The Web      Powered by
powered by Yahoo!


Return to Transcripts main page


Panel Speaks Out on Depression

Aired September 20, 2004 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, former president Jimmy Carter, former first lady Rosalynn Carter speak out on the devastating disease that you or someone you love may have: depression.

We'll also ask the former president about gruesome news from Iraq today and that CBS News controversy involving President Bush.

And then to speak firsthand on how they handle the agony of depression, how you can, too, Naomi Judd, the superstar singer suffering depression and panic disorder in connection with her battle against Hepatitis C, Patty Duke, the Oscar-winning actress who has bipolar disorder, and actress Mariel Hemingway battling the Hemingway curse that saw her grandfather the legendary writer Ernest Hemingway take his own life, and Dr. Kay Redfield-Jamison, a leading expert on manic depression who suffered with it herself for more than 30 years.

They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: We start at the Carter Center with former president Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and Rosalynn Carter, the former first lady who is vice chair of the Carter Center, creator and chair of the Carter Center's mental health task force. The recipients of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism are in Atlanta today meeting with Mrs. Carter. We'll talk about mental health and all that in a little while. Let's start with former president Carter.

Your reaction, Mr. President, over the controversy over "60 Minutes" and Mr. Rather's use of that memorandum which is now in question?

JIMMY CARTER, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Dan Rather has apologized for misusing erroneous documents. His premise still, I think is that the basic facts as presented on "60 Minutes" a couple of weeks ago are still unquestioned. So this was a very great embarrassment for CBS and I think it does indicate that all the news media, even Larry King's show has to be very careful about what you use before you prove it's legitimate. But the basic fact about President Bush's tour in the National Guard has not been disputed.

KING: And is that a fair campaign issue what he did or did not do many, many years ago? J. CARTER: I think it's time to forget about that, Larry. We have got six weeks to go now before a very important election in the history of our country. We have three debates to be conducted between the two candidates. I don't believe that those issues about what happened in Vietnam or what happened in the National Guard are going to be significant to very many voters.

KING: So you think that will play out and the important issues will rise on what matters currently?

J. CARTER: I think so. Not only what matters currently, but what's going to happen in the future. What are we going to do about Iraq, what are we going to do about other features of our national economy? These are the kind of things that are going to be discussed. And I believe that both of the candidates will be very eager when the time for the debates come, to eliminate past history, except maybe recent history and deal with the Iraqi war and other things. Also you have to remember that nationwide polls sometimes can shift one way or the other but the key polls are the ones that are going to be involved in those states that can shift the electoral votes one way or the other. We still don't know what's going to happen.

KING: How, in your opinion, is Mr. Kerry doing?

J. CARTER: I think he really had a setback with the false allegations against him, doubting the fact he was heroic in his volunteering to go to Vietnam. Rosa and I know how the experience is, Larry. Our oldest son, Jack, who was in college, he could have been deferred, he volunteered to go to Iran -- to Vietnam. And he served there for three years honorably. We admired him because of his courage and because of his willingness to volunteer when other kids didn't have a chance because they were poor and couldn't stay in college. So I admire John Kerry very much. Obviously, he went into battle, and he was wounded, he received, I think, three Purple Hearts, he received a Silver Star which is only given for true heroism in the face of enemy gunfire. And so I have a great admiration for him but I think he has been hurt by these false allegations against him put on by the boat commanders who were not even with him.

KING: Do you think he can recover enough in time?

J. CARTER: Sure. I think so. I've seen things in political campaigns change very rapidly. I've had them happen to me both for and against me. And as I said, we still have six weeks to go. I think it's going to be very important when the American people tune in to the three debates to let these two men debate each other face-to- face on international affairs not only Iraq but obviously, including Iraq, on Afghanistan, on our relationship with other nations around the world, how this can strengthen or weaken our country and not having allies or having a lot of allies, and also what's going to happen in our country, taxation, welfare, health, particularly health, Medicare. I think those are the kind of things in which the people are going to make a decision. I will support this man for my president.

KING: We're going to move to depression in a couple of minutes but I've got to cover a couple of other things. There are some charging that the Democrat Senator Kerry may have been involved in this Rather story?

Do you suspect that?

