TODAY | April 05, 2013
>>> now, actress, author and mother of two, marial hemingway wowed audiences in "manhattan" and was only a teenager when she was nominated for an academy award . but her family has had a troubling history with mental illness and suicides, including her grandfather ernest and her sister, margot. mariel is an advocate for mental health awareness, she's written a book with bobby williams called "the willing way." good morning.
>> good morning.
>> nice to be here.
>> the history i talk about, is there any way something like that doesn't impact every aspect of your life from the time you're growing up?
>> absolutely not. i've spent my entire life, a documentary called "running from crazy" because i literally have been running from crazy my entire life. i felt like what if i wake up and i don't know i'm nuts.
>> you said something in the pre-interview, you said you were living with depression every single day and didn't know it until you weren't depressed anymore.
>> exactly right.
>> what did the difference feel like?
>> i have to say that my partner, bobby williams , has a lot to do with it. it was like coming into -- i mean, it's like being in darkness. you don't know that was the life i had but when i realized that i could come out of that through lifestyle choices which is really why i got involved in the book with bobby.
>> so now that she's not running from crazy, she runs with crazy. which helps out a lot.
>> this concept you can choose a lifestyle and relieve some of what might be considered mental illness , a medical condition , a physical condition, a hormonal or chemical condition.
>> do you really believe in this?
>> i absolutely do.
>> talk about the mcclain over at harvard, said about 200 years ago that's what they did. it was about work sunshine --
>> psychopharmaceutical drugs, they honored me and i was a little -- i was hesitant only because i truly believed that the piece that is missing is lifestyle, what you eat, how you think, whether you get outside.
>> getting fresh air , eating the wholesome foods, adventure in your life.
>> you're believers in that.
>> absolutely. i have mariel in yosemite climbing. you want to talk about not being crazy anymore that makes her not crazy anymore.
>> makes you present.
>> you also talk about the need to play and laugh.
>> what are the things that you avoid in your life now that you think could be triggers for darker times?
>> well because my family was so full of addictions, there was a tremendous amount of alcoholism, i never was a drinker. i know because i have addictive personality that i don't do addictive things. i don't eat sugar. i don't drink. i don't, i would never do drugs. i'm very careful about how i live my life but i think that's a piece of mental balance. brain chemistry is affected by our food, by our thinks, by whether we take silence, like you said whether we get nature.
>> you have two daughters, i think they're in their 20s now.
>> was it at all possible as a mom watching them grow up to not hyperanalyze every mood they went through, knowing your family history ?
>> you're correct. i mean i did have moments where i was afraid, because i've been afraid my entire life, but what i realized is when you can break that curse or that chain of dna and genetics and stuff like that and i truly think that you can, once i did that, i feel that i released them from that, you know, they're going to have their own problems and nobody's going to say they're not going to have days where they're sad but i don't think that i've passed on this depression.
>> and in terms of you personally, you have fears at all that depression will come back?
>> not at all anymore because of my lifestyle now, because of the willing way and the way that we live our life, i feel like, you know, i feel like, i mean my life is just starting over . it's just amazing.
>> nice to be able to say.
>> it is.
>> it's a pleasure mariel and bobby nice to meet you..
>> pleasure for me as well.
>> the book is called "the willing way."