Sopranos actor opens up about depression

December 12, 2008 9:57:02 AM PST
Joe Pantoliano's first reaction to being told he was clinically depressed was ... euphoria. [SIGN UP: Get entertainment news sent to you]

Finally, he said, he had an answer to why he'd been so miserable despite having the success and family he always wanted.

The 57-year-old actor, perhaps best known for playing Ralph Cifaretto on HBO's "The Sopranos," was in Buffalo Thursday to talk about the organization he founded two years ago to help remove the stigma attached to mental illness. It's called: No Kidding, Me Too!

"Mental disease is the only thing you can be diagnosed with and get yelled at for having," he said. "Why is that?"

Appearing with representatives from pharmaceutical and biomedical research companies, Pantoliano said medication has helped him manage his depression.

"From the moment I was diagnosed there was a certain sense of euphoria and `Thank God' we figured this out," he said, "because I thought that I'd become such a curmudgeon."

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