J. CARTER: I haven't seen any allegations to that effect. I don't think it was necessary to start with. I believe this is something that CBS did on its own. But I haven't really covered the news today. I don't know what kind of acknowledgements have been made by CBS or Dan Rather. But I would be very surprised if the Democratic party as such or Kerry's campaign has had anything to do with this story.

KING: An American hostage was beheaded today in Iraq.


KING: What's your overview of that and the whole situation there?

J. CARTER: The whole situation in Iraq has become a quagmire, very similar to what we experienced in Vietnam many years ago. We are bogged down, we don't know where to go. I think the atrocities there are just horrendous. All of us have been praying, certainly in Georgia, where Mr. Hensley is also being held, that these captured Americans and the British will not be beheaded, will not be crucified in this terrible conflict.

What is going to happen in Iraq, I think, is very hard to ascertain. I believe that before the end of this next campaign period goes by, that there's with a much more clear distinction in the minds of American people about who will govern our country during the time when we need to extract in my opinion our troops from Iraq as soon as possible and turn the situation in Iraq over to the Iraqi people themselves.

There's no doubt in my mind that one of the main reasons for continued atrocities and continued violence in Iraq is the fact that there's no clear commitment on the part of American leaders we will withdraw our troops from your country and let you govern yourselves after a very specific time limit or when a certain thing happens. This must be done. When the rumors began to circulate as some of the members of the Bush administration have said that Americans are going to be there five or ten years in the future, then that, I think, precipitates more violence.

KING: Do you expect the elections to take place in January?

J. CARTER: Well, I'm not one to judge that. I just go by what Kofi Annan and others have said outside the White House and that is that it's almost impossible under these present circumstances to have any kind of election. The (UNINTELLIGIBLE) just finishing a 52nd election in, as a matter of fact, just the last few hours in Indonesia. And you can't help an election unless people can walk freely up and down the street without fear of losing their lives or being captured or blown up by bombs. So there has to be some stable peace proven not only to the international community but also to people in Iraq, you will safe when you go and vote. And so that has to come long before election day. I don't see now the likelihood that this will happen unless a miracle does occur.

KING: One other thing in this area is now obvious how important you have become on the scene of elections. If asked, would you go to Iraq in January to observe the elections?

J. CARTER: We go, Larry, to international communities. I just mentioned how many we've been to. If the international community requested the Carter Center to participate and we thought it was going to be safe enough for the United Nations and others to go in and it was proven that they weren't about to continue civil war or the verge of it, the answer would probably be yes.

KING: Rosalynn, what are the -- I know you met with this group today, we're going to get into a major discussion of depression in a moment. What does this mental health task force do?

ROSALYNN CARTER, FMR. FIRST LADY: Well, the mental health task force guides what the Carter Center Mental Health program does. And one of the things the task force suggested was to give fellowships to journalists with the idea of developing a cadre of journalists who know the issues about mental illnesses, can report accurately instead of sensationally as happens sometimes, but could report accurately and possibly have some influence on their peers about the real issues of mental illnesses and overcome the myth and misconceptions. And it's been one of the most successful programs we've ever had here at the Carter Center and in the mental health field.

KING: We'll take a break and get into a major discussion of depression. We're talking with Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter, the former president and first lady at the Carter Center in Atlanta. The president turns 80, by the way, on October 1. And paperback editions of his novel, "The Hornet's Nest" and "Christmas in Plains", both coming out next month both major bestsellers. We'll be right back with the Carters after this.


KING: We're back with President Jimmy Carter and former -- former president and former first lady Rosalynn Carter at the Carter Center in Atlanta. Rosalynn, why did you get interested in this topic? Why depression?

R. CARTER: I became interested campaigning for Jimmy for governor. It had not been long since we had a big expose of our Central State Hospital. This was a long time ago, because I've been working in the field for more than 30 years. And people were being moved out of the big hospital to the community, before any community mental health centers were established. And I had so many people in that campaign ask me, what will your husband do for my mentally ill family member who's at Central State Hospital? Well, I heard that so many times, that one day, just an offhand remark, I said, I might work on mental health issues. Well, there were about five advocates, those were the only people I think in the state of Georgia that would talk about mental health, descended on me, and said, we need you. So I've been involved ever since, and that was, as I said, a long time ago.

