GH’s Risa Dorken Opens Up About Psychiatric Involuntary Holds and Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis
Image: Craig Sjodin/ABC
General Hospital actress reads an account of her current struggles.
General Hospital’s Risa Dorken, who plays Nurse Amy Driscoll, has come forward on Instagram with an account of her recent struggles with her mental health. She reveals she was hesitant to talk about it in these trying times when many people are dealing with anxieties, but felt her story would help others feel they aren’t alone. Soaps.com applauds her bravery and sends well wishes.
In the video, Dorken reads “Picking out a dress for dinner, indulging on sweet treats while having stress, paranoia, fear, anxiety, rage, sex, power and terror pumping through my entire body. I welcomed in my thirtieth birthday and eventually my new diagnosis. I’m Risa and I have bipolar disorder.” She goes on to describe her childhood and upbringing, and how she was always described as being like sunshine. She had seen mental illness and depression in loved ones, but never thought she experienced it herself. However, then her entire life changed. Dorken reveals that in February of this year she was restrained and put under two separate involuntary holds, the first for 72 hours and the second a week later for 48 hours. In her opinion, these facilities only worsened her condition. “I was ignored, laughed at, bullied, and terrified. The experience is something I’d never wish on anyone, but was my only option.”
Dorken goes on to document her struggles and delusions over the next few weeks, including thinking she had invented Valentine’s Day, that her husband was going to leave her, and counting blue cars. After this life-changing experience, she’s now on medication, to deal with a disorder she never knew she had. “Especially now as the entire globe struggles to cope with their own anxiety and mental health, so that’s why I’m sharing. For those who aren’t baking, or doing home workouts, or picking up knitting, instead, you are at home clenching your weighted blanket, clenching your jaw, juggling your online appointments, and playing a gambling game of new medications… I am here. I have struggled, I am struggling, I will struggle in the future. But, I am happy, safe, stable and bipolar. This isn’t forever, you aren’t alone.” She admits she still has a lot to learn about the disorder but is happy to be safe at home.
Fellow General Hosptial actor Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) has been open about his struggles with bipolar disorder for many years now, and it was even written into the show and his character. Benard recently published a memoir detailing his struggles with the disease, which has become a national best-seller.