Stephen Fry Speaks Out

Stephen Fry’s frank and honest revelation about his 2012 suicide attempt, when he combined a ‘huge number of pills’ with a ‘huge amount of vodka’ while filming overseas, has lauded him a well-deserved amount of praise and support from the his peers and the general public.


In an attempt to help demystify the symptoms and experiences of depression and bipolar disorder Fry, who is the president of mental health charity Mind, spoke frankly about the risk of suicide amongst people suffering from mood disorders. He has reached out to other people who are suffering, while also helping to educate and inform non-sufferers about bipolar disorder and depression.


Fry’s admission that there are times when he is laughing and joking on QI while wishing inside that he were no longer alive may have been revelatory to those who can relate to this painful way of being, and are struggling to make sense of what is happening. To hear someone talk about their depression can be enlightening for others going through similar experiences, and can become the catalyst for going to get help through counselling or therapy. Perhaps you can relate to this?


Other celebrities have publicly revisited their experiences of depression in the wake of Fry’s interview. Loose Women’s Denise Welch, who has previously spoken publicly about struggling to have her depression recognised and taken seriously, first battled depression in 1989 after the birth of her son. Welch knows how much easier it is to work with depression once you have someone to talk to: ‘A lot of people who require help are not getting it. That has to change,’ Welch said. ‘You can have depression and come through the other side…but you can’t do it on your own.’


Alastair Campbell, who spoke out in support of Fry last week, has also talked frankly about his depression over the past three decades: ‘I have faced it many times, though for years I drowned it out in drink, and perhaps at other times crowded it out with work,’ he told The Mirror last year. ‘People ask, “what’s wrong?” and you don’t really know. “What triggered it?” and you can’t answer that either.’ But it can be good to just talk, and to have a supportive ear listening.


Like Alastair Campbell, many people who suffer from depression use distractions like work and/or alcohol to help manage feelings of despair. Others, like Stephen Fry, may appear to be happy and bubbly when inside they are feeling at their lowest ebb. Thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself can be distressing and frightening, and it is a very confusing and isolating time. It can be difficult to ask for support from friends and family, especially when you don’t really understand what is going on yourself.


If you relate to the words of Stephen Fry, Denise Welch and Alastair Campbell, it may be that you are also finding it difficult to know where to go for help. Our counsellors at The Grove are experienced in working with depression, and familiar with its multi-faceted presentation. We will provide you with a safe, non-judgemental space where you can share your experiences and receive support and understanding, so let’s talk first before things get out of hand.


Find out more about therapy with The Grove Practice here.