KING: President Carter, have we come a long way?

JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think we've come a long way. Certainly in research on their brain and providing medicines that were not available, back when I was governor or even when I was president, Larry. But what this country needs most, and I hope what the next president will espouse and support, and what the Congress will do, is to have equality of mental health with physical health. There's no distinction between them.

And so this is something that needs to be done by the Congress, with the full support of the president. I hope, no matter who the next president is, that will be a major issue that they will espouse. We will put them on an equal basis, mental health and physical health, with government support and also with insurance coverage.

KING: Is it true that they aren't, Rosalynn, because of the stigma of mental health, that even though we've come a long way, depression is not regarded as a heart condition?

R. CARTER: The stigma is still there, Larry. But now, with the new knowledge of the brain, and today mental illnesses can be diagnosed and treated effectively, and the overwhelming majority of people can leave normal lives. Depression is still -- there's still a stigma against depression, and all mental illnesses.

I think there's just a glimmer of hope that it might be lifting, just a tiny bit, but that's good, if after 30 years of working on it, I'm glad to see. And I think it is because of the research and it is because people are beginning to learn a little bit more about mental illnesses. And they should be considered just as any other illness. There should be no distinction in mental and other illnesses. And we have come a long way in everything except the stigma, and I hope that's beginning to lift just a little bit.

J. CARTER: Larry, as you know, one of the greatest things that's happened lately is that famous people, like some of those on your program tonight, have been willing to come out and say, I did have and still do have depression, and I am leading a normal life. That's very good news to go to people who might be hiding their mental illness and failing to support those who do have mental illness.

KING: We've done a lot of shows on it. Mike Wallace has been on, Art Buchwald and others who have come forward and talk about suicide and the effects of depression. But you will admit, Mr. President, it is hard for the family member affected by it, to deal with it?

J. CARTER: Well, it certainly is. But I don't think it's as hard as it was five years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago, primarily because of Rosalynn's work. Not only in this country, but around the world. And a lot of people now that have run to her side.

Another thing that's been very important at the Carter Center, which Rosalynn has led, is to bring all the aspects of mental illness together in one forum, so that those who have different problems with mental illness can say, we need the stigma removed from our lives and from the lives of those we love. I think that's a major breakthrough that's still just on the verge of occurring. That needs to be pursued by you, with your program, and we're very grateful to you, and by others who listen to this program.

KING: Also, Rosalynn, so much has come in the advance in the area of pharmaceuticals, right?

R. CARTER: That's right. The new medications that don't have the same bad side effects, they probably have some side effects, but not like they were in the past, new treatment methods. It's all because of the research and what we now know about the brain. And today, the focus of treatment is on recovery, which was unheard of when we were in the White House, that people with mental illness can recover.

And I just came back from New Zealand, from a conference on the promotion of mental health and the prevention of mental illness. And that is just -- there is a great promise for being able to prevent mental illnesses, and it's just -- everything is happening so fast, changes are coming just rapidly in the mental health field.

KING: By the way, tomorrow night is the annual Carter Center town hall meeting, and any information from the Carter Center can be obtained at, that's CarterCenter, one word, dot-org.

The president is going to be leaving us. Rosalynn will remain with our outstanding panel.

One question, President Carter. How does it feel to be about to be 80?

J. CARTER: Well, I'd rather be there than not be there. It feels good. I mean, I don't feel much older and any more helpless in doing the things I want to do than I did when I was 30 years younger. So so far, it feels great to be 80. We'll be having some celebrations in a quiet way, and enjoying life in every possible fashion. And so I advise everybody who's doubtful about it, live to 80 at least.

KING: And the formerly famed pianist, Roger Williams, is going to play like a 14-hour marathon on your birthday, we understand, just keep playing?

J. CARTER: Yes, as a matter of fact, Roger Williams was born on the exactly same day I was. So he'll be 80 on October the 1st, and he'll be here to set a world's record for himself, by playing I think 13.5 hours without stopping on his wonderful piano. And so this is something to look forward to, and I hope a lot of folks around will come and hear him while he plays here at the Carter Center. KING: Well, President Bush Sr. just turned 80. President Reagan lived into his 90s. Maybe it's a health thing to be president.

