May 06, 2019
In a recent interview with The Guardian, English actor and comedian Tony Slattery opened up about his struggle with substance abuse and bipolar disorder. Also known as dual diagnosis, this condition refers to the co-existence of a mental health disorder along with substance abuse.
The 59-year-old actor, who starred in popular TV shows like “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and “Just A Minute”, reached the height of popularity during the 1980s and 1990s.He however, disappeared from the small screen during the early 2000s.
In a series of tweets, he thanked his fans for their support and also apologized to those who thought he was dead. Pleasantly surprised to have received so many tweets from fans, including from celebrities like Keeley Hawes, Slattery said that he was humbled by their kind words and astonished to receive such huge amount of love from everyone. He further added that he had gained two thousand new followers on Twitter after the interview was published.
Substance abuse aggravated symptoms
According to Slattery, long working hours combined with two bottles of vodka and 10 grams of cocaine everyday led to his first breakdown in 1996.Speaking to The Guardian, he said that at one point, he had locked himself up for six months in his riverside flat and threw away all his furniture. This was followed by multiple visits to hospitals and treatment centers to cover.
Eventually he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He claimed that issues with his mental health were present before the drugs and alcohol abuse started. He always had a lot of anger in him due to a childhood incident involving a priest when he was 8 years old. The drug and alcohol further instigated the anger inside him leading to dual diagnosis. “Finally, I could understand the duality I lived in – the mania, when I found things to be too exciting and then the withdrawal, when everything was bleakness and apathy,” he said.
Looking forward to happier days
Though until recently he never spoke about his sexuality, Slattery is very thankful to Mark Michael Hutchinson, his partner of 32 years. He thanked Mark for being unconditional and supportive. After successful completion of recovery treatment program, he is now no longer under psychiatric supervision, though he still drinks. He stopped using cocaine somewhere in 2000s when his mother found some in his flat. He was so ashamed that he never used it again.
Slattery has started touring again. He hopes to get back to his former glory days, which for him were the happiest of his life. The comedian in him is still alive which is evident when he cheekily quips that he can write a book on bipolarity. Slattery also supports and work for campaigns striving to end the stigma attached to mental health disorders.
Seeking treatment for dual diagnosis
To recover from dual diagnosis and lead a happy and productive life, it is important to counter the symptoms of a mental illness without falling back on drugs or alcohol. An intensive medical and therapeutic intervention that caters to both the conditions at the same time, also known as integrated treatment, can be the best strategy to deal with this fatal combination.
If you or a loved one is battling mental health issues and is looking for a licensed dual diagnosis treatment center, get in touch with the Invictus Health Group. Call our 24/7 drug addiction treatment helpline 866-548-0190 and speak to a member from our admissions team. They can provide all the information you need about the dual diagnosis treatment programs offered by our dual diagnosis rehab. You can also chat online with a representative for further assistance.