Bergson Says He Suffered Anxiety Attacks While Mayor

Updated: 02/27/2014 10:27 PM
Created: 02/27/2014 10:00 PM

Former Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson is revealing that he began having anxiety attacks while he was in office.

In a telephone interview with a UW-Superior Broadcast Journalism class, Bergson said he began having the attacks ten years ago.  "All of the sudden, I couldn't sign my name right.  My hands were shaking all the time and I didn't know what it was," Bergson said.

Bergson, a former police officer who served as Duluth mayor from 2004 to 2008 after holding the same office in Superior, said the attacks began a road that lead to his alcoholism.  He was first charged with drunken driving in 2005 after a crash in Washburn County and said his third drunken driving arrest last fall was a wake-up call.

"It was the lowest moment of my life," he said.  "I roomed with a bunch of criminals, people that I helped to put there for 19 years and I was with them.  I made a few friends, actually."

Earlier this year, Bergson served a 22-day sentence for a drunken driving conviction in Sauk County.  He hopes to enter a voluntary in-patient treatment program next week.

The interview will air on Wisconsin Public Radio stations KUWS (91.3 FM, Superior) and WUWS (90.9 FM, Ashland) on Friday and Monday at 6 p.m.

Herb Bergson speaks at a press conference following a druken driving arrest in 2005.

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