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CNN Larry King Live

Interview With Linda Hamilton

Aired October 14, 2005 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, the public knew her as the tough as nails "Terminator" star but a private hell drove Linda Hamilton to drugs, hallucinations and violent rages and now she reveals how she escaped bipolar disorder, the horror that torments millions. An intense emotional hour with Linda Hamilton, and we'll take your calls too, is next on LARRY KING LIVE.
It's a great pleasure to welcome Linda Hamilton to LARRY KING LIVE. First, Linda is a paid advocate for Complete Wellness. That's a whole person treatment approach that considers both the emotional and physical health of persons living with severe and persistent mental illness.

The Complete Wellness approach is sponsored by Eli Lily in partnership with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. The Web site for further information is

Thanks for coming forward on this. Why are you coming forward?

LINDA HAMILTON: Well, I think it's important to stand as an advocate for the mentally ill. My journey has been so full of struggle and I just want to be able to offer some help and some general ideas to people that really need it the most.

KING: Did Eli Lily and those people come to you or you to them?

HAMILTON: Yes, they did and they were not the first company that approached me but I'm not about selling, you know, medicine or pharmaceuticals. I'm sort of about selling a full body approach to wellness. There's a big gap between those that are mentally ill and the general population, something like eight to 20 years less life expectancy with mental illness.

KING: Really?

HAMILTON: Because people are not able to care for themselves. They don't make regular checkups with their doctor. They medicate with alcohol and too much food and because of those lifestyle choices, you know, they're dying sooner. So, I really wanted to get out and address that and offer some common sense approaches.

KING: Do you use medication too though?

HAMILTON: I do use medication.

KING: Do you name the drug you take?

HAMILTON: I do not name the drug. I don't really feel that that's responsible to name any drug, you know.

KING: All right, let's go back Linda.


KING: When did Linda Hamilton first -- when was there first a problem?

HAMILTON: Well, looking back I feel that a lot of my life there was a problem.

KING: As a teenager you mean?

HAMILTON: As a teenager, even as a younger girl, I had some depression but no one really noticed that it was depression nor did I know in those days that that's what it was but I did feel different from other people. I was in hiding a lot of my childhood, although I had a wonderful upbringing and a very normal middle-class upbringing.

KING: Where did you grow up?

HAMILTON: In Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay.

KING: Oh, I know it well.

HAMILTON: Salisbury, Maryland.

KING: What did your father do?

HAMILTON: My father was a doctor.


HAMILTON: Who died when I was five but he was also self- diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In those days we called it -- they called it manic depression but he had extreme mood swings and died in a car crash when I was five.

And so, it's hard to separate, you know, what was the reality for me. Was it loss of father that drove me into depression, you know? We can all look around and find situations that fuel a certain feeling in our lives. But I realize now looking back over my life that I was really just in hiding, comforted myself with food. I was a compulsive eater.

KING: Overweight?

HAMILTON: By the time I was in high school I was 170 pounds and I just was, you know, very alone in life.

KING: Did you get moody a lot?

HAMILTON: I was moody but I think it was only when I got out of my childhood home and started having the freedom to really be the wild girl and express all that was inside of me that I really got into trouble.

KING: Were you a wild girl?

HAMILTON: I was a wild girl. I was a real alcoholic for the longest time. I messed with drugs. I mean, you know, I've come through a lot of things.

KING: Did you go to college?

HAMILTON: I was a chaotic mess, you know, and even at the age of 22, you know, I think that was probably the lowest of the low for me. When I was 22 years old and went into a therapist's chair with just such a broken heart, such a broken life, you know, and a friend that had recently died just sort of pushed me over the edge and, you know, it's the best thing I ever did. I sought help for 20 years. I worked tirelessly...

KING: You were in...

HAMILTON: conquer my behavior.

KING: You were in therapy for 20 years?

HAMILTON: For 20 years, different therapies, different body work, acupuncture, you know. I worked with, you know, psychiatrists, therapists, healers, you know. I mean I am a seeker, so I worked really hard to kind of curtail those behaviors but I could not be in charge or in control of my behavior until I went on medicine. When I got the proper diagnosis and then I was able for the first time in my life to step back.

KING: Did you go to college?

HAMILTON: I went to college for two years.