J. CARTER: Well, maybe so. It makes me feel better to be a lot younger than George Bush Sr, as a matter of fact. He's only about six months older than I am.

KING: Thank you, President Carter. We'll be calling on you again, as always.

J. CARTER: Thank you.

KING: And Rosalynn will remain with us from the Carter Center, and we'll be joined by Naomi Judd, Patty Duke, Mariel Hemingway and Dr. Kay Redfield. More on mental depression, on the subject of depression, a major American problem. Don't go away.


KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. Let's meet our entire panel. At the Carter Center in Atlanta, Rosalynn Carter, the former first lady, vice chair of the Carter Center, recently back from opening the third world conference of the promotion of mental health and prevention of mental and behavioral disorders. In Nashville, Tennessee, Naomi Judd, entertainer, best-selling author, public speaker. She suffered panic disorder in connection with her battle against hepatitis C. Here in Los Angeles, Patty Duke, the Academy Award winning actress and author, diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Wrote the best-seller autobiography "Call Me Anna," and co-author of book on bipolar, called "A Brilliant Madness." Mariel Hemingway, actress, best-selling author of "Finding My Balance," now out in paperback. Suffered with depression. Her family has a history of mental instability, suicide, substance abuse. She is a yoga practitioner, by the way, and will be showcased at the Natural Instincts Yoga Festival this weekend in Central Park in New York. And at the Carter Center is Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, professor of psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her powerful memoir, "An Unquiet Mind," chronicled her own struggle with her own manic depression. Her latest book is "Exuberance: The Passion for Life."

We'll start with Dr. Jamison for a definition. What is depression?

DR. KAY REDFIELD JAMISON, PROF OF PSYCHIATRY, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY MEDICAL SCHOOL: Depression is an illness that varies enormously in intensity and seriousness, and it affects mood, energy, sleep, behavior, almost anything that you can imagine. And people get very despairing, hopeless, often suicidal, tired, exhausted, sometimes quite agitated, sometimes sleep way too much, sleep too little. But it's an illness that affects almost every aspect of human functioning.

KING: Is it easily -- easily diagnosed?

JAMISON: Yes, it is. And I was interested, you were bringing up the comparison with heart disease, but of course depression has a tremendous effect of heart disease, and I mean, it tremendously complicates the course of heart disease, so it's not just depression alone, but it also complicates any number of other kinds of problems. So it's usually...

KING: Patty Duke shook her head when she said easily diagnosed. You think it's not?



DUKE: I think that most people who don't get diagnosed don't get diagnosed because they keep calling it something -- the person, not the doctors -- keep calling it something else, and because of the stigma attached to having some form of mental illness. So that's the only debate I have with Kay about easy or hard. Doctors know it when they see it just like that.

MARIEL HEMINGWAY, ACTRESS/AUTHOR: But then, there are the people that diagnose it, and then instantly, they're diagnosed with depression, which may be -- there are several forms of depression, and how it's diagnosed and how it's dealt with, I think, is extremely important, because putting everybody on the same -- I mean, I know with children, for instance, my children go to -- are teenagers, and there are many kids who are put on drugs such as Ritalin for ADHD and things like that, when they're suffering from other forms of mental depression.

KING: I want to discuss that, I want to get -- cover a lot of people, because there are now major problems concerning children and anti-depressants.

HEMINGWAY: Absolutely.

KING: Naomi Judd, what is anxiety disorder?

NAOMI JUDD, MUSICIAN: Anxiety disorders are clinically different from depression. I'm here to give a face and a story and hope to anxiety disorders, because they're the most common of all the various, of all the different types of mental illness. In fact, 19 million Americans have anxiety disorders.

KING: Which is what?

JUDD: We have got five classifications. Panic attacks, from which I suffered when I had hepatitis C and I am now free. Obsessive- compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder syndrome, social phobias or phobias, and then generalized anxiety disorder.

KING: And they all, Rosalynn, come under the mental health picture?

R. CARTER: Yes. They're all mental illnesses.

KING: And do they define -- I'm sorry. Go ahead. R. CARTER: No, they're understood today more than they were even when I wrote my book in 1996, although I think we still have a long way to go with all of them.

