*In the late ’90s, Lisa Nicole Carson was best known as Calista Flockhart’s witty roommate on the hit show “Ally McBeal,” but behind the scenes, she was battling with bipolar disorder. Last year, she spoke out about her condition for the first time to PEOPLE, explaining how her condition nearly ruined her life and career.
“From the time I stepped away from show business [in 2001] until now, I’ve been on a long, very complicated and challenging journey,” Carson said. “I didn’t know if I was going to make it out.”
“I don’t really have an option to be silent about my illness, although I wanted to be for many years,” Carson revealed. “But since I had a public breakdown, it’s something I felt I had to address.”
After she was first diagnosed as bipolar, “It didn’t make any sense to me, at all. I had never heard of it. I was in denial and would not take my medicine.”
“When you lose your mind it’s as traumatic as it sounds. It’s not anything you can imagine happening to you,” she told PEOPLE. “Sometimes it can be beautiful,” she says. “And sometimes it can be horrifying.”
In 2000, Carson had a breakdown at a Manhattan hotel that made headlines. She spent several weeks in a psychiatric ward before returning to work at “Ally McBeal.”
Since departing the show, Lisa has been living quietly in Hollywood, and today she hopes to relaunch her acting career. Carson is sharing her story with Centric’s documentary series “BEING.” Her episode premieres Saturday, August 6 at 7 pm EST.
“BEING: Lisa Nicole Carson,” will give fans insight on how the actress became a mainstream icon and the stigma and rejection she faced when news of her mental illness broke.
Check out the preview below.
READ RELATED STORY: Lisa Nicole Carson Opens Up About Bipolar Battle: ‘I Was In Denial’ (Watch)