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“Saved By The Bell” Star Battles Mental Illness

Kwaku Alston/

Like many of you, I frequently get tied up in the lives of the people I watch on TV. For some reason, those ties get even closer when the performers are young – in the case of the series Saved By The Bell,  teenagers. Now we’re hearing that one of the “SBTB” stars is suffering from a serious mental illness.The rumors have been swirling around Lark Voorheis [above; she played proto-fashionista “Lisa” on the long-running series, which took its cast from middle school through college] for months now. There was a bizarre appearance on an internet TV series in May. More recently, People magazine noticed her odd behavior in a series of interviews.

Asked for an explanation, Lisa’s mother Tricia Voorheis denied the usual suspect – drug use. Then she dropped the bombshell, admitting that Lisa had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Like many mental illnesses, bipolar disorder can be treated, usually with a combination of medication and counselling [as was the case with Jesse Jackson, Jr., son of the civil rights leader and an Illinois congressman]. The problem for Lark is that she refuses to accept her illness. She says of psychiatrists, “They can’t explain it. They can’t treat it.”

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