But Kay was just telling me, she's here with me at the Carter Center. And she was just telling me that when an illness can be diagnosed and treated, that the stigma goes away. And we saw that with (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and with other things. I think that the -- the stigma is lifting some now. But with all of these illnesses, it -- all of them are hard on those who suffer and on the families.

KING: Mariel?

HEMINGWAY: Well, I think that's the problem, because she said, you know, they are diagnosed as illnesses. And the problem with that is, the minute you call it an illness, then it becomes a stigma and then it becomes something that you don't want to deal with.

And as parents, parents don't want to think that their children are ill or have an illness, a disease, which mental illness is a disease. You know, I have a family of disease -- you know, disease- ridden people, who suffered under this stigma and didn't want to do something about it.

My family was just under the belief that if you got help, then you were sick and being called sick. And I think we're only just coming out of that -- of that feeling.

KING: Do you have mental illness?

HEMINGWAY: I believe that my lifestyle has prevented me from having mental illness. I was obsessive/compulsive. But because of -- I mean, I've been fortunate, it's not so severe that I have to take drugs for it. But I believe that my lifestyle of nutrition, yoga, the way I lead my life is -- has made it -- has made me able to keep it at bay. Now, I'm not saying that's a solution, but I am saying that that can be very, very helpful.

KING: What does bipolar mean?

DUKE: Bipolar indicates that you're not -- you don't just experience depression, but the mood swing goes up, and it can go very up.

KING: You can get a high.

DUKE: You can get a high, and you think that you are at one with you know who and you can do no wrong. You have no sense of consequence, which can be just, if not more, hideous for the family of the person behaving that way.

KING: Let me get a break and we'll be...


KING: We'll get a break and be back with more. We'll be including your phone calls in a while as well. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Our subject is depression. Don't go away.


BARBARA BUSH, FORMER FIRST LADY: I could have gotten help, but I was too sort of proud to get help. And when George -- he was the only person I told. I didn't tell Andy Stewart (ph), my closest friend in the world. I didn't tell anybody. My sister...

KING: What's depression like?

BUSH: Awful, painful and it really physically hurts.

KING: It's been described as no news is good news, that nothing can please you when you're...

BUSH: No, it wasn't maybe quite that bad. I mean, I faked beautifully. I mean, I faked through it.



KING: Naomi Judd, when you're in the height of an anxiety disorder, what's happening?

JUDD: It's an intense, absolutely senseless fear. The first time I had a panic attack and again we've got about 3 to 6 million other people with panic disorders, and I think they will tell you that you feel like you're having a hallucination. It's as if everything that was familiar is very threatening, you feel like you're going to die, you're having a heart attack. You actually have physical manifestations. There are heart palpitations, hyperventilation, sweaty palms, disphoria (ph) of course is the opposite of euphoria.

You feel like -- sometimes you have blurred vision, you have tingling in the fingertips. One thing I want to point out, Larry. I'm glad that Muriel acknowledged and of course she is sort of the face for the fact that these illnesses, all the various types of mental illnesses are hereditary. I want to point out it's not a personal weakness. It has nothing do with a person's lack of character. It is hereditary. But -- and Muriel can tell you, through her yoga, and all, there are ways because you get to choose. You get to choose your lifestyle practices. I was with Ashley yesterday. She's helping me learn yoga which is unity of spirit and mind and body. But there are definitely things in your lifestyle that you can do. Panic attacks can be provoked, can be triggered by medication. I was on interferon (ph) for Hep. C. Certainly the systemic effect of any illness is going to mess with the entire body.

KING: Rosalynn -- I have a question for Dr. Jamison. Rosalyn, are we learning something new in this field all the time?

R. CARTER: All the time. And in fact, there's so much knowledge now, new knowledge about the brain that we can't keep up with it. And pharmaceutical companies can't produce the medications as fast to keep up with the new discoveries. It's really an exciting time in the mental health field. The only thing not exciting about it is that with economic situation in our country, mental health services are being cut almost everywhere, which is so devastating now when we know so much and can diagnose mental illnesses and treat them and cure them.

KING: Sad. You mentioned pharmaceuticals. Dr. Jamison, this from the "L.A. Times," a proposal that anti-depressants carry a prominent warning that the drugs can increase the risk of suicide in children has made family practitioners and pediatricians, some of them, hesitant to prescribe it. What are your concerns?

