Thursday’s episode of Dr. Oz, featured two daytime performers who have struggled with two different conditions. The Real’s Tamar Braxton discussed her near fatal blood clot at the top of the show, and then General Hospital’s Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) joined Mehmet Oz for a revealing and extraordinary honest interview about his battle with bipolar disorder and mental illneess.
Throughout his segment, Maurice discussed how he behaved in his 20′s, and contemplating suicide. Later, he was joined by his wife Paula were they discussed the time when they were rehearsing scenes during the Karen the stripper storyline on GH, and Maurice thought it was truly happening. In another dark moment from his past, Maurice and Paula shared when he threatened to kill her. A studio audience member also addressd Maurice. She shared that after seeing Maurice and Paula on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2004, it helped her and others because of his courage that helped shed light on mental illness.
Later, the discusssion turned to the current storyline on General Hospital, where Sonny’s son, Morgan has inherited the disorder. Benard related: “The thing about soap operas which is great is we have done AIDS storylines, breast cancer storylines, and you can really educate people with these storylines, especially if they are done well. This particular storyline is me looking at through the eyes of the father, and not going through it myself. It’s been a beautiful thing to watch this kid (Bryan Craig), who can really do it well.”
Dr. Oz had a surprise for Maurice when he played a special message from Bryan Craig: “Hey Maurice. I just want to say that playing your son Morgan on General Hospital had been a very meaningful role to me. Your experience with mental illness has helped me create a character to the best of my abilities that depicts the struggles for people battling bipolar disorder and depression and what they go through in real life. I just want to say, I couldn’t have done it without you. You’re strength and honesty is inspiring. I think you are an amazing role model for anyone who is going through this in real life. I love you, and I will see you back in Port Charles.”
A choked-up Benard related “I just love helping young actors, and especially when its a storyline that is so personal to me.” Watch yesterday’s episode of Dr. Oz after the jump. Then let us know what you thought of Maurice’s honesty and his willingness to put himself out there in order to help educate others in the same situation and more.