The final Game of Thrones season promises to be incredibly dark, and with the end of the series, some matching personal revelations are coming to light from the show’s stars. Emilia Clarke, who of course embodies Daenerys Targaryen, recently opened up about suffering from two nearly fatal aneurysms to promote her foundation to raise money for brain injuries. Now Sophie Turner is wrapping up her turn as Sansa by speaking up (to Dr. Phil during his DrPhilInTheBlanks podcast) about how she battled suicidal thoughts following relentless criticism during her earlier Thrones years.
Turner, who began filming the immensely successful series when she was only 14, admits that online comments about not only the show but her appearance took her toll. Puberty is rarely kind to anyone, but one can see how the glare of the spotlight would intensify the experience, and starting around age 17, Turner said she had difficulty coping and believed the criticism:
“I would just believe it. I would say, ‘Yeah, I am spotty. I am fat. I am a bad actress.’ I would just believe it. I would get [the costume department] to tighten my corset a lot. I just got very, very self-conscious … 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.'”
Five or six years later, Turner reflected further upon those difficult years, which included suicidal thoughts. “”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,” she told Dr. Phil. “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. I don’t know.”
Turner currently takes medication to keep those feelings at bay and also benefited from therapy. Her words will hopefully spark awareness of what officials have called a public health crisis to due rising suicide rates. If you or anyone you know suffers from thoughts of self harm, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255 and provides free, confidential help for those who need it most.