Michael J. Fox told Howard Stern on Wednesday that he drank heavily after discovering he had Parkinson's disease in 1991.

"It just felt helpless," he said. "It felt unfair in a way. It's hard to explain. My first reaction to it was to start drinking heavily. I used to drink to party, but then I was drinking alone ... every day."

Fox -- who has returned to television on "The Michael J. Fox Show" -- said the "self-medicating" went on for several months. "It was about a year of a knife fight in a closet, where I just didn't have my tools to deal with it," Fox said. "But then after that I went to therapy, and it all started to get really clear to me."

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Actor Michael J. Fox answers fan questions during SiriusXM’s ’Town Hall’ series at SiriusXM Studios on
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Actor Michael J. Fox answers fan questions during SiriusXM's 'Town Hall' series at SiriusXM Studios on September 24, 2013 in New York City. (Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

According to Us Weekly, Fox said therapy showed him the disease wasn't a death sentence. Things started improving. "My marriage got great," he said, referring to wife Tracy Pollan, whom he wed in 1988. "And my career started to (take off again)."

Fox recently told Rolling Stone that Parkinson's actually made him a better actor. "That hesitation, that Parkinsonian affect, is an opportunity to just pause in a moment and collect as a character and respond to what's happening and just gave me this kind of gravitas," he said. "It really gave me a new view of things."

"I used to be really nervous, and sit in my dressing room and fret about a scene that was coming up and sweat it out and say, 'What am I going to do? You say action and I have to do something. What am I going to do? And what's that actor going to do? And how do I respond to that?' And now it's just like 'OK, what's happening?' And if something happens, I react to it, and if nothing happens, I don't react. I don't worry about that bit I was going to do or the look I was gonna give because when I get there I may not be able to give that look or do that thing or move that glass."

Contact Tony Hicks at Facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.TonyHicks or Twitter.com/insertfoot.