Thursday, May 19, 2011

'Sopranos' Actress Says Mental Illness Informed Her Acting

Credit: David Hathcox
“For me the biggest problem is the stigma of mental illness,” said actress Lorraine Bracco in an interview at the 10th annual Conversations event sponsored by the American Psychiatric Foundation in Honolulu. “I have always felt that if you had a broken leg or cancer or a toothache, you would seek immediate medical attention.”

The event took place at APA’s 2011 annual meeting. Conversations features well-known individuals who have firsthand experience with mental illness. Past speakers have included Maureen McCormick, George Stephanopolous, Brooke Shields, and Tipper Gore, among others.

Bracco played the role of psychiatrist Jennifer Melfi on the HBO series "The Sopranos." During the interview , which took place in front of an annual meeting audience of hundreds, Bracco said her own experience in psychotherapy and wrestling with depression helped her in the role.

“From my own experience, I realized how easily medication works, talk therapy helps, and you don’t have to suffer alone,” Bracco said.

Read more about Bracco's experience with mental illness in Psychiatric News at


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