NEW YORK – Jane Pauley (search), whose highly anticipated syndicated talk show debuts Aug. 30, reveals she was treated for bipolar disorder in her new memoir, "Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue."
Pauley writes openly about the life-changing experience excerpted in the latest People magazine, saying it was triggered by a rare reaction to prescription drugs prescribed for a simple case of hives.
"If you didn't know me well, you might not have noticed anything strange; I was strange only for me," the former co-anchor of "Today" and "Dateline NBC" writes. "I knew I wasn't well, but I didn't seem to be at a serious risk for more than some turbulence, though my doctors alluded to the possibility of a crash landing."
The 53-year-old journalist's doctors and her husband, "Doonesbury" cartoonist Garry Trudeau (search), helped her realize that she was racing too fast, making constant, grand plans such as producing her own line of clothing.
By the time she was hospitalized at New York Hospital in the spring of 2001, the bipolar condition (often called manic depression) was clear to Pauley. "My tides were fluctuating — back and forth — sometimes so fast they seemed to spinning."
Pauley says she's now free of mood swings thanks to her treatment and to lithium — and writing her memoir has also been cathartic.
"I had already decided that if only one good thing came out of this mess it would be the opportunity to talk about the disease," writes Pauley, who will also talk about her battle with bipolar disorder on her two old shows.
She's scheduled to appear on "Today" Aug. 30 and on "Dateline NBC" the next day.
Her memoir, published by Random House, hits bookstores Tuesday.
"The Jane Pauley Show" has already been picked up in 148 of the nation's 150 top markets.