‘General Hospital’ Star Maurice Benard Opens Up About a Scary Bipolar Episode

General Hospital‘s Maurice Benard has written a new memoir Nothing General About It: How Love (and Lithium) Saved Me On and Off General Hospital.

In the book, he recounts a manic episode so severe he believed Michael Jackson was singing about him.

The 57-year-old was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 22 years old. When he was prescribed lithium, he says it ended up taking him down a rabbit hole.

In 1993, Maurice was off his medication and just two weeks into playing leading man Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital when he “began hearing voices when no one was in the room with me. I heard them on set, in the car, and at home.”

One night at home, he had a breakdown, during which he threatened to kill his wife, Paula, and her two young nieces who were staying with them.

“I walked around the house and played Michael Jackson’s song ‘Man in the Mirror’ over and over,” he writes, according to Page Six. “I thought I had a unique connection to Michael Jackson because, off my meds, my mind convinced me that Michael Jackson was singing about me.”

He added that at this point, Paula called his doctor, who prescribed a tranquilizer. Before she could get him to take it, Maurice says he ran over to a nearby friend’s house and began yelling at his friend’s wife, “Devil, get out!”

Going back to work “was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life” and he burst into tears on-set, adding that he wanted to quit.

“They were the most gracious and kind producers in the world and that is something for which I will always be grateful,” he explained.

Wow. Sometimes in order to see the darkness of this disease, we have to hear stories like this. Thank you for opening up, Maurice.