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Nancy Schimelpfening

Delta Burke Talks About Her Depression

By February 26, 2008

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In a two-part interview aired on "The Insider" last Thursday and Friday, actress Delta Burke spoke candidly about her depression and her psychiatric hospitalization last month.

Speaking about her hospitalization, Burke said she needed "an adjustment under a physician's care" after the five medications she was taking no longer worked. She is now on two medications.

At times breaking into tears, she said one of her lowest moments came while she was starring in the hit series "Designing Women". "I was parked in the car in the hills with a gun and a bottle of Xanax beside me, trying to recover from harsh words said in the tabloids," she said. "I just wanted the pain to go away."

The actress also confessed that she struggles with hoarding. "At one time I had 27 storage units. I don't have a big enough house," she said. "My mom had it, it's my mother's fault. She saved the diaper I came home from the hospital in."

By coming forward, Burke said she hopes to remove the stigma of mental illness so that people will get the help they need.

Photo Credit: Peter Kramer / Getty Images

February 27, 2008 at 3:59 am
(1) A Delta Burke Fan Forever says:

I admire Ms. Burke coming forward and publically stating that she struggles with mental illness.
That takes a lot of guts and courage.
Kudos Delta for having spirit!

February 27, 2008 at 7:35 pm
(2) Becky says:

It is because of people like Delta that people understand mental illness a little better. It also shows people that someone with mental illness can get treatment and go on to live normal productive lives. Thank you, Delta, and I wish you continued success in your treatment, your career, and your personal life.

March 2, 2008 at 3:26 pm
(3) Cheryl Foss says:

I feel so proud for you Delta! It takes a lot to openly talk about your personal depression and we really need to get the word out that depression is not a 4 letter word and we can live happy and productive lives. The shame of depression has to be overcome. We are just as capable as anyone else. Thanks Delta. We have to keep the ball rolling!

March 12, 2008 at 3:46 pm
(4) Jan Stevenson says:

Congratulations on your recovery and keep on talking, not only to your therapist but also to the public. The world needs folks who will stand up and be counted. I know it makes you vulnerable to those who can be cruelly critical and judgemental. It is their loss that they can not see the beautiful human being you are and the incredible personal growth taking place with you. Truth can be armour! Don it with pride. This will help you fend off the ignorant.

June 9, 2008 at 4:57 am
(5) Ann says:

Thank you Delta, for your courage for making public, a private turmoil that many of us struggle with. I hope that through your openess to express pain, resolution, strength and bravery, other humans will see depression as a serious illness that can be treated, and should not be shamed. Continue tomorrow with another step, and I will be with you.

July 17, 2008 at 8:34 am
(6) Sean says:

Thank you, dear Delta, for coming forward with your story. You are an inspiration to so many people who suffer from depression and hoarding. May the Lord bless your efforts.

August 2, 2008 at 11:32 pm
(7) jan says:

Just want you to know that you are in my prayers. I have always admired your work, but have never admired you more than when you shared your story. I wish you all the happiness you deserve in life.

December 1, 2008 at 5:51 pm
(8) Rose says:

Delta, you are one strong, brave woman. Not to mention drop dead BEAUTIFUL. The prettiest person I have ever seen in my life. Good luck with everything.

February 4, 2009 at 1:00 am
(9) Chrissy says:

It’s good when celebs come out and open up as real people. It’s proves they are real just like us! Depression is a horrible thing and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. And God bless Delta for finding a good path. It’s hard being a guinea pig and waiting to find a med that will work and STAY WORKING! Im in that boat. But now I have some hope. Thanks Delta

March 7, 2009 at 9:29 am
(10) Dennis says:

Delta you have shown immense courage in discussing your fight with depression, that yet again confirms what a great person you are. When I am down and feel depressed all I have to do is go to my DVR and play an episode of Designing Women where you have a some great lines and I immediately feel better. Always wishing you the best!

November 7, 2010 at 4:37 pm
(11) InÚs says:

I have always admired your work as an actress. Now, that I have read about your depression and how you handled it makes me admire you more. You will always be in my prayers for I know you are a beautiful person in and out. Somehow, I know you are truly sensitive and God will give you blessings in will-power and understanding of yourself. Keep close to Him and you will always overcome whatever obstacule you might encounter in life. I have done so and feel that I have conquered my loneliness and my feelings of self-pity because I pray constantly that our Lord Jesus will always take me by the hand to continue with life. I have three good children, but they have never understood my sadness and my loneliness. My husband died nine years ago and although I loved him with all my heart, I had to suffer his alcoholism. I always dreamt that he wouldhave found a solution to his problem, but he drank himself to death. The feeling of guilt was devastating and somehow my children and family never saw how I suffered for this. Today, I must say I miss him and pray that he is in a better place. I have learned that he made his choice, I didn’t choose for him. I tried to be a good wife, a good mother, and a good professional. I am an English teacher ( a retired public school teacher). But, I have kept myself busy teaching in a private school in the Title I program. I am hispanic and we are taught to tolerate and accept our spouses as they are and not try to change them. I lived that way, although I am quite modern in my beliefs and thoughts. I am 64 years old and still feel I have a lot to give to my students. I am sorry for writing so much, but somehow I feel confortable writing this to you. Again, trusting God to help us conquer our fears and sadness is the only solution to depression. God bless you and yours greatly.

March 31, 2011 at 8:18 pm
(12) freddy mora mena. says:

Delta se lo feo que es parecer de depresion por eso yo le comunico que desde hace 9 a├▒os descubri una receta para la depresion me gustaria que si le interesa enviar un correo a freddy mora mena.cfreddymoram@yahoo.com. gracias

May 4, 2012 at 3:14 pm
(13) Nikki Hayward says:

I am a counselor at a residential gambling facility in LA. Several years ago Delta Burke starred in a Lifetime TV movie “Going For Broke”. I have been trying to purchase a DVD of this movie to use in gambling treatment, and have been totally unsuccessful finding a copy. Even the representative I spoke with at Lifetime did not know that there was such a movie.
Ms. Burk, you did such a WONDERFUL job of portraying a pathological gambler. Thank you for that!! Can you possibly help me acquire a copy of the movie. I’d prefer a DVD, but can still use a video if that’s the only thing available!

Please respond.
Thank you!!

February 22, 2014 at 8:10 pm
(14) K K says:

Hey Delta I remember you from Boone High School you were strong then you are strong now !!! Quick reading newspapers they just make money off you guys!!!

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