By Andrea Boyarsky
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A smiling Erica Kovacs sat at the front of the crowded room, answering questions about her mental illness. She talked passionately about her life over the past eight years and how she is coping with bipolar disorder.
The 31-year-old Bay Terrace resident is one of more than 10 million Americans living with the disorder characterized by mood shifts consisting of manic highs and depressive lows.
On Aug. 10, she participated in a film and panel discussion with those living with bipolar disorder, their family members, and mental health professionals, presented by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Staten Island and the South Beach Psychiatric Center as part of their annual Summer Mental Health Film Festival.