JAMISON: My concerns are a couple. First of all, I don't think it's a bad thing that doctors have to be more thoughtful and careful about tracking and following patients. I think that's a good thing. And I think if the FDA warnings serve that purpose, then it's excellent. I mean, I think doctors really should have to -- there are some kids that are going to be at risk. And you do want to make sure they're taken care of, and that doctors really make it clear to family members what some of the risks are, what some of the warning symptoms are and so forth.

On the other hand, you really don't want to make it so difficult legally and frighten doctors into not using drugs that work. And so it's a fine line. And I think it's one of the things that society's going to have to be dealing with. The medical profession is going to have to deal with some of its shortcomings. The pharmaceutical houses I think probably should have been putting out perhaps some more warnings. But these are good drugs. They're effective drugs, and they're important drugs to have out there but you also want to use them carefully.

JUDD: But Dr. Kay, you also taught me, we've testified on Capitol Hill together, and I have so much respect for her. I remember you teaching me that not only do we treat with the SSRI, Selective (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Inhibitors and Benzodiazentimes (ph) but also psychotherapy and CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy as well.


HEMINGWAY: Because as Mrs. Carter was so eloquently saying, there are so many different diseases and they have so many different names, there are many different things to diagnose. So to generically prescribe drugs to certain children when you may not specifically know what they're suffering from...

KING: So what do you do though if you're the doctor, you see a kid having problems but you also read that Prozac or something causes another kid to kill himself, what do you do?

HEMINGWAY: I think it's a difficult decision. But I think that one needs to look at all -- the lifestyle of that child, the family, many different elements, I think, have to be looked at prior to prescribing drugs.

KING: Of course, I mentioned Prozac just as an example. These drugs have saved millions of lives. HEMINGWAY: And I'm not saying that they should not be used but it must be gone into very cautiously.

DUKE: The responsibility belongs not only to the doctors and the pharmaceutical companies but to the patient. The patient...

KING: The child patient?

DUKE: A child must be observed so stringently that any change in behavior is immediately reported to the doctor. The doctor's not out on the golf course or wherever doctors go, they're not in an operation, they come immediately and deal with this child. It is as critical as any open heart surgery for a child.

KING: Does depression begin in childhood, Dr. Jamison, often?

JAMISON: It certainly can. It's a very common illness and it certainly can happen. It happens a lot in childhood. I'd like to make a point first of all that the evidence is not that these anti- depressants cause suicide. There is some suggestive evidence that it causes some people to have suicidal thinking and some suicidal behavior. So I think that's an important distinction to make. And I also think it's really a great dialogue to have with the American people, with patients and doctors and pharmaceutical houses. And I'm optimistic that we'll be able to come up with some sort of solution for saying, OK, teaching parents, too, just observe kids' behaviors, kids to report behaviors, doctors to be more observant, drug companies to give more informed information to doctors. And so I think it's very resolvable. You just don't want to get rid of good drugs and good treatment but likewise you don't want to misprescribe.

KING: Rosalynn, are there less percentage of suicides now?

CARTER: No. The suicide -- I don't remember the statistics, it seems like world-wide, in all violent crimes, suicide's almost half? It's a -- it's a -- outstanding figure. It seem likes it's 10 -- it seems like there are 10, ten teenagers that commit suicide every day, is that right, Kay?

JAMISON: Suicide is certainly still a major problem. But fortunately and probably in part because of the treatments that are available now, the suicide rate for adolescents has actually really begun to go down not just in the United States but in all the countries that have access to modern treatment. So I think that's an important thing to keep in mind. It's still way too high and as Mrs. Carter says, it's just...

KING: Did you think of suicide, Patty?

DUKE: Yes, I attempted -- yes, very close, almost too close. I must explain that at that moment, all reality had left me. My children on the other side of the door, my mother who would miss me terribly. It was to make the pain stop. The reason that I got that far was because I would not go for treatment sooner.

KING: How did you not kill -- why did you not? What happened? DUKE: Something, some little spark said, no, no, wait. Think this over again, and that was enough to bring a little reality into that moment in that bathroom.

KING: How close were you?

DUKE: Very close.

KING: Children outside the door?

DUKE: Outside the door, begging mommy to stop.

