Mädchen Amick speaks out about her son Sly Alexis’s battle with Bipolar 1 disorder


Mädchen Amick is speaking out about her son Sly Alexis’s battle with Bipolar 1 disorder and the efforts she’s undertaken to make advances in mental health with her nonprofit Don’t Mind Me Foundation

The 52-year-old actress, who is mother to son Sly, 30, and daughter Mina Tobias, 29, with husband David Alexis, 60, chat with People Wednesday about how her eldest child came to be diagnosed.

‘He was a normal kid and got along great with teachers and coaches,’ the Sparks, Nevada said of her son, who she said got good grades and ran track and field before he went to attend college at UC Irvine in Irvine, California.

The latest: Mädchen Amick, 52, is speaking out about her son Sly Alexis’s battle with Bipolar 1 disorder and the efforts she’s undertaken to make advances in mental health with her nonprofit Don’t Mind Me Foundation. She was pictured in LA in 2020

Sly’s behavior shifted when he witnessed a schoolmate’s death when he was a freshman, as he began using drugs and alcohol and his personality shifted. 

The Riverdale actress said of her son: ‘There was a lot of delusional thinking. 

‘There was a lot of talk about things that just didn’t make sense, and also, he would admit things like it seemed like the phone was listening to him and the TV was watching him and very paranoid thoughts and feelings. Then just waves into mania, which would give him this larger-than-life personality.’

The Twin Peaks actress mentioned another incident in November of 2011 when Sly’s college roommates called the family to tell them they were worried after he had left his residence without his phone or wallet.

The Twin Peaks actress and her son were pictured together last July for his 30th birthday

The Twin Peaks actress and her son were pictured together last July for his 30th birthday 

Amick shared a picture of her children Sly, 30 and Mina Tobias, 29, on Christmas

Amick shared a picture of her children Sly, 30 and Mina Tobias, 29, on Christmas 

Sly's behavior shifted when he witnessed a schoolmate's death when he was a freshman, as he began using drugs and alcohol and his personality shifted, his mother said

Sly’s behavior shifted when he witnessed a schoolmate’s death when he was a freshman, as he began using drugs and alcohol and his personality shifted, his mother said

‘All of a sudden, the world just got pulled out from underneath him,’ Amick said. ‘We got together as a family and we drove down from Los Angeles to the streets of Irvine to just try to find him. It took hours, but we finally did. 

‘He was just walking down the street just really, really out of it.’ 

She said after their daughter Mina told her she felt something was ‘really wrong’ with Sly, the family took him to a medical facility for examination.

‘I tried to explain to the emergency staff what was going on, and they just kind of looked at him like another kid doing drugs,’ Amick said. ‘But they took him in overnight and they basically said, “He just seems like he’s got an addiction issue. You’re going to have to tackle that as a family.” They discharged him a few hours later, and we took him home.’

Amick said that the nonprofit she and her son are working on is aimed at helping people who cannot afford treatment receive proper guidance in navigating the mental health care system

Amick said that the nonprofit she and her son are working on is aimed at helping people who cannot afford treatment receive proper guidance in navigating the mental health care system

The Riverdale and Twin Peaks actress was snapped at an event in NYC in 2019

The Riverdale and Twin Peaks actress was snapped at an event in NYC in 2019

After months in and out of several medical facilities and treatment facilities, Sly was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 at a psychiatric hospital.

‘That’s when they said, “This is not an addiction issue, this is a mental health issue,”‘ Amick said. ‘As scary as that was, it actually became a relief because now it had a name and there was some pathway to try to figure out what to do about it.’

Sly’s father Alexis added, ‘There have been several times it felt like he wouldn’t make it and we were called to the hospital’ in alcohol poisoning incidents ‘to basically say goodbye, but he always fought to live and pulled through.’

Amick said that her son was able to adapt to a plan of therapy and medication in 2012, and was able to manage issues when they cropped up in spring 2021.

He has been sober for more than a year and is working in the field as a behavioral health technician, with aims of becoming a case manager.

‘I’m on the other side of things now,’ Sly told People. ‘I used to be the patient and now I’m the caretaker. If I’m sober, I’m able to stay out of any sort of instability.’

Amick said that the nonprofit she and her son are working on is aimed at helping people who cannot afford treatment receive proper guidance in navigating the mental health care system.

‘As a foundation, we are starting our first scholarship program,’ Amick said. ‘We’re super proud to be able to support a treatment center that actually finally worked 10 years later.’



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