Lark Voorhies of Saved By The Bell is speaking out, but still denies that she suffers with mental illness. The former child star recently told People Magazine that she wouldn’t be seeking any kind of treatment, despite episodes of bizarre behavior and a seemingly limited quality of life.
When asked during the interview if she is suffering from any chronic condition including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, Voorhies responded: “Oh no. We’re alive in a major time of all-in-all prophecy.” She went on to say that she doesn’t want the help of doctors because “they don’t explain it. They can’t treat it. They don’t know about it.”
During the interview, Voorhies would frequently stop mid-sentence and stare off into space and mumble to people who weren’t there. The actress said her long lapses of silence during conversations were merely moments in which she is praying, and added: “I have a strong spiritual sense.”
Voorhies began raising eyebrows earlier this year after she appeared in a Yahoo! video with a frightfully made-up face. The interview raised speculation that the actress was using drugs, which she denies. Her mother, Tricia, also denies this and confirms that her daughter has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
“There are things that have traumatized her,” her mother said. Among them are the child star’s failure to build a successful acting career as an adult and the end of her four year marriage to Miguel Coleman. Tricia said the latter “caused a kind of break” for her daughter.
Voorhies, who lives with her mother, has few friends, and never ventures far from home, says she is fine. She says she is working on an independent film and book, developing music and writing.
“She feels whatever challenges she has, she can handle herself,” her mother said.
Experts say denial is classic behavior. “People with bipolar disorder can’t always see that they’re sick,” says Julie Fast, who has worked in bipolar management for 15 years. “It’s a symptom of the illness.” According to the National Institute of Mental Health, bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million Americans.