JUDD: Patty, I happen to know that New Mexico has the highest teen suicide rate. A couple of days ago the department of health in New Mexico had me speak. They're number one in substance abuse and drug overdose and they're number one in teen suicide. And it's not just depression that is concomitant with the potential for suicide but it's also even all of our anxiety disorders. People who have all the anxiety disorders, again, there are five of those, are more susceptible to substance abuse, to suicide, to all of the unhealthy and appropriate patterns.


HEMINGWAY: I think the pressure that teenagers are under in our society is huge right now. I think that teenagers are under a tremendous amount of pressure from their parents, from their lifestyle, they're getting all kinds of messages from the media so I think -- not that that necessarily causes suicide or depression but it certainly adds to their anxiety.

DUKE: Mrs. Carter, I thought, said it again beautifully. The hopeful part is that people are reaching out. We are saying bi-polar, depression, depression, anxiety.

And thanks to people live you who give us a forum to reach people.

KING: We'll take a break and take some of your phone calls to this panel, outstanding panel that it is. Don't go away.


MIKE WALLACE, CBS NEWS: Over a period of months, little by little, I found myself sinking into -- I didn't know what it was. I had no idea what it was. And I would talk to my general practitioner and say, you know something, Frank, I want to get out of here. I mean, I want -- I'm not sure that I can make it. And he said, Mike, come on, you're fine, I've been live with you a long time and you're...

It was pain up and down my arms. Lower than low -- lower than a snake's belly.

KING: Lower than lower than low.

WALLACE: You could not -- I could not -- I wasn't interested in anything.



KING: We're back. Let's include some phone calls. New Orleans, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Thank you for taking my call. First, I wanted to thank the panel for putting their personal experiences out there on the network. I believe this type of forum profoundly reduces the stigma associated with mental illness. And I so do appreciate that. Former president Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Carter, thank you for all your good work in this area as well. My question is regarding studies that may have been done regarding a chromosome 11 which I have read is a genetic marker for depression. Are we anywhere in the near future able to test to find this chromosome?

KING: Dr. Jamison, what do you know about it?

JAMISON: Well, I think rather than going for a specific chromosome, which is not really probably the one that's most (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I think what's safe to say is that there's a lot of very exciting genetic research going on that it's certainly going to be many genes involved. And it's probably matter of time until we really learn a lot more about how to diagnose and treat much more accurately and specifically on the basis of genetics. But the genetic research is only part of the brain research that's going on now. That's incredibly exciting. I mean, the neurosciences is just unbelievably promising.

KING: Berkeley, California.

CALLER: Thank you very much, Larry. My name is Nicolas Smith and I'm doing some volunteering in the city. First, I want to say thank you very much to president and Mrs. Carter because you inspired me to be a leader. My question is about workers. What do you know about the workplace environment and how do workers, you know, -- the work environment push depression and what can be done to help our workers?

KING: Rosalynn, what have we discovered in that area, depression at the workplace?

R. CARTER: Well, some workplaces are OK with enlightened leaders that have sessions about mental illnesses and where to go for health and hotlines a worker can call in to without anybody knowing it, but that's sigma again. And there are others that are very stressful. And leaders have no compassion for people who don't do the work and don't realize that it's depression, don't try to help them. And so I think workplaces sometimes are very stressful. And work is very stressful to people and can bring on depression, can trigger depression.

KING: CBS is having a bad day. To deserve a little credit in the Mike Wallace case, they supported Mike all the way through his depression and he continued to work through his depression.

San Juan Capistrano, California, hello.

CALLER: Ms. Duke, I would like to ask you, since I had read in your books that you had taken lithium and you have spoken publicly. I was diagnosed in the early 1980s, about the same time you were, and I started lithium therapy. Up until two years ago it worked for me, but I had to go off of it for other conditions that it caused. I'm on nurotin (ph) now, but I liked the lithium a lot better. But I don't have a choice. I was wondering if you have any problems with it or any adverse conditions.

DUKE: Some people do with the lithium. I have been very fortunate. It's 21 years now that I've taken it. I see no side effects that we know of.

KING: It is a salt derivative.

DUKE: It is, it is, believe it or not, a natural entity. What thrills me though is what Dr. Jamison was saying, if my lithium, as yours, should no longer be effective for me or cause me side effects, there is a world of other medication out there. I just want to know that I am being properly directed by the right psychopharmacologist.

