‘Game of Thrones’ star Sophie Turner says she battled depression
Sophie Turner opened up about the depression she quietly battled for years as she worked on “Game of Thrones.”
The actress, who stars as Sansa Stark on the fantasy series, says she began to struggle with her mental health four years into her time on the HBO show.
“It only started to kind of go downhill, I think, when I started to hit puberty, and really puberty, though, at like 17,” Turner, now 23, told Dr. Phil on his “Phil in the Blanks” podcast. “My metabolism was, like, slowing down massively, and I was gaining weight. And then there was the social media scrutiny and everything, and that was when it kind of hit me.”
Turner said the criticisms she’d see on social media “contributed” to her depression, though that wasn’t the only reason. She also attributed it to a possible “chemical imbalance” while calling social media a “catalyst.”
She regularly ignored the nice and uplifting comments she’d read about herself and instead focus on the negative posts from strangers about her weight, skin and abilities as an actress.
“I would just believe it,” Turner said. “I would just say, ‘Yeah I am spotty, yeah I am fat, I am a bad actress.’”
When Dr. Phil asked if she ever felt like suicide seemed like a “good option” to her during her struggle, Turner replied, “Yeah, it did.”
“I say that I wasn’t depressed very much when I was younger but I used to think about suicide a lot when I was younger,” she said.
“I don’t know why, though,” she continued. “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.”
Turner said she became “withdrawn” as she dealt with a depression at an older age, and struggled with her motivation to do anything.
She’d regularly stay home instead of going out with friends ? and didn’t tell anyone what she was going through other than her costar Maisie Williams, who plays her sister Arya on “Game of Thrones.”
“Maisie and I used to do it together,” Turner said. “I think being friends with each other was quite destructive because we were going through the same thing. We used to get home from set, go to a … a little supermarket and just buy food and go back to our room and just eat it in bed. We never socialized for a couple of years. We didn’t socialize with anyone but ourselves.”
She told Dr. Phil she’s doing better now after going to therapy and taking medication.
Turner also said her fiancé, pop star Joe Jonas, has helped her.
“I love myself now, or more than I used to,” Turner said. “I don’t think I loved myself at all. I’m now with someone that makes me realize that I do have some redeeming qualities, I suppose. 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.”