Glenn Close Tackles Mental Illness

Associate Editor
~ 1 min read

Glenn Close Tackles Mental Illness“Mental illness is just part of the human condition,” Glenn Close said Oct. 21 on “Good Morning America.” Halleluia! A Hollywood response to all the scientology. Today Close spoke out for the first time on television about the legacy of mental illness in her own family: Her sister, Jessie, suffers from bipolar disorder, and Jessie’s son has schizo-affective disorder.

Glenn has launched a nonprofit organization called BringChange2Mind, which she hopes will raise awareness about mental illness, strip mood disorders like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia from their unfair stigma, and lend support and information to the mentally ill and their families.

Katie Escherich of ABC News writes:

Jessie, the youngest of the four Close siblings, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder nine years ago at the age of 47, “after living with it probably her whole life,” said her sister. Bipolar disorder affects some 5.7 million American adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

The actress said her sister was always a “wild child,” and Jessie now says she knew for most of her life that something was wrong. Both sisters said a lack of understanding of mental illness when they were growing up played a part in Jessie’s delayed diagnosis.

“You don’t talk about depression or alcoholism or mental illness. …I think that’s probably true in a lot of families,” her sister said. “We didn’t have the vocabulary, we didn’t have the knowledge.”

With medication, Jessie Close’s symptoms have been brought under control, and family members realize how fortunate it is that they can afford good care. She has experienced side effects, including fatigue and weight gain, and finding a balance between staying stable and staying creative took time. Jessie, a writer, said, “It’s worth it.”

“We’re getting more and more sophisticated medication,” Glenn Close said. “We need to keep people with mental illness living full and productive and creative lives.”

Go check out!

And a humongous hug to Glenn Close!!!



View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 7 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.

    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 Oct 2009
    Published on All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Borchard, T. (2009). Glenn Close Tackles Mental Illness. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 26, 2015, from


Recent Comments
  • Chet Bush: Thank you Professor Betsy Hoza for your ‘much needed Study on the ‘impotence of...
  • Lucy: Hi Shawna – you really need to get away from your father. You also need to realise that nothing he says...
  • kazchaz: This is helpful, very much so and it would be great to hear from you again, with updates on your progress,...
  • sambo: I really need some help im so depressed and anxious I cant work or leave the house im on antidepressants and...
  • Concerned: My father was a narcissist. He basically ruined my mother’s life and she ended up dying young of...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code

Users Online: 7398
Join Us Now!