KING: It's not always easy.

DUKE: No, it isn't.

HEMINGWAY: No, it's not.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with the remaining moments. We've done a lot on this topic. We intend to do a lot more. We salute the Carters and the work they do at the Carter Center and all they do in the world of mental health, all they do in so many areas. We'll be right back.


KING: Have you gotten over it, or do you never get over it?

MARIE OSMOND, ENTERTAINER: That's an interesting question. I think once you have had, you know, the experience, whether it's postpartum or depression, it's the same feeling. You still have -- it doesn't matter. Depression is depression.

I think when you let yourself get really tired, I think it's easier to succumb. It's kind of like, if you have a tendency to be an alcoholic, you'll always have that door open and a foot in there, tempting you. You know? And so you can't let yourself go there.



KING: West Lafayette, Indiana. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Thanks for taking my call.

KING: Hi. Sure.

CALLER: My husband and I actually have had six suicides in our family, including when I was 8 years old I found my father. And a lot of deriving family members that we have on both sides of the family still exhibit and have been diagnosed with depression and with mental illness. How do we survive and go on with our lives, my husband and I, who have escaped this, and still help them to survive our life? It's so difficult to separate ourselves from their problems when many times they don't go for help.

KING: Perfect question for Mariel.

HEMINGWAY: Well, you, you know, the thing about dealing with families who go through this kind of problem, like myself, and losing many family members, is the very thing that you must do is create a lifestyle for yourself that makes sense, that is normal. That you deal with as many normal things as you can, and you bring -- you embrace health in your own life. And you don't run away from it, you don't not talk about it, you deal with it face-to-face. You know, as it comes up.

KING: Was Ernest Hemingway the first in the family to kill himself?

HEMINGWAY: No, no. His father killed himself. My grandmother's father killed himself, and then his brother killed himself. I mean, there's many, many suicides in the family. Much depression.

KING: West Jefferson, North Carolina. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, Larry, thank you for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: I have a question for Dr. Jamison and Mrs. Carter.

KING: Yeah. Go ahead.

CALLER: I have suffered and am recovering from depression, and I would like to say that sometimes I feel that I can recognize the illness in other people. And what would be the best way to approach them and direct them toward help?

KING: Good question. What if you thought someone you knew had it, Dr. Jamison, what do you say to them?

JAMISON: I think be as direct as possible, and extend hope and help, and say, you know, look, I really care about you, what you have -- I think what you've got may be depression. You need to have it checked out. There are a lot of treatments out there now. It's really important to get care and to get it as soon as possible.

One thing I'd like to emphasize, though, that President Carter did, and I know it's an ongoing passion of Mrs. Carter's, is that we have all these great treatments. We have all this knowledge. But what we don't have is insurance that covers people.

So I could say, you know, there are all these treatments out there, but if you can't afford treatment, then it does you no good to have the treatments. And so I think it's very important for anybody who has mental illness in his or her family or has it himself or herself, is to think of yourself as a voter. And when you think about what the AIDS patients have done in terms of voter and advocacy, is to say, OK, which candidates do you think are really going to support health insurance, serious health insurance and parity for mental illness, and then vote, at least partially according to that. And I think it's very important that, you know, political power is a very important thing.

KING: We're out of...


KING: Rosalynn, we salute you. Do you want to add something quickly?

R. CARTER: I just wanted to tell the woman who just called that to tell her friend, or whoever, that she thinks has depression, there should be no stigma and no shame. It's an illness like any other illness. It's part of the body. And to get help.

KING: We'll do a lot more on it, Rosalynn. We salute you. We salute all of our panel for coming forward on this. I'll be back in a couple of minutes.


KING: Hope you join us again tomorrow night for another interesting edition of LARRY KING LIVE as we tell you the top major issues of our day, the full cast of "Prime Time" of ABC will be with us on Wednesday night. Regis Philbin joins us on Thursday.

Joining us now from New York -- next week we'll be seeing him on the West Coast -- "NEWSNIGHT's" host, Aaron Brown. Mr. Brown.


KING: The table belongs to you.

BROWN: Thank you very much. Thank you. I'll take the whole thing. Thank you, sir.


International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.