KING: What school?

HAMILTON: I went to Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.

KING: Did you have problems there?

HAMILTON: I was an outsider even then. I lived off campus, never really felt like I belonged in the college drama department, was always sort of separate and then when I realized that my real passion was for acting and I took the rest of my money and my college fund and moved to New York and studied and maintained rather well in New York. But when I got to Los Angeles at the age of 22, all hell broke loose.

KING: Even though you got acclaim and did well so how do you explain that's a dichotomy?

HAMILTON: Absolutely, it is. I mean, you know, some of us are luckier than others and...

KING: What was your break?

HAMILTON: ...even though I say, you know that I was under the, you know, the terrible burden of mental illness, I think there was a real survivor's streak in me and a real fighter and a real fierceness and maybe that's what people saw and hired me for, you know, because I was really just going to keep on pushing until I got free of all of the things that were bothering me.

KING: What was your first break in L.A.?

HAMILTON: My first break was a movie for television that I did with Mickey Rourke. Mickey Rourke was just breaking big at the time and I replaced an actress actually who was just in over her head.

Mickey, I think was an intimidating presence and they had hired a girl who had done, you know, very little, had done a lot of stage work but just wasn't prepared to come to work and face Mickey Rourke. It was a -- he played remember the Greta Rideout (ph) and John Rideout story, the first woman who sued her husband for rape?

KING: Oh, yes, yes.

HAMILTON: I played her in a film with Mickey and that was a great thrill.

KING: When you hit it big with "Terminator" and...


KING: ...everything was going fantastic for you...


KING: still had -- you were still in bipolar right you were?

HAMILTON: Well, very much and somehow the bigger the life, the bigger the illness. I mean it didn't -- it just kept growing the illness, my behavior. You know you get into a certain pattern of behavior. Now you're dealing with a pattern of behavior as well as an emotional illness and mental illness.

KING: Success didn't help it?

HAMILTON: No. No, I think it gave me a wonderful arena in which to act out some of my rage. People were like "You're really good at being mad" but...

KING: Not marriages though right?

HAMILTON: ...the success, I mean it's all about how you feel about yourself inside and inside I was just a scared and out of control hurt little girl for most of my life.

KING: Did marriages help?


KING: You had two.

HAMILTON: As a matter of fact, I would say...

KING: You had two.

HAMILTON: Yes, two marriages.

KING: One to James Cameron right?

HAMILTON: One to James Cameron and before that to Bruce Abbott. I have a child with each. I would like to take this moment to say that I was not married to Peter Horton, which is sort of all over the Web site that I've been married three times, so I look like -- but for some reason that's false information. I was never married to Peter Horton.

KING: How old are the children?

HAMILTON: How old are the children? My son is 16 and my daughter is 12.

KING: How are they doing?

HAMILTON: They're doing well.

KING: Any signs of bipolar in them?

HAMILTON: No. No, but boy they have someone who's watching them all the time for any signs and we have a household where we talk about our feelings and make sure that nobody is afraid to speak of what's going on.

I just find it strange that in this world everyone is so easy to talk about the superficial, you know, and how people look and what they do to their faces but like no one is really having the dialogue about what's going on inside of them. And I think that I hid my symptoms pretty well for most of my life but it was still a raging war going on.

KING: We'll ask Linda when it got its worst how bad it got what were some of the concepts she had to go through. We'll be taking your calls at the bottom of the hour.

Tomorrow night, Rod Stewart.

We'll repeat the Roseanne Barr interview Sunday night and Monday night. This is an eclectic show; Colin Powell, Robert Downey, Jr. and Sharon Stone, what a way to make a living.

We'll be right back.



KING: We're back with Linda Hamilton.

Were you comfortable because of the illness being frantic?

HAMILTON: Actually I think that was a pretty ordinary place for me to go to, frantic inside.

KING: So, it wasn't hard for you to go nuts right?

HAMILTON: No and to just sort of let it all get out there in a way that was, you know, safe.

KING: At its height, how bad was it? What were things like hallucinations what would you hallucinate?

HAMILTON: Right. It was not terrible hallucinations. The biggest low for me, you know, at its height the biggest low was my -- the birth of my second child and a postpartum depression that followed, which was very much like a psychosis. I couldn't leave the house without thinking that they were going to be chopped into bloody pieces. I mean I had visions.

