Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gonzo Speaks Out on Bipolar Disorder

Hollywood, CA 

You may remember him as "Gonzo the Great" or "The Great Gonzo."  Perhaps you remember him as a daredevil, a photographer, a conductor, or a performance artist.  In his hey day on the Muppet Show, Gonzo made a name for himself as a muppet with guts, a muppet with ambition, a muppet who was....well, a little crazy.  Gonzo has come forward today as a spokesperson for Bipolar Disorder (formerly known as Manic Depression), a mental illness which plagued him  throughout his five years on the Muppet Show.

 All of us experience ups and downs.  However, people with Bipolar Disorder undergo more severe mood swings than the rest of us.  When they are up (manic), they are likely to experience inflated self-esteem, poor judgment, risky behavior, extreme optimism, and sometimes even delusions of grandeur.  When they are depressed, they report feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, lack of motivation, isolation, anger, and sometimes suicidal ideation.

"I was manic almost the whole time we filmed the show," reports Gonzo.  "Remember when I ate a rubber tire to the melody of Flight of the Bumblebee?  Or when I played the bagpipes suspended from the top of a flagpole?  Then, there was the time I recited Shakespeare while hanging by my nose from a feather boa.  The list goes on and on.  It's very embarrassing." 

Another tell-tale sign of Gonzo's mania on the show was his inflated sense of himself as an artist.  Gonzo considered himself an accomplished conductor, photographer, instrumentalist, singer, dancer, and more!  "Well," Gonzo says, "I do have talent.  But I suppose you're right that I might have exaggerated it a bit, maybe a very tiny bit."

 The good news is that Gonzo is now receiving treatment for his severe mood swings.  Since Gonzo is a "Whatever," and not a human being, it took him many years to find medical care that met his particular needs.

"Yes, most humans with Bipolar Disorder take mood stabilizing medications.  But these had no affect on me with my unique body chemistry.  So after years of experimentation, we've discovered that the perfect remedy for my moods is a box of Vanilla Wafer cookies for breakfast, 3 cups of okra and a raw potato at lunch, and a bowl of gazpacho pudding after dinner.  I must also go out once a week and sing "99 Red Balloons" at a karaoke bar and then dance the Tush Push at a country western establishment.   If I stick to this regimen strictly, it keeps all my bipolar symptoms at bay."

Written by Diana Shapiro

Photos courtesy of portlandmercury.com and wikia,com
Video courtesy of youtube

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