‘My Family Seems To Think That There’s Something Wrong With Me,’ Says Woman Whose Relatives Claim She’s ‘Manic’

Bonnie moved in with her cousin, Stephanie, and Stephanie’s mother, Cyndi, shortly after her ending her second marriage. The women claim that Bonnie is stuck in what they call a “manic” state and hasn’t been able to recover from her past, which they claim includes childhood abuse, sex trafficking, dependency on prescription drugs, working in the adult entertainment industry, a family history of mental illness, and being pushed into her first marriage at 15. “My family seems to think that there’s something wrong with me,” says Bonnie. “What they’re not realizing is that I’ve been on my own for a long time and having to figure out how to take care of myself.” And later, how does Dr. Phil’s guest, Dr. Charles Sophy, a board-certified psychiatrist and retired Medical Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services, respond to Bonnie’s admission that she has been “micro-dosing” with mushrooms? This episode, “Traumatic Past and Odd Behavior: Is My Cousin Having a Breakdown?” airs Wednesday. Check your local listing to find out where to watch. WATCH: ‘I Always Had Fun Playing And Flirting With The Camera,’ Says Former Adult Film Actress TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: A family/relationship divided?

Video Transcript


- My family seems to think that there's something wrong with me, and what they're not realizing is that I've been on my own for a long time and having to figure out how to take care of myself. I'm having issues right now because I just left a 24-year marriage. I was with him longer than I was without him. That's a hard thing to give up.

Then I gave up my animals. I'm living in an environment that's not the same. I'm living out of bags and suitcases. It would be kind of nice to have my own place, and I'm actually going to figure that out here soon. Because I have my real estate license still, so I could still do something with that if I wanted to.


DR. PHIL: I want the two of y'all to meet an associate of mine that I have great respect for, Dr. Charles Sophy. He's a board-certified psychiatrist and former Medical Director of the LA County Department of Child and Family Services. He's also a member of the Dr. Phil Advisory Board here. Dr. Sophy, thank you for being here.

CHARLES SOPHY: Thank you for having me.

DR. PHIL: Bonnie's mother, as you know, seems to have had a history of bipolar.


DR. PHIL: She also was abusive and neglectful of her daughter, subjecting her to significant trauma--


DR. PHIL: --throughout her entire life. She had an opioid addiction that she really kicked six years ago--


DR. PHIL: And is clean from that. But she's now using mushrooms consistently.


DR. PHIL: I'm concerned about the toxic nature of using these mushrooms on the chemistry in her brain. What do you think?

CHARLES SOPHY: I agree. I mean, we don't know what the effects of that, you know, genre of medicine that's up and coming is having, but nonetheless, she even maybe kicked opioids, but she's still an addict. It's either, you know, like she said, it's either love or it's something else-- or it's, you know, trying to get a business or trying to teach. It's, you know, a combination between her genetics and her trau-- and her trauma. And then, you know, in that genetics is a potential bipolar disorder and addiction, and the trauma only flares it up.

DR. PHIL: See, here's the thing. When you look at someone, the sum total of who somebody is and their behavior at a given time, there's always the nature/nurture controversy, whether or not, you know, nature-- this is a function of their genetic makeup and their body chemistries or whatever-- or nurture-- how the environment has impacted them. And it's most often always a combination of the two.

And here we know that environmentally, the environment she grew up in was very toxic. It taught her to devalue herself from very early on. It taught her that what she had to offer was sex, her body. That she can-- when that becomes your currency early in life, you don't develop other skills.

Then you look at the genetics here with her mother, clearly not a-- a well-adjusted person, clearly someone that suffered from mental illness, probably bipolar-- there's a big genetic component to bipolar. One of the risk factors for being bipolar is you have a family member that--


DR. PHIL: --was bipolar.


DR. PHIL: So she is at-- at risk for it, and she is showing the kind of behaviors that go along with that. Mushrooms is not a treatment for bipolar.

CHARLES SOPHY: Right. Definitely not a bipolar disorder.