Actor Sean Astin knows what bipolar disorder can do to a person. His mother, actress Patty Duke, was diagnosed as bipolar in 1982 when she was 35. This was after she’d already suffered a lifetime of inexplicable euphoric highs and rock-bottom lows that characterize bipolar lives. As she once wrote, “I’d cry, it seemed, for years at a time.” Astin was 11 years old when her tantrums and mood swings were finally diagnosed, and now he’s campaigning to raise awareness of the disorder, particularly how friends and family can help diagnose it. “Family members are often times the first to really start to notice the early symptoms of the mania,” Astin says. Astin — whose resume includes “The Goonies,” “Lord of the Rings” and, today, “24” — spoke to amNewYork about bipolar disorder. [More]