The High Price Some Pay for Having A Mental Illness

In 1968, at 18, Mark Ellinger thought the sky was the limit. He was headed to the Art Institute in California.  After graduating, he became a successful sound engineer in the film and recording industries. But Mark had a problem:  crazy high mania for a year or so, followed by horrible depression.  He saw a doctor who misdiagnosed him with depression when he really had Bipolar Disorder.

Between 1985 and 1995, he says "I lost just about all that was dear to me—friends, family, business, home, and possessions—and for the next six years I plumbed the depths of experience and my own psyche, living on the mean streets of San Francisco as a homeless junkie. It damn near killed me and I was hospitalized for ten weeks. Looking death in the face made me realize the sweetness of just being alive. It was an epiphany, and from that moment I have never looked back."

Watch the video on The High Price Some Pay for Having A Mental Illness

Mark shared his experiences and what he learned from them on the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show. Take a look.

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About our guest on the The High Cost of Mental Illness video: Mark Ellinger

Mark Ellinger wasn't properly diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder until 2001. He struggled with drug addiction and was homeless for 6 years.

Read Mark's blog here:

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APA Reference
Gluck, S. (2011, January 18). The High Price Some Pay for Having A Mental Illness, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 from

Last Updated: April 23, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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