Friday, April 6, 2012

Richard Dreyfuss and Bipolar Disorder

I came across this interview in the Herald-Tribune where Richard Dreyfuss talks about living with bipolar disorder. I was intrigued to say the least, being that my only knowledge of the actor was watching Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind as a child. Which thanks to these movies, I can no longer swim in the ocean and get spooked by lights in the sky. But other than that, I didn’t know much more, especially having no idea he was living with bipolar disorder.

What caught my attention in this interview was his experience with a certain medication that brought him relief, but was soon unavailable because it wasn’t profitable. Here is what he had to say:

I was a wonderful person — a good father, a good husband. I was a good citizen, and I had no fear. And then one of the manufacturers stopped making a linchpin drug.
They said I wrote them the most sincere letter they’d ever received. The guy called me, and he said, “I know that we left 3,000 people hanging in midair, but there just wasn’t any profit in it.” (Herald-Tribune, Tuesday, April 3, 2012)

I find this alarming! To think that scientists can create a drug to make people well, but because it isn’t profitable, people can’t have it. I can’t imagine if that ever happened to my own son. After years of trying drugs and then to find the “answer” and finally enjoy a healthy, stable life, only to have it taken away because of money. It’s disgusting, but sadly, reality.

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Check out the full article here:

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Happy Easter, may you create wonderful memories this weekend with your family!


  1. He was also in What About Bob...a hilarious movie where he plays a child psychiatrist. But Anyhow...getting to the meat of your post I too am appalled that such a positive medicine was taken off market due to something as trivial as $. I have a kind of similar situation....well not really. I was on Concerta for my ADD and it worked so fantastically but then my insurance decided they would no longer cover it so I was put on a trial of many other meds including Straterra, Vyvanse, and Methlyn. Now I don't take anything for my ADD because the other meds just didn't cut it.

    I am glad you posted this because I had forgotten that R.D. was bipolar. And to know even he has issues getting the right medicine...what hope do us civilians have?

    1. LOL! I forgot about that movie!

      I guess an insurance company getting in the way of your medication is no different in the long run if you can no longer take what works. Pretty sick huh!

    2. Also, I couldn't help but wonder what the letter said that Richard Dreyfuss wrote to the drug manufacturer, wouldn't you love to read it?

    3. Actually I would...and as kind as the letter may have been the fact still stands that most people inventing the medicines are in it for the good of the people, most people who market the med are in it for the money, and most of the people who need the drug haven't any because they are unstable. Which part of the dynamic wrote back to Richard Dreyfuss? It is a curious matter! :)