The first time I heard the term Manic Depression in relation to Jaco
was in 1982 during a phone conversation
with Peter Erskine,
who had just finished the Japan Word of Mouth tour.
Peter called to tell of Jaco's behavior,
and the aberrant activities that had taken place in Japan.
He said his father, Dr. Fred Erskine, had unofficially determined
that Jaco might be suffering from the bi-polar condition,
and could possibly benefit from taking Lithium.
Shortly there after came a similar concerned call from
who, after finishing the Japan tour as well, was with Jaco
and Mary visiting the island of Kauai, Hawaii.
After Jaco returned home, his psychological pain was apparent.
I had no other choice but to admit him into a mental hospital, via the
Florida Baker Act,
one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do.
It was during this initial hospitalization that he was officially diagnosed
with Manic Depression,
and placed on Lithium. Tests also revealed that
there was enough liver damage due to alcohol abuse, to be concerned.
After two weeks in the facility, he convinced the doctors
he was well enough to attend a pre-scheduled performance
with Peter Graves on the West Coast of Florida,
and promised to return, which he did not...
It wasn't until July 1986, after receiving numerous collect calls
from the basketball courts in the Village (New York)
I became aware of Jaco's severely burdened mental state.
I interrupted my work, and borrowed money
to immediately take a flight to New York.
With Gregory Pastorius' help, a letter from Dr. Erskine,
and a diagnosis by
Dr. Kenneth Alper from Bellevue Hospital,
Jaco again was admitted into the appropriate facility at Bellevue.
At the time he was being admitted, he told Dr. Alper
that he didn't want to take
Lithium because of the side affects,
which is when he was placed on
In 1987, after he moved back to Florida,
and during a serious breakdown,
I urged his brothers to hospitalize him again,
for I simply could not do it anymore.
They did, but it was to no avail...
Throughout it all, he simply could not adhere to taking the medication..
Below are some links regarding the bipolar condition:
Alternative Approaches to the Treatment of Manic-Depression
National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association
Manic Depression Fellowship
The Manic Depression Website/Homepage
Bipolar (Manic-Depressive) Disorder
#1 Manic Depression!
Psych Central: Dr. John Grohol's Mental Health Page
Mental Health Net
National Institute of Mental Health
Famous People of the Past and Living with Bipolar Disorder
Website Created by Julius, Felix, and Ingrid Pastorius