KING: The kids?

HAMILTON: Yes. I couldn't leave my house without feeling, you know, at this point I had gone through 13 nannies or something and, you know, I just did not feel that my kids were going to be OK if I wasn't in the house protecting them.

KING: Did you ever think you would harm them? That happens sometimes.

HAMILTON: No, I have not ever felt that but I know people that have and, you know I praise God that that didn't happen to me.

KING: Did you have hallucinations too?

HAMILTON: Not hallucinations as you would call them but cyclical thoughts that repeated, terrible sleep disturbances. Months would go by where I wouldn't get a decent night's sleep where it would literally feel like I couldn't sleep. I had anxiety attacks.

KING: How did your husbands deal with this?

HAMILTON: Well, it was a challenge. I think Jim said to me once, "I like who I leave in the morning but I don't always know who I'm going to come home to at night" because depending on what had happened during the day, if something would distress me, a small thing would become a huge thing and I couldn't let it go and I couldn't forgive and I couldn't get out of myself and I just couldn't let go.

KING: He directed you did he not?

HAMILTON: Yes, he did.

KING: Was that hard or easy?

HAMILTON: Well, we were -- he directed me long before we fell in love and had a relationship and actually it was a long time before because it was 1984 when we first met and did the first terminator. So, I had known him for, you know, almost more than ten, you know, ten, 15 years before we got married.

KING: Could you work while depressed like Mike Wallace?

HAMILTON: Yes, I could work.

KING: Who worked through his entire...

HAMILTON: I -- yes, I think there was an element of real survivor in me that was very highly functioning during most of this and even with the alcohol abuse, I think most people in my life did not notice that I was putting away enormous amounts of alcohol.

KING: Didn't notice it?

HAMILTON: Didn't notice it. It's amazing how tricky we can be or a lot of people must think that they're getting away with something and everyone really does notice. But I tell you there was no one in my life at that point saying "Hey, you need help" you know.

KING: Suicidal thoughts?

HAMILTON: More -- more about not wanting to be alive, not knowing how to thrive, not knowing what hope was. It was a very bleak existence but I never would have taken the action to kill myself just because of what it would have -- because I'm a real nice girl and a pleaser and I couldn't have done that to my family.

KING: Someone said once when you're really depressed good news and bad news are the same news. You could inherit $5 million or lose $5 million. It don't change how you feel, true?

HAMILTON: True, true and no amount of counseling and therapy and taking my past apart helped. I would understand that I had lost my father. Therefore, I was creating one relationship after another of abandonment. And you know that for years going into it and still can't control the behavior. It was very frustrating.

At a certain point I was, you know, just completely handicapped. I did not know. I said, give me a behaviorist then. I got to change these behaviors, the rage.

KING: Yes, what happened when you had a rage?

HAMILTON: I would throw Jim's stuff out of the house so it would be waiting for him when he came home at night.

KING: This could be over a small thing? HAMILTON: Yes and I just wouldn't give -- I wouldn't give in. If he wouldn't apologize or, you know, I couldn't go to any other place except I wish this hadn't happened and that's no way to live a life.

KING: What was your love life like?

HAMILTON: Well, my two husbands were the sum of my love life and both of them were incredibly loving. My first husband I think was just especially unprepared for someone who had such extreme mood swings, you know, so much joy and then the other side of that was so much sorrow.

KING: And it could go in a minute?

HAMILTON: And it must be exhausting for anybody around to not know who you're going to be next.

KING: In a minute we'll ask Linda what happened to bring it to a head, how she turned the corner. Linda Hamilton. Want more information you can go to We'll ask how that works too.


KING: Don't go away.




KING: You have a twin sister?

HAMILTON: I do have a twin sister.

KING: Is she bipolar?

HAMILTON: I can't talk about that. You know it's her mental illness or not, I mean her condition.

KING: Is she still acting?

HAMILTON: She's not an actor. She's a nurse.

KING: Oh, really?

HAMILTON: She doubled me in a little bit of a couple of moments there.

KING: Oh, that was like doing you a favor.

HAMILTON: Yes, she did me a favor, got a sense of what it's like. She's a dear heart.

