Christopher Eccleston ‘nearly lost everything’ during mental health battle
Christopher Eccleston has said he “nearly lost everything” after being admitted to hospital with severe clinical depression.
The former Doctor Who actor, 57, recalled reaching his lowest point during an interview with Plymouth-based Big Issue magazine vendor Clive.
Eccleston, who is an ambassador for the publication, said: “I think the received idea about people who sell The Big Issue is that they’ve never had a ‘successful life’.
“But I discovered that when I had a severe clinical depression and I was hospitalised… I nearly lost everything.
“There was one night I thought I was going to die.
“I was running down Euston Road with a suitcase.
“Now, if anybody has seen me they’d have gone, ‘Oh, there’s Doctor Who’.
“My point is, I don’t think people understand how quickly it can happen.
“Particularly in times of economic recession.”
Eccleston said he “broke down” and experienced a mental health episode while filming for the first series of The A Word on BBC, which aired in 2016.
He said: “I was playing a character called Maurice, who was comic and bluff.
“I was spending 10 hours a day being him, then I would go back to my hotel room and I wouldn’t sleep.”
He continued: “I found out afterwards that I’d been in fight or flight for a couple of years and could no longer fight or fly, my brain chemistry was telling me I was about to die.
“I wasn’t necessarily going to take my own life.
“I don’t know whether it would be called psychosis, I was just convinced that I was about to die all night.
“But when 7am came, I would go to work and there would be Maurice’s costume.
“And I swear to you, Clive, I put it on and I was fine.”
During their conversation, the pair agreed to work together in the future.
Clive has written a short play that will be performed at Plymouth’s Theatre Royal alongside the hit show NHS The Musical.
The full interview is in The Big Issue, out now.
– If you are struggling to cope, call Samaritans for free on 116 123 (UK and ROI) or contact other sources of support, such as those listed on the NHS’s help for suicidal thoughts webpage.Published: by Radio NewsHub