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Christopher Eccleston Recalls Struggle with Mental Health: “I Thought I Was Going to Die”

Recently, a lot more has come out about what exactly happened on the set of Doctor Who when Christopher Eccleston was the Ninth Doctor. While there is still no doubt a lot of information about that to come out, not only from Eccleston, but also Billie Piper, Russell T Davies, and Julie Gardener to name a few, Eccleston has gotten more comfortable over talking about his time on the show.

In a recent interview with Big Issue, of which Eccleston is a big supporter of, he described how he nearly lost everything following an admission to hospital with severe clinical depression.

“There was one night I thought I was going to die.”

He went on to explain how he doesn’t think people understand how quickly it can happen. He had a break down when he was filming an episode about mental health for The A Word, back in 2016, and explained how he would spend 10 hours playing his character, Maurice, and would then go back to his hotel room and not be able to sleep.

Later he found out his body was in a severe fight or flight battle for the last couple of years and that, because he could no longer do either of those things, his brain chemistry was telling him he was about to die. He went on:

“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.”

After a night of not sleeping, he would arrive at the set and Maurice’s costume was ready to be worn and he was fine.

Mental health is still something that people struggle to talk about, particularly for men, but things are gradually changing, and no doubt Eccleston will become a big spokesperson for related charities in the near future.

We post this now because many struggle with their mental health during the winter months, so we encourage everyone who feels low to talk to their loved ones, talk to friends, talk to each other even on the DWC. The NHS offers a range of services to help those struggling with their mental health, and you can turn to others too, including the Samaritans, free on 116 123 (UK and ROI), or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the USA (1-800-273-8255).

Jordan Shortman

Christopher Eccleston Recalls Struggle with Mental Health: “I Thought I Was Going to Die”

by Jordan Shortman time to read: 2 min
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