Why Nina Had A Psychotic Break On General Hospital

Nina Reeves is portrayed by Cynthia Watros and has been embroiled in several major storylines on "General Hospital" over the years. Because of her antagonistic relationship with Willow Tait (Katelyn MacMullen) — whom Nina just found out recently is her daughter — many characters have pointed out her history with mental illness. Nina first arrived in Port Charles back in 2014 and she was initially played by Michelle Stafford. However, at first, Nina was in a coma.

Dr. Silas Clay (Michael Easton) went to Port Charles the year before and struck up a relationship with Sam McCall (Kelly Monaco). Silas didn't tell her that he'd been previously married to Nina because he not only thought she was in a coma, but her mother, Madeline Reeves (Donna Mills), informed Silas that she had died. While married to Nina, Silas had an affair with Ava Jerome (Maura West) and was unaware that he was the father of her daughter, Kiki Jerome (then Kristen Alderson). 

Silas thought Nina's coma, and perhaps her death, was because she had overdosed on drugs in an attempt to commit suicide when she found out about his affair with Ava. Everyone was shocked when Nina turned up alive, awakened from her coma. She wasn't too happy that Silas had moved on with Sam and was even more jealous that he had a daughter with Ava. Nina plotted to break up Sam and Silas and even faked needing a wheelchair to gain his sympathy. 

Nina's mother was the root of all her problems

It was spectacularly revealed that Nina hadn't overdosed on pills after all. Instead, her mother, Madeline, had poisoned her. When Madeline learned that Nina was pregnant with Silas's child, she was adamant that her substantial fortune wouldn't end up in the hands of either of them, since Madeline desired it for herself. She tried to force a miscarriage on Nina by poisoning her, but that scheme failed, landing Nina in a coma. 

Madeline's excuse for eventually telling Silas that Nina died was to keep him away from her family. Although Silas ended up leaving Sam for Nina out of guilt anyway, when he learned that Nina didn't really need a wheelchair, he dumped her. Vowing revenge, and heartbroken when Madeline told her that she did indeed miscarry while comatose, Nina took advantage of the fact that her mother had lost all her money and was desperate. She forced Madeline to help her plot to steal Ava's unborn child. 

Madeline provided Nina with medication that first paralyzed Ava, then induced labor. Ava revealed to Nina that Madeline had previously paid her to steal Silas away, and that's why they had an affair. Nina didn't care, and she stole the baby after it was born regardless. After evading the law, she bumped into former serial killer Franco Baldwin (Roger Howarth). The two had become friendly, so Franco helped Nina and the baby escape to Canada. However, he sensed that Nina was unbalanced. 

Franco sacrificed his freedom to protect Nina

The authorities and Silas finally caught up to the duo, and Silas convinced Nina to hand over the baby. He promptly turned around and gave it back to Ava, much to Nina's shock. In court, Nina pled temporary insanity and was sent to the Shadybrook mental institution. Because Franco's mother, the truly unhinged Heather Webber (Alley Mills), was also there, he got himself committed in an attempt to protect Nina. The two grew close again and were eventually freed. Madeline later coerced Ric Lansing (Richard Hearst) into marrying Nina, in another attempt to steal her daughter's fortune.

Ric and Madeline tricked Nina into thinking she was crazy by planting baby items like a crib around or making her hear the sounds of an infant crying. Nina was so far gone that she thought she'd kidnapped Ava's baby again, and Ric convinced her to check back into Shadybrook. But it turned out Silas had done it to use the child's bone marrow to save Ava. Nina figured out Ric's scheme and divorced him. 

She was later found kneeling over Silas's dead body, holding a knife. Nina was accused of murder, but Franco took the blame so she wouldn't go to jail. It was eventually revealed that Madeline had killed Silas to keep him from telling Nina that he'd discovered her and Ric's dastardly scheme. Nina has gone on to better herself, and she and Ava would eventually go from mortal enemies to best friends.