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Dr. Drew

Driven by current events, "Dr. Drew" on HLN focuses on the human - and human behavior - at the center of the story.

Academy Award winner talks mental illness, Hollywood

  • Actress Patty Duke announced she had bipolar disorder 20 years ago
  • She's become a mental health advocate

Lindsay Lohan completed a 90-day court-ordered stay in rehab this week. Meanwhile, Amanda Bynes remains in psychiatric care.

The list of celebs in treatment goes on and on, but HLN’s Dr. Drew posed the question Wednesday night: Does the business of entertainment make it difficult, if not impossible, to treat mental illness?

To help answer that question -- Academy Award winner Patty Duke – who more than 20 years ago announced she had bipolar disorder. She had even written the book "Call Me Anna" in 1987 to tell the world about her struggles with mental illness, alcohol abuse and suicide attempts.

“I'm not just concerned for Amanda and Lindsay," the actress told Dr. Drew.  "I'm concerned for all of the people who are still suffering with a mental illness when treatment is available and I'm a walking example that it works. After beginning treatment, which included medication, I began to be balanced in my life for the first time.”

She added, “What was the most tragic for me was not how it affected things in show business -- it was how it affected my children. My children never knew what mom was going to show up -- the loving, caring, overindulgent mom or the mom who would give you the back of her hand in a second for no reason or torture you and belittle you.”

Duke also noted that as long as someone like Lohan sticks with their treatment, working in the business can actually be a good thing.

What’s your take? Do you think show business makes it difficult to treat mental illness? Let us know in the comment section below.

Dr. Drew On Call airs Monday through Thursday on HLN at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Facebook and Twitter @DrDrewHLN.

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