In episode two of “Soaps in Quarantine,” which “General Hospital” star Nancy Lee Grahn and Kaore Bonell launched after daytime dramas ceased production to limit the spread of coronavirus, she invited her “GH” co-star Maurice Benard and former co-star Scott Clifton (currently on “The Bold and the Beautiful”) to discuss their experiences since the shutdown. Benard specifically opened up about his experiences with anxiety and how the current crisis has affected his state of mind. Watch above.
“I just go in my garage. I punch the bag, I lift weights. There were two to three days when I had pretty bad anxiety so I didn’t really do anything except try to get rid of it,” Benard admits. The actor has long been a mental health advocate and launched the website “State of Mind” in the fall of 2019 to promote awareness of mental health. “Four-hundred fifty million people all over the world suffer from mental illness, and during this crisis it just heightens.”
And it’s not just a problem for people who already with a history of mental illness: “Just think of the people who are experiencing it for the first time. That is hard,” says Benard. That also dawned on Clifton, who recalled conversations with a friend who suffers from anxiety and depression. “I hadn’t thought about it until then — this is going to be a mental health crisis too, isn’t it? This is like a perfect storm for people who suffer.”
Benard has used exercise to help manage his mental health. Grahn has combined exercising with wine. Whatever your coping strategies, as someone who has struggled in the past Benard assures us, “You’ve got to go through hell in order to see the light.” And you’re not alone.