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Jane Pauley Reveals That a Doctor Once Gave Her a ‘Cover Story’ for Her Bipolar Disorder

Edduin Carvajal
Feb 03, 2020
09:30 A.M.
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Journalist and TV personality Jane Pauley, best known as one of the anchors of CBS “Sunday Morning,” once opened up about her bipolar disorder diagnosis.


Jane has been working as a news reporter for more than four decades! In 1976, when she was only 25 years old, she replaced Barbara Walters on the “Today” show and was one of the co-hosts for 13 years.

"I was in pretty big trouble."

Jane Pauley at the 2012 Time 100 gala | Source: Wikimedia Commons



Just as her predecessor Barbara, Jane became a symbol for professional women and female journalists. However, in December 1989, she left the show as a way to spend more time with her children.

In March 1992, Jane Pauley started working as one of the anchors of “Dateline” and stayed there until 2003, when she chose not to renegotiate her contract.

Jane Pauley on June 05, 2019 in New York City | Source: Getty Images


A year later, she got the opportunity to have her own talk show, the “Jane Pauley Show.” Sadly, it was canceled after only one season.

In 2004, the TV personality published her memoir “Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue.” In the bestselling book, she revealed that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Jane Pauley on September 7, 2018 in New York City | Source: Getty Images



One of the most shocking things in the book was that she was a patient at Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic for three weeks after getting her diagnosed in 2001.

During an interview with CBS “This Morning,” Jane shared some details on her condition, admitting that she became bipolar shortly after turning 50 years old.


The journalist revealed that she was given steroids for hives that doctors should not prescribe if the patient had a family history of a mood disorder. That was not her case, though, so she took her medication without hesitation. It was one of the biggest mistakes in her life. Jane claimed:

“It unmasked what doctors then described as a genetic vulnerability to a mood disorder. And, by that time, I was in pretty big trouble.”

Jane Pauley on February 11, 2018 in New York City | Source: Getty Images


As per her symptoms, the “Sunday Morning” host confessed that she initially felt depressed, then she got better, but then she started having other behaviors that didn’t match who she was.

It was so severe that Jane Pauley’s husband, cartoonist Garry Trudeau, didn’t know who she was. When the doctor identified the problem as bipolar disorder, Garry “was almost relieved” because he thought that someone could finally help his wife.

Jane Pauley at the Hilton New York on November 11, 2017 | Source: Getty Images



In the same conversation, Jane Pauley revealed that her own doctor offered her a cover story to tell her employers and everyone who asked about her health.

She confessed that it was the first and only time that she has ever felt the stigma around her condition. Her doctor suggested her to tell everybody that she was being treated for thyroids’ disorder, which “was true,” but it was not the “whole truth.”


As soon as she told him that she was writing a book about her experience, the doctor’s face went pale. After that, Jane said:

“I didn’t put out a press release. Everybody deserves an opportunity to recover from whatever in private.”



Thankfully, Jane Pauley’s children and husband have been supporting her throughout her journey! Speaking of Garry, he once was interviewed by his wife for “Sunday Morning” on CBS.

Garry won the first Pulitzer Prize for a cartoon strip in 1975, and he has been married to Jane since 1980. Joking, the artist said that the audience of the show would be disappointed that Jane married a cartoonist as she “could’ve done so much better.”


Together, they have three children: Rachel, Thomas, and Ross Trudeau. Ross serves as the director of digital media for Match Education and, apart from that, he constructs crossword puzzles that have been featured in the NY Times.

Unfortunately, Jane Pauley is not the only celebrity who is dealing with bipolar disorder. People as famous as Mariah Carey, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Demi Lovato, and Maurice Benard have also opened up about their mental illness.


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