KING: Are you close? Are you close?

HAMILTON: Yes, we are very.

KING: What was the turning point for you? Did you get so low you -- what happened that you got wellness?

HAMILTON: Well, I lost two marriages and I had been misdiagnosed or sort of half diagnosed with depression years before. I don't even know that there was a real antidepressant in those days. Nobody mentioned that as a possibility for me.

But I finally did go on medication for the depression and then, of course, like it's just an interesting phenomenon that people that have mental illness will not stay on their medication. They start to feel a little relief and then they, you know, we are not programmed...

KING: Why not if you have no side effects why not stay?

HAMILTON: Well, we are not programmed to take pills if we start to feel good. We feel good. All of a sudden we don't feel that we need the medication anymore and that happens, you know, at least two times out of three, I'm told, with people on medicine.

So, I of course took myself off thinking that I was through the critical period and then I went into a total sort of tailspin chemically and really just could not get off the couch.

KING: So, what...

HAMILTON: I had two young children and I did not know how to get up at night to put them to bed.

KING: So, who did you turn to?

HAMILTON: So, my family doctor was a tremendous help and he had given me some medicine to have in my drawer if I ever decided that I wanted to go that route. I decided not to go that route but to work with exercise and nutrition and I was largely successful for a year and a half. But it was six hours of exercise a day. I mean it was so much to try...

KING: Compulsive.

HAMILTON: Yes, another compulsion because those endorphins made me feel better. Well, let me see what I can do. I was so resistant. And I think like a lot I was afraid that the best part of me was going to be dimmed and dulled and suddenly I wouldn't know how to act anymore. But, you know, when you really are a candidate for the medicine and need it there aren't any real side effects. You need it, you know.

KING: So what made you go back on regular?

HAMILTON: Well, when I realized that it was costing me too much to just keep myself in a normal place every day what other people call normal I would have to climb there every single day. KING: Any difference between depression and bipolar?

HAMILTON: Is there any depression -- I mean any difference?

KING: Are they the same?

HAMILTON: No, they're not the same at all. Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings, severe mood swings and it can go through cycles where you are in the manic stage and then in the depressed stage for months on end. You can be manic.

KING: Depression is always depression.

HAMILTON: But when you're manic, you know, you're almost hearing voices.


HAMILTON: It's incredible and it's often misdiagnosed because nobody goes to their doctor and says, "Hey, I feel incredible. I can solve all of the world's problems. Give me five minutes and a team and we're there" you know. It's an incredible feeling but nobody goes complaining to their doctor about that.

KING: But the drugs have been amazing like lithium and others have been amazing.

HAMILTON: True to just create that equalizer.

KING: Balance.

HAMILTON: You know and balance is something I never knew about.

KING: All right. What's the complete wellness approach?

HAMILTON: The complete wellness approach is a campaign that was started by Eli Lily and Company in conjunction with the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey. A team of healthcare professionals led by a wonderful woman named Betty Reiland (ph) has developed a treatment.

They teach teams or they're going around teaching teams to treat people with mental illnesses with the whole body. There's a big gap that needs to be bridged. People are treated from here up or here down and so because they are not being looked at for their overall health a lot of people are dying prematurely.

So, this is just a real basic common sense approach, more water, more exercise, free tips and resources to help people with mental illnesses get -- choose healthier lifestyles, dealing with nutrition so that if there are side effects from a drug that is working for them but there is a weight gain, you know, that can be devastating for someone with depression or a mental illness. But this is just a campaign to sort of help doctors, caregivers treat the whole person not just the mental illness.

KING: Why do they live less?

HAMILTON: Well, I would venture a guess that it is lack of energy. You know they're so busy dealing with their head. I like to say about myself and most of my life that it was all about me and it was still loud and crowded. There was no time for me to see, you know, what my place in the world was and what else I might be doing for myself because it took everything just to get through the day.

KING: For want of a better word do you feel cured?

HAMILTON: I feel that I am managing my mental illness.

KING: Still have it?

HAMILTON: Yes. I think that I need to remember that it is there that there are certain things that I need to do. I really want to stress that there is no magic pill for everyone. There is no -- that's why I can't sell medication. There's no such thing as a pill that works the same for everyone but certain -- for me...

