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General Hospital

GH’s Maurice Benard on Sonny’s Mental Health Crisis


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The storyline of Sonny losing control on General Hospital reached a pivotal point in the May 20 episode as Sonny reeled from his violent attack on Dex and how now, even Kristina has turned against him, horrified at his actions. Jason knew Sonny wouldn’t listen to him, so he sent Carly in to try and talk him down, leading to powerful scenes between Maurice Benard (Sonny) and co-stars Kate Mansi (Kristina) and Laura Wright (Carly).

Benard, who is always very interactive with his fans on social media, took to Twitter/X to praise everyone involved in those scenes. “First off,” he wrote, “I want to thank everyone for the incredible discussions on mental health as far as today’s show. And thank the writers for understanding bipolar. So many great performances. We put a lot of hard work into what we do and we really appreciate you watching GH.”

Fans praised the amazing performances, and when one admitted they hoped Sonny would pay for some of the bad things he’s done recently, Benard replied: “Believe me, he’s paying for it in his tortured mind.”

GH Sonny beats Dex
Sonny’s assault on Dex left Kristina horrified.ABC

Benard, who is bipolar in real life, has been an advocate for mental health for many years now, even hosting his State of Mind YouTube series where he discusses those sensitive issues with his guests. And while some “fans” argued that this whole storyline was just a way for the actor to win another Daytime Emmy Award, he insisted it’s not. “Believe me, that’s not true at all,” he wrote. “I’m absolutely cool with the Emmys I have. I don’t need to convince anyone of anything. I really do love the mental health talk more than any Emmys.”

Unaware that Valentin has tampered with his bipolar meds and he’s been taking a lower dosage for a long time, Sonny’s behavior has become more erratic, violent, and paranoid. And when one viewer complained that this didn’t seem realistic and was the wrong message to send, Benard disagreed.

“This is true,” he said, “but when you have a character like Sonny who’s volatile and is drinking and is manic and his thoughts have taken him over, it could definitely happen. Like I said, bipolar ain’t pretty.” This attitude also extends to people like Carly and Jason, who were once so close to him. “I don’t think he’s still gotten over them getting married,” Benard mused, “and the ugly part about being manic is that’s when stuff comes out that’s deep inside.”

GH Sonny Carly
Carly wants to help Sonny but he won’t let her.ABC

Ava is the only one who is aware of the change in his meds, but she’s keeping that to herself for her own selfish reasons. Sonny needs help desperately, but it’s clear that things are going to get worse before they get better. “Yes, he needs help,” Benard previewed. “There’s some very intense scenes next week. But yes, he needs help soon.”

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