Lark Voorhies is suffering from bipolar disorder, according to her mother Tricia, partially helping explain a pattern of bizarre behavior and long career lulls for the actress who shot to fame playing Lisa Tuttle on the 90s hit Saved By The Bell.
"I care deeply about my daughter and I want her to resume her life … it's frustrating," Tricia, 64, told People, adding that her efforts to place the 38-year-old into professional care following the bipolar diagnosis have been met with opposition.
"She's trying so hard," said Tricia. "She says she's delayed, but she's going to get there."
The actress raised eyebrows earlier this year when she looked nothing like her old self in a May appearance on Yahoo's The Yo Show, sparking rumors of plastic surgery and/or drug abuse.
Lark, who lives with her mother in Pasadena, California, said that mental health professionals don't have the tools or understanding to help her cope with the demons that torment her.
"They can't explain it," said Lark, who has been resistant to psychiatric care. "They can't treat in. They don't know about it."
Lark, who is a Jehovah's Witness, told the magazine their interview with her came at "a very powerful moment.
"It's like carrying on the interview in a hurricane," the Nashville-born actress said. "Oh no. We're alive in a major time of all-in-all prophecy … you caught me in moments of pray … I have a strong spiritual sense."
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Lark's mother says the trauma of her 2001 divorce to ex Miguel Coleman took a heavy toll on her daughter's mental well-being, a sentiment seconded by the actress, who described the split as "a point of great depression."
Dustin Diamond, Lark's castmate who played lovable nerd Screech on the show which ran from 1989-1994, recalled a recent run-in with his former co-star while filming the low-budget production Little Creeps.
"When we first saw each other, she gave me a big hug. She seemed normal: alive and great. And as the night went on, it just went wrong," Diamond said, adding the actress took long pauses while delivering her lines and disappeared for long stretches between takes. "The person who said 'Hi' to me when she first showed up on-set was not the same person at the end of the night. It was like talking to two different people."