a person vulnerable to the chemical imbalance in their brain, letting the disorder take over... which is why she says it's crucial to take the medicine prescribed.

Elsa Robins