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Richard Dreyfuss Opens Up About His Severe Depression And Bipolar Disorder

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richard dreyfuss bipolar depression talk

Celebrities are normal people with normal problems just like the rest of us, but sometimes that's hard to remember!

That's why it took a moment for us to remember that legend Richard Dreyfuss suffers from issues that a whole lot of the world does — bipolar disorder and depression. Something he revealed back in 2006.

Now he's opening up about it during conferences around the country, aimed at helping the discussion of depression, and he's not holding back!

He says:

"There's no shame in having depression. By telling my own story, I hope to help remove the stigma. It never should be something to hide. I trembled in fear. It's like the night before the test and you aren't really sure about the subject and this balloon of self-loathing starts to swell up fast in anticipation of failure. I lived that feeling everyday, every minute for my entire life."

Along with that, though, comes the extreme highs. After winning Best Actor Oscar for 1977's The Goodbye Girl, he said this was happening:

"I was thrilled with my life entirely too much. I enjoyed turning down work as much as I enjoyed getting the job. I was living from thrill to thrill and nothing bad happened to me."

Then the lows hit again — especially during the 1991 romantic comedy Once Around:

"Had I not been depressed, I would have given a very different performance."

That situation gave way to his growing self-hatred, and things started falling apart. Including his marriage, which his ex-wife writer-producer Jeramie Rain took his three kids with her.

He continued:

"I needed help. I didn't want to lose my children. I felt divorce was a valid reason for being depressed, but I didn't know it would last as long as it lasted. I would have never committed suicide because my daughter would have been really pissed. I wouldn't want to hurt her. When you have a kid, no matter how much success or money you have, you have this love that is beyond the bounds and you would take a bullet for your child. So I didn't want to cause them any pain."

So how did he begin to manage the issues? HELP. He got help, and specifically this:

"Counseling helped kill my guilt. We went on a journey to find the right meds and it took four long years. I'm able to be Richard again. Things are great."

We are SO HAPPY for him!

And it's such a great lesson to learn — medication DOES help, even if it takes a few years to find the right balance for you specifically!

Oh, and when it's working, that doesn't mean you're cured and you can stop taking it! The fact that you feel good means it's working, and you don't want to stop that, as the outcome could be very dangerous!

We think it's amazeballz he's out talking about this! So fab!

[Image via FayesVision/WENN.]

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