KING: The pills have been an amazing story though.

HAMILTON: Yes but for me it was a combination of 20 years of hard work and looking, exercise for me it is just necessary to exercise. I've got this huge busy brain. I need to go and sweat for an hour and do my weights for half an hour or an hour, not every day. It's no longer the compulsion but I just know that that helps me feel better, more water to substitute water for sodas, just simple approach but we can get people living longer, healthier lives.

KING: And when you contact the Web site you get more information.

HAMILTON: Yes, tools and tips about how to bring some better health into your life, questionnaires that you can pull down that you can take to your doctor about your general health and so it's just about being your own advocate and, you know, trying to collaborate in your whole body health.

KING: You said how your general practitioner helped you. A lot of them are not knowledgeable in this area are they?

HAMILTON: True, which is why, you know, this information is out there. It's the age of information and we need to just get as informed as we can about what other things might help us live healthy lives.

KING: Are you dating?


KING: You sound happy about that. You don't want a relationship?

HAMILTON: I think I'm over the urge right now. I've got so much relationship with my children. I don't want to parade men through their lives. I have two very whole relationships with my ex-husbands and...

KING: You still see them?

HAMILTON: All the time and we are a tribe, you know. We have found our way to work on behalf of...

KING: Are they friendly the two ex-husbands?

HAMILTON: Completely. If I'm out of town and there is a crisis, husband number two calls husband number one and I feel that...

KING: That's great.

HAMILTON: know it is a tremendous victory that we have all been able to get together and be healthy.

KING: How about acting?

HAMILTON: There is that coming up I hope. I'm just getting ready to do a character in a new show for FX called "Thief" and...

KING: You were "Beauty and the Beast."

HAMILTON: I was. I was.

KING: We'll take a break and come back and go to your phone calls for Linda Hamilton. That Web site is Don't go away.



HAMILTON: Listen, I care about you so deeply. But a part of me is unhappy. And we both know why.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well then, you don't have any choice.

HAMILTON: But I do. That's why I'm here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn't come this far, Katherine, to turn back now.

HAMILTON: I came this far because of you. I don't want to leave you behind.


KING: That's with Ron Perlman in "Beauty and the Beast." Good show. Why did you leave that?

HAMILTON: Pregnant with my son.

KING: Oh, just joined us is Linda Hamilton. We're going to go to your calls. She is a paid advocate for Complete Wellness, a whole person treatment approach that considers both the emotional and physical health of persons living with severe and persistence mental illness.

The Complete Wellness Approach is by Eli Lilly in partnership with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. The web site for complete information is www.completewellnessapproach -- that's one word -- .com.

We'll go to calls for Linda. Scottsdale, Arizona, hello.

CALLER: First of all, Linda, you look phenomenal.

HAMILTON: Hey, thank you.

CALLER: And I like to get Ms. Hamilton's take on Tom Cruise's take on zero medications towards any mental or physical illness. Thank you, Larry.


HAMILTON: I think that it would be arrogant to say that there's -- that something is bad for everyone. I think it would be very irresponsible to deprive a lot of people of the hopefulness of a treatment, any more than I could say that my medication works well for everyone.

You know, it is a very individualized thing, mental health. And I think that the words that should be banned this English language are, you should do this or you should never do that.

You know, I think we need to remain flexible and allow, you know, people to deal with their own mental conditions with their doctors and it's none of our business.

KING: Of course, the whole religion of Scientology is anti- psychiatric, all psychiatric treatment.

HAMILTON: True, true. Well, I am very careful with rigid, you know, to tow the line. I tend to go the other way and say that whatever you can find that works for you, you should embrace and hold on to. And, you know, just make it work.

KING: Boulder, Colorado, hello.

CALLER: Hello, hi. First, I want to say I really respect your coming forward to help others about this. And I think that's a wonderful, admirable thing.

I'm wonder what advice you have for spouses of someone with a mental illness, particularly someone who isn't currently diagnosed, how to avoid misdiagnosis, what can I do to help my husband and make sure he doesn't go through what you went through. And any advice?

HAMILTON: Well, I think it must be a very scary situation to be with someone who you know needs help.

