Tony Curtis: Questions His Sanity, Not His Morality

Tony Curtis (Some Like It Hot, father of Jaime Lee - yeah, yeah, I know - like Tony Curtis needs an introduction) is another celeb with a tell-all memoir to recently hit shelves.

From what I gather, American Prince houses Curtis's narrative on his womanizing ways, his battles with drug abuse, the ups and downs of Hollywood, and the personal tragedies he's suffered behind the scenes.

Of interest to my little corner of the Internet is Curtis's comment on his mother's schizophrenia. When Patricia Sheridan of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette asked Curtis about his mother's schizophrenia and whether he ever worried he would have the mental disorder, Curtis replied:

Yes, I did. You have to question your own sanity, you know? I know there was nothing wrong with my morality.

Haha - er, wait. What?


Why Carrie Fisher Became A Spokeswoman For Bipolar Disorder

In light of the release of Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher's new memoir, Newsweek published excerpts of an interview with the actress/script doctor/bipolar disorder spokeswoman late last week.

Especially of interest is Fisher's answer when interviewer Ramin Setoodeh asks her about her decision to advocate for bipolar disorder awareness. Fisher tosses in a few intriguing exchanges between herself and her doctors, but really sounds the horns when she calls out insurance companies and their...


America’s Heroes Putting PTSD Under The Spotlight

Iraq war veteran Kyle Van Tassel has been making headlines for about the past month and a half.

Just to catch you up, back in November the 28-year-old - dressed in cammies and toting an American flag - caused a pretty big traffic jam and police standoff when he positioned himself on the La Cumbre Road Highway 101 overpass (in Santa Barbara) and started waving an unloaded gun and yelling about what war veterans face when they return to America.

Several days later, the court discovered Van Tassel had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and had failed to take his medication, which may have been what brought on the incident at the overpass (even though the prosecuting attorney, Darryl Perlin - who apparently moonlights as a psychiatrist at night - repeatedly "stated his doubt that Van Tassel exhibited signs of PTSD at all").

Whatever Perlin.


The Soloist: Foxx And Downey, Jr. Tackle Schizophrenia And Media Responsibility

From A Beautiful Mind to Canvas, schizophrenia has been getting quite a bit of screen time over the last decade.

It's going to get some more in April 2009, when Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr. start blowin' minds and takin' names (not to mention rack up a heap of awards nominations, I expect) with the release of The Soloist.

The Soloist is not only the movie adaptation of the book of the same name, but it's also the movie adaptation of a true life story about one Los Angeles Times journalist's (Steve Lopez, played by Robert Downing, Jr., who is also on the advisory board for No Kidding, Me Too!) journey to help an extremely talented, homeless man with schizophrenia (Nathaniel Ayers, played by Jamie Foxx) realize his dreams.


Dear Jim Carrey: Let’s Talk About Treating Depression

Dear Mr. Carrey,

Some people are upset, Jim. They think you're anti-Prozac. They've compared you to Tom Cruise.

Tom Cruise, Jim!

This is not the most advantageous of connections. Not in the mental health world, anyway.

For what it's worth, I understand what you were saying on Larry King Live. You weren't saying, "Prozac is bad." You were saying, "Prozac can help, but people need to deal with what's making them depressed, too."

You probably want people to...


Would Celebrity Mental Health Advocacy Make A Difference For Young Adults?

I read a Reuters Health article the other day that highlights a survey reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry:
The survey, of more than 5,000 U.S. adults ages 19 to 25, found that mental health disorders were common among both college students and those not in college. But neither group was likely to have had the problem addressed; overall, one-quarter had sought treatment for their mental health disorder in the previous year.
Obviously the findings aren't 100% spot on, because the surveys asked the participants "standard questions used to diagnose substance abuse and other mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders and bipolar disorder," so, regular trips to the psychiatrist it was not.

However, if we assume the participants all answered honestly, then we can probably safely assume some of them may actually be suffering from an anxiety problem, or depression, or substance abuse.


Torturing Guantanamo Bay Prisoners With…Music?

There was a time in my life when I probably could have listened to Dr. Dre repeatedly. Maybe not nonstop, 24 hours a day, and seven days a week, but, pretty regularly.

We're talking the days of Dre's 2001. Actually, I revisit 2001 from time to time. For nostalgic purposes, I suppose.

Apparently, the music of Dr. Dre - along with that of Eminem, Britney Spears, Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC, and David Gray, with some Sesame Street and Barney thrown into the mix for good measure - has been used as torture devices at Guantanamo Bay:

Ruhal Ahmed, a Briton who was captured in Afghanistan, describes excruciating sessions at Guantanamo Bay. He said his hands were shackled to his feet, which were shackled to the floor, forcing him into a painful squat for periods of up to two days.

"You're in agony," Ahmed, who was released without charge in 2004, told Reprieve. He said the agony was compounded when music was introduced, because "before you could actually concentrate on something else, try to make yourself focus on some other things in your life that you did before and take that pain away.

"It makes you feel like you are going mad," he said.


Cruise To Lauer: There’s A Time And Place For Humanitarian Issues

"I've never agreed with psychiatry, ever."

"And I know that psychiatry is a pseudo science."

"There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance."

If any of those quotes sound familiar to you, you probably watched (or later read about) Matt Lauer's awkward interview of Tom Cruise on The Today Show back in 2005. That interview was just the cherry on a cake baked with so many ingredients explaining why I'm not a fan of Tom Cruise; specifically related to this subject, the whole "Brooke Shields shouldn't be taking antidepressants for postpartum depression" thing. I don't care if Shields got to have her say, and I don't care if Cruise later apologized to her; I'm still carrying baggage.

Judging from this morning's interview, however, it seems that Lauer and Cruise have made up. Cruise stated that looking back at the earlier interview, he saw that he "came across arrogant," it was not what he "intended," and he could have "handled it better."


What Do You Have To Be Sad About? Joe Pantoliano Opens Up About Depression

"What do you have to be sad about?"

If you've ever suffered from depression, you probably know all too well the anger, frustration, guilt, and hopelessness that attacks you both physically and mentally when someone asks that question. And, to add insult to injury, the person who asks the question is usually someone pretty close to you - your mom, your best friend, your significant other - someone who know you best.

Yet, experience has taught me they ask this question because they know you so well - they know about your awesome career, your fabulous wardrobe, your big fat bank account - you know, all the material, tangible, superficial successes on the outside that often have absolutely nothing to do with how happy or sad you feel on the inside.

"What do you have to be sad about?"


Celebrity Substance Abuse Problems Aren’t Sources Of Entertainment

Over the past few years, the media have been having a field day with the drug and alcohol problems (or, alleged drug and alcohol problems) of stars like Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse, Lindsay Lohan, and Tara Reid.

Fortunately, Spears seems to be making a comeback, Lohan defends she's still "on the wagon," and Tara Reid has just checked into the Promises Treatment Center according to her publicist. (Sadly, I don't think Winehouse has such good news to report, but I do know the Shore Break Drug Rehab center supposedly offered its services to both Winehouse and her husband.)

From pictures of freshly-shaven heads to snarky commentary about the most recent party gone bad, when a celebrity displays some questionable behavior, you can expect both the media and the public to be all over it.

Shoot, you can probably expect to know about it before the even the celebrity's family members do.

And, I blame both the media and the public. Most media sources are out to make money, so, naturally they're gonna pony up what the public wants; however, they do have the power to, you know, not report every single drunken escapade. Rather than some garbage shot of a drunken celeb flipping off the camera, I'd much rather look at pictures of Wentworth Miller. Even if he's just buying coffee. I haven't seen any new ones since November 28.

I'm just saying.