Dreyfuss talks about depression

Richard Dreyfuss suffers from bipolar disorder

Richard Dreyfuss has spoken about his battle with bipolar disorder and how it has affected his work.

The 66-year-old Jaws star told People magazine that he thought his work speaking at conferences on depression was important to help other people.

He said: "There's no shame in having depression. By telling my own story, I hope to help remove the stigma. It never should be something to hide."

On how his own depression had made him feel, he said: "I trembled in fear. It's like the night before the test and you aren't really sure about the subject and this balloon of self-loathing starts to swell up fast in anticipation of failure. I lived that feeling every day, every minute for my entire life."

Richard said although he had been riding high after his Oscar win for The Goodbye Girl, he was hit again by his depression while working with Holly Hunter on romcom Once Around: "Had I not been depressed, I would have given a very different performance."

Richard explained what it was that had made him seek help after he got divorced and his wife took their three children with her.

He said: "I needed help. I didn't want to lose my children. I felt divorce was a valid reason for being depressed, but I didn't know it would last as long as it lasted.

"I would have never committed suicide because my daughter would have been really p****ed. I wouldn't want to hurt her. When you have a kid, no matter how much success or money you have, you have this love that is beyond the bounds and you would take a bullet for your child. So I didn't want to cause them any pain."

He added that he now felt much better after counselling and medication: "I'm able to be Richard again. Things are great."

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