DAYS/GH Alum Tyler Christopher Gets Candid About Alcohol Addiction, Mental Health

In a candid and emotional sit-down with Maurice Benard (Sonny, GH) on Benard’s YouTube series, STATE OF MIND, Tyler Christopher (ex-Nikolas, GH; ex-Stefan, DAYS) spoke frankly about his struggles with alcohol addiction and bipolar depression, which in recent years led to a traumatic brain injury and a bout of homelessness. The actor, who took his first drink at the age of 9, explained that for many years, he had been a functioning addict, but “in the last 10 years, it went the other way because, you know, you become an addict at Nine years old, fast-forward 40 years, at some point, you cannot survive it. At some point, it will kill you. And it has. Three times I flatlined [and] they brought me back … Twice from [alcohol] poisoning, once from withdrawal.” Benard asked Christopher about being let go from GH and DAYS during the throes of his addiction. “It crushed me,” Christopher admitted. “It crushed me because I took for granted the one thing I love the most…. It was devastating for a myriad of reasons. One, the thing that I love the most was taken away. Two, I threw it away. Nobody took it away from me. I dropped it, okay? And, you know, having to walk out those doors under that circumstance, was like, ‘Wow, this is for real, dude. This is for real.’ At the time, he said, “My pride and ego were very quick to intervene. ‘Who can I blame for this?’ And when I looked in the mirror, there was only one person to point the finger at.” He added that it took time for him to accept responsibility for his actions. “When everything happened, even with the fall, which was a direct result of bad behavior, I remember blaming my wife. ‘Where were you? If you were here in the room with me, I wouldn’t have fallen.’ That’s ego, that’s pride, and that’s a killer.” The fall he is referring to nearly killed him; While suffering from delirium tremens as a result of alcohol withdrawal, he lost his balance and hit his head on the edge of a bathtub. “My skull exploded,” he said. An emergency craniotomy saved his life, but “because of the incision of the injury, the doctors ordered that I be put under a medical guardianship.” To prevent him from becoming a ward of the state (where the government would have taken control of his finances and medical decisions), his sister volunteered, but the rules of the guardianship required him to move to Ohio to live with her, where his depression aggravated. Christopher ultimately made his way back to Los Angeles from Ohio, but when the person he was supposed to stay with withdrew the offer of housing, he found himself homeless for several weeks. “I had no one to call,” he said. He was ultimately able to send a message to a friend who tracked him down on a park bench in the nick of time. “Having been a man who has passed away before, I could feel it coming again,” Christopher described. “I know what it feels like…. I said, ‘God, if you want to take me, do it now….’ Not five minutes later, I hear, ‘Tyler?’ And I turn over and my buddy is in the driver’s seat of his car…. He saved me. He got me a hotel room that I [stayed in] for three days until I could find another place to stay. Saved my life.” Christopher is in a much more stable place, and working with a doctor who is treating him for his constellation of issues (bipolar depression, the brain injury, addiction recovery). “For the first time in my bipolar life [I’m] getting real treatment for it,” he shared. For the full interview, click here.

Leave a Comment