Sophie Turner, a 23-year old famous British actress that starred in a couple of X-Men movies and the ever-popular TV show Game of Thrones, recently had an interview with Dr. Phil McGraw. On his podcast called, Phil in the Blanks, the actress opened up about her mental health and how she struggled with it. She firmly believes that the social media contributed to her depression while growing up as an actress.
She had this to say in regards to her mental health during those times,
“Since I was really young, we’ve had a whole mental health thing in my family,”
“My immediate family, and myself, as well. I’ve suffered with depression for about five or six years now. It’s weird. I say I wasn’t very depressed when I was younger, but I used to think about suicide a lot when I was younger,”
“I don’t know why though. Maybe it’s just a weird fascination I used to have, but yeah, I used to think about it. I don’t think I ever would have gone through with it.”
She revealed that during her teenage years, she thought of suicide ‘a lot’, but not in a way that she would actually do it. She deemed it simply as a ‘weird fascination’ that she used to have.
She also said that she got hit by depression when she was around 17, the time when changes around her started happening, stating,
“My friends were all going to university and I was working. But I was still living at my parents’ house, so I felt very alone,”
“It only started to go downhill when I started to hit puberty and I was gaining weight. Then there was the social media scrutiny and everything — that was when it kind of hit me.”
Turner explained that during here time as an actress and as a public figure, she constantly gets tweets and comments that were both positive and negative. The problem was that she doesn’t care much about the praises and other positive things that people were saying about her, instead she delved on the very few negative ones, saying,
“You see 10 great comments and you ignore them, but one negative comment and it just like, throws you off,”
“People used to write, ‘Damn, Sansa gained 10 lbs.,’ or ‘Sansa needs to lose 10 lbs.’ It was just a lot of weight comments. Or I would have spotty skin because I was a teenager and that’s normal, but I used to get a lot of comments about my skin and my weight and how I wasn’t a good actress.”
And though most of the comments wasn’t even near the truth, she believed in these harsh and hateful comments anyway, leading to her depression. The sad part was that it turned her physical and mental awareness up a notch in the most terrible way.
She would tell staff to tighten her corset, believing she was fat, and she even stressed about angles when shooting. She worried about things and it visibly had an effect on her ability to work. The actress slowly lost her motivation, even from simply getting out of bed.
“I just would cry and cry and cry over just getting changed and putting on clothes and be like, ‘I can’t do this. I can’t go outside. I have nothing that I want to do.’”
Lifechanging decisions that helped her through the years
Turner revealed that she is attending therapy and admits it helped her a lot. She even confessed she is currently on medication. She also said that Joe Jonas, her fiancé, has been very supportive which helped her a lot, saying,
“When someone tells you they love you every day, it makes you really think about why that is and I think it makes you love yourself a bit more. So yeah, I love myself.”
Now that she has a little peace of mind and had the unfortunate experience of how toxic social media can be, she claimed that she tries not to read comments, captions on images, and any tagged photos of her. Once in a while, she admits she cheats and reads a few of them.
With what the actress is going through, she announced that she will have to put her career on hold and focus on her wellbeing. This led to Dr. Phil in commending her on her decisions and efforts, saying that her confidence on showing the world her mental struggles, could actually help save lives. This resorted to the actress getting emotional and even shedding a tear, adding,
“That is absolutely what I hope. That’s the payoff that I would like, for people to not feel so alone and to feel encouraged to talk to someone about it.”
You can watch the full interview here.