David Harbour: I Was Committed to Mental Asylum

'Stranger Things' star talks with Marc Maron about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2018 1:44 PM CDT
David Harbour: I Was Committed to Mental Asylum
David Harbour attends the 35th Annual Paleyfest "Stranger Things" at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 25, 2018, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

In a candid conversation with Marc Maron on the comedian's WTF podcast this week, David Harbour revealed he was once committed to a mental asylum. The actor, now 43, said that when he was 25, about a year and a half after he got sober, he got involved with mystical Catholicism and had a manic episode. "“I really had like, a bit of a break where I thought I was in connection to some sort of God that I wasn’t really in connection to. It was like I had all the answers suddenly," said Harbour, who plays Sheriff Jim Hopper on Stranger Things. He noted that he wasn't on drugs and that his parents were the ones who took him to the asylum, People reports. He was ultimately diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

"That’s actually when the drugs came in," he noted. "I’ve been medicated bipolar for a long time. And I’ve had problems going on and off. I’ve had a struggle, going on and off the medications." He added that every time he's had a similar episode, "it’s always coupled with spirituality," which is why, for his mental health, he needs cheeseburgers and video games more than yoga and meditation. "Because like the minute I get close to that—what I consider a flame—of like 'the answers' and the mysticism … it’s like I’m out of my mind." On Tuesday he tweeted a link to the podcast along with the note, "If someone you love still suffers shame about a diagnosis, or a fellow parent worries that their bipolar kid won’t be able to make it, our @WTFpod could soothe." Listen here; the conversation starts around the hour-and-seven-minute mark. (More bipolar disorder stories.)

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