I can tell you that the things that helped me most were the friends that looked at me and said, we love you and we know that you cannot help who you are being right now, the way that you're acting, that you cannot control your behavior.

But they embraced me and let me know that they were beside me and behind me and that possibly I should just look a little further for some answers. Instead of jumping all over me and condemning me for my bad behavior.

You know, I did have a group of loving and supportive friends who said we're going to see you through this and you need some help and let's keep looking.

KING: It is hard, though, to be close to someone who is screaming at you.

HAMILTON: Absolutely.

KING: Or who is not talking or who is in a depressed state and locking the door to the bathroom and staying in there for 14 hours.

HAMILTON: I mean, I have to tell you that when I married my first husband, Bruce, I went into hiding for the first year. I just started reading books. I mean, the man married me and I went into hiding for a year.

I still don't know what that was about, but imagine being a newlywed and having a wife that just disappears in the bedroom reading science fiction and fantasy novels for a year.

You know, you can't really explain what a depression is or where it comes from to someone that doesn't understand. But if you could offer him the freedom and the kindness to go and talk to somebody and seek the help and keep seeking the help, that will help him a lot.

KING: Red Wing, Minnesota, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Linda.



CALLER: And I just wanted to say you are such an encouragement. I'm currently trying to find out the mood swings and the anger and the shutting people away, but you are such an encouragement. And I am so very glad you are out there in our face, so to speak and letting us know that people will support us. And I've got such a fantastic, fantastic husband. He's my hero.

HAMILTON: Oh, I'm glad for you.

KING: What's your question?

CALLER: I just wanted to say how long approximately it took to find something -- did you have to try several medications? You know, it's a little scary, but I'm very encouraged by you.

HAMILTON: Well, yes. I wish you the best. I just want you to know that I have such a compassionate heart for people that are going through this. And I think it's important to know that you're not alone, that there are millions of us and that we're all sharing the burden with you right now.

I was lucky in that the first medication that I found worked for me. It was a huge fear of mine that it wouldn't work and that I would have to be a pin cushion and try this one.

I mean, the first time I talked to a pharmacologist and he tried to put me on this, and he said, well if it doesn't work, we'll take this off and then we'll put you on this.

And I was like, no thank you and left, you know, because I was so afraid that would happen. But I'm getting better every year. I'm still getting better.

You know, I've been on medication for eight years. And every year is just richer and richer because I'm really returning to who I was meant to be, who my parents raised.

KING: You'll be on it the rest of your life though?


KING: You accept that.

HAMILTON: I accept that and now I'm good..

KING: In the bipolar phase when the swing is high, you must feel terrific.

HAMILTON: Totally terrific.

KING: And it can swing low in an hour?

HAMILTON: It can. You know, it's like -- I used to say it would be like walking down a street and falling into a manhole cover, you know, an uncovered manhole. And then just like disappearing, all of a sudden I would disappear. And then I couldn't find my way back up, the smallest thing.

KING: Back with more calls for Linda Hamilton. Don't go away.


HAMILTON: Billy's suicide was a tragedy, but you didn't kill Billy. The truth didn't kill Billy.


HAMILTON: You have to push. I think I can. Isn't that what you used to say?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not that simple, Karen. OK?

HAMILTON: Come on, Ned. You act like you've died in this lake with Billy, so take the final step.





HAMILTON: You're dead.


HAMILTON: You're dead. I shot you first. That's the rules.


KING: That was from a 1982 film, her first film, acting with her first husband, Bruce Abbott. That was titled "Tag: The Assassination Game." I never heard of this movie. Neither did anybody else.

HAMILTON: All right.

KING: What was it? Whoever tagged who first?

HAMILTON: Yes, ti was actually based on a college game that was really...

KING: Tag you're it.

HAMILTON: ...wildly famous at the time. Yes, dart guns.

KING: How old were you there? You were like a little child.

HAMILTON: How old was I? I was about 25, maybe.

KING: You looked younger.


KING: Calabasas, California, hello.

CALLER: Hi. I thank you, Larry, so much for having Linda on your show. I'm a therapist in Calabasas, specializing in mood disorders.

And Linda, I just want to tell you that there's nothing better that you can do for individuals that are struggling with a diagnosis. There's a lot of shame and when individuals like you take the time to do what you're doing and being so authentic and open, it just destigmatizes it.

Not only that, but the information that you're giving, I'm learning from listening to you. I'm incredibly touched by what you have to say. And you were talking about your children and how it is at home. And I just wondered if you had any more suggestions for parents who may have children that, you know, sometimes they're misdiagnosed with ADD.

And I don't want to get off the topic, but just anything that you can say to parents that might be struggling with children going through this process.

HAMILTON: Well, I think the best that anybody can do and I sort of offer this out to anyone, is to just start the dialogue with your children. Talk to them about their moods and how they really feel. You know, you have to watch the behaviors, too, and see if they seem to be keeping something back. But just start the dialogue.

I mean, I remind my children, I guess because I grew up depressed, I remind my children every day that there's absolutely nothing that can't be talked about and solved with the right team of people, but they have to be willing to speak.

Because I think the secret keeping and all of that shame compounds over the years. And then you have such a huge amount to get through with someone. So we just encourage open dialogue in our family so that we can attack everything together and they feel supported no matter what comes up.

KING: Do you feel since the gene is there, do you watch your children and do you get a little worried at the first thing that looks wrong?

HAMILTON: Yes, I do. Yes, I do.

KING: That's normal.

HAMILTON: It is normal.

KING: Tacoma, Washington, hello.

CALLER: Yes. Linda, I don't know if I'm on or not.

KING: Yes, you're on.


CALLER: OK. First of all, I'd like to thank you for stressing the fact that when you feel good you don't take your medications, and I found that to be true.

I had training in mental health and also worked in drugs and alcohol in a woman's prison and found that there are so many women in prison who have that same problem in terms of bipolar and were self- medicating and are in prison for a great amount of time.

And when they are released, then they go off the medication, if they are on it, and it's just so important for you to bring up these subjects and it is so sad to see so many women. And my question is, is there any work being done to help those women who are in prison?

HAMILTON: You know, I'm not qualified to answer that. I would hope so. I'll look into it.

KING: I know you will.

HAMILTON: But, you know, there's just a huge general population out there that needs help. And although I'm not encouraging people to take medicine. If they are on a medicine that works for them, rule number one is to stay on that medicine.

KING: You used alcohol. Did you ever use other drugs?

HAMILTON: Yes, all of them. I mean, what I've been through, but yes, I was a cocaine addict, you know, I mean, I don't want to sound like I'm bragging. But, you know, sorry, mom and dad, too.

KING: You beat everything.

HAMILTON: Yes, but I've done them all. And I don't know how I managed to get through my life. I'm so lucky that, you know, the powers that be were looking after me.

KING: Are you ever tempted?

HAMILTON: No, no, it's a wonderful gift that I am no longer tempted.

KING: Again, that's Robert Downey Jr., Colin Powell and Sharon Stone on Monday. We'll be right back.


HAMILTON: I find you incredibly, incredibly attractive. Oh, there, I've said it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'm flattered.

HAMILTON: I hope that's not all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm flattered, but I'm sorry, I'm not interested.

HAMILTON: Excuse me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not my type.

HAMILTON: I'm everyone's type.



KING: Take another call. Croton, New York, hello.

CALLER: Hello.


CALLER: I'm doing deep breathing here. I'm having like a panic attack waiting to be on television.

I'm 60 years old, and I've been going through this since I was 16 years old, and my life has been a complete nightmare. And it's in my family big time, and they seem to believe that you can control this yourself, and nobody has seen doctors or been medicated. And they're on my case because I can't get myself together.

And I've lost my whole life because of this. And being in (INAUDIBLE) depression and then manic spinning and never had insurance, can't afford the medication. I can't afford the doctors. I can't afford the medicine. And I'm now, you know, I went bankrupt. I got foreclosed upon. I was in my car. I lived in a series of rundown motels, with like, you know, people from the "Jerry Springer Show." And I was wondering, does Eli Lilly sponsor any clinical trials or anything? Because I don't know what to do.

KING: Most pharmaceutical companies do, if you can't afford it, help you. I know they do.

HAMILTON: I don't know about what -- if Eli Lilly does that, but I'm very sorry to hear that your family -- I mean, that's one of the things that I hear all the time. It's, oh, I don't believe in depression. And you know, lives are lost. A whole lifetime is lost with families in denial. But we want to get you help.

KING: Indigents, what do they do?

HAMILTON: I know, exactly. What about the people that don't have any family support and no money to speak of?

KING: Why don't you call Eli Lilly and find out. And, ma'am, why don't you call Eli Lilly?

HAMILTON: And get on our Web site,, and get someone to pay attention to you.

KING: Really sad.


KING: New York City, hello.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I'm thrown off by the delay, I'm sorry. KING: It's OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to make this as succinct as possible. Linda, you're the first person -- I'm in the same age group as your previous caller. And for years, I've gone to therapy, and I have never heard anybody verbalize or articulate exactly the way I have felt since I was a child. Different, like I haven't belonged, different from everybody else in school and everything. I am not going to go on with that.

Most importantly, I'm very interested in your program, but I do not have a computer. Is there a telephone number through which we can reach somebody related to this program?

HAMILTON: I'm sure there is. If I were you, because I don't know that number off hand, you can call the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey.

KING: Where in New Jersey?

HAMILTON: Oh, they would have to know where in New Jersey then.

KING: Where is Eli Lilly? They're in New Jersey, aren't they?

HAMILTON: Is Eli Lilly in New Jersey? I don't know where they're based. But they can find the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey. I don't know what town, but call them. And they will direct you to the proper help. I hope.

KING: But we may know before we go off the air.

HAMILTON: I hope so.

KING: We'll be right back. Don't go away.


HAMILTON: Are you sure you have the right person?


HAMILTON: Come on. Do I look like the mother of the future? I mean, am I tough? Organized? I can't even balance my checkbook.

Look, I didn't ask for this honor, and I don't want it! Any of it!



KING: OK, we found some information. The University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey is in Piscataway, New Jersey. Piscataway, New Jersey. And the Eli Lilly Company's main base is Indianapolis, Indiana. Piscataway, New Jersey for the university, Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, and the caller is from Sarasota, Florida. Hello. CALLER: Hi. I was -- I'm bipolar. And I've been hospitalized. And I've been through about every medication that there was. And I'm on medication now that works, but have a lot of side effects. And I was just curious if you've had that same problem.

HAMILTON: Side effects? Do you want to be more specific?

KING: What kind of side effects?

CALLER: Well...

HAMILTON: Weight gain?

CALLER: Weight gain, which I've taken care of. I've got that under control. But like, my thyroid. My hormones have gone through the roof. And I'm 32, and they've told me that now I'm menopausal because of the lithium, making my hormones go up so much. And...

KING: But the lithium is what helps you, right?

CALLER: It does. That, along with another drug are the main things that control the mania. The depression is the hardest thing, though. The medication that I'm on for depression is just -- I've been through them all. And...

KING: We're running close on time. What about side effects? What do you recommend?

HAMILTON: You know, I would recommend to anybody going on a medicine that they learn of the side effects first so that they can combat them, because nothing is worse than finding success with a medicine and then gaining a lot of weight. So what you want to do is learn the side effects early, so that you can do certain things for yourself to combat them.

And that's really between you and your doctor to try to find your way through those side effects. I mean, you know, what a terrible thing to be menopausal. If that means no children in your future that could be another devastating, you know, have a devastating effect. But you should know all of these things going in, and then just take them one at a time with your therapist and work on them, trying to find that balance.

KING: Thank you, Linda. What's your new TV series coming up?

HAMILTON: Oh, it's a new show for FX called "Thief."

KING: "Thief."

HAMILTON: "Thief."

KING: And you start shooting?

HAMILTON: I'm going to Shreveport tomorrow.

KING: Shreveport, Louisiana. HAMILTON: Shreveport! Can't wait.

KING: You don't pronounce the R. You don't put the second R. Shrevepot (ph).

HAMILTON: Shrevepot (ph). Shrevepot (ph).

KING: Right, OK.

Thank you, Linda.


KING: And again, for more information, it's

Tomorrow night, Rod Stewart. Monday night, Colin Powell, Robert Downey, Jr., Sharon Stone.

Anderson Cooper off tonight, but that doesn't matter. No, because Aaron Brown is here, and there's that familiar face. "NEWSNIGHT" with Aaron now!