A Tough Guy Battles Back
Joe Pantoliano has been grappling with clinical depression for over a decade. Before diagnosed, the actor, widely known as “Joey Pants,” would put on his “Joey” facade to be part of the solution, not the problem, for the 15 weeks on a movie set. But coming home, he’d crawl under the sheets feeling like his “heart was paralyzed.”
Post diagnosis, Pantoliano felt shrouded in the stigma that surrounds depression when he couldn’t get health coverage on movie sets for fear he might have a nervous breakdown. It was then he realized he couldn’t have the luxury of being anonymous with mental illness.
Today he advocates for the recognition that “the brain does not have the same equal rights as the liver or the kidney or the gall bladder,” he said. But it should. In an uplifting, funny, and clever presentation, Pantoliano shares his own personal story of living with depression, inspiring others with his commentary, “I’ve got it. I’m functioning. My life is better for it.”
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