Richard Dreyfuss

Richard Dreyfuss

Richard Dreyfuss has spoken candidly about the affect his battle with bipolar disorder has had on his life, revealing he is regularly overcome by debilitating anxiety.

The Jaws star revealed his mental health issues in 2006 in his documentary The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive and has since travelled across the US, speaking at conferences on the topic.

He attended the Depression Research Foundation luncheon in New York City last week (ends10Nov) and revealed how his personal battle with the illness has blighted much of his adult life.

Speaking about his severe anxiety, he told, "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 everyday, every minute for my entire life".

The actor now undergoes regular counselling and takes medication to keep his disorder under control, and he hopes that by opening up about his own struggles, he will help others suffering similar symptoms.

Dreyfuss adds, "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".

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