In the early days of Game Of Thrones Sophie Turner admitted criticism of her character led her to become depressed as she read into harsh social media comments. From jibes about her weight, ‘spotty skin’ and acting skills, the 23-year-old took comments hard.
The star this week opened up on becoming depressed as a teen as she rose through the ranks of the HBO show as Sansa Stark. Before then, though, Sophie admitted she would think about the concept of suicide when younger. ‘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.
I don’t know why though,’ she told Dr Phil on his podcast. ‘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.’ When on the show, in her first acting role, she said the depressed thoughts ‘only started to go downhill’ when she hit puberty and, as she said, her ‘metabolism slowed down’.
On the effect social media had on her mental state, she said: ‘I think it contributed [to depression]. I wouldn’t say it was the main reason, it’s some sort of chemical balance, but I think it was a catalyst.’
‘So the character I play is Sansa and people used to write, “Damn Sansa gained 10 pounds” or “Sansa got fat”,’ Sophie said earlier in the interview. ‘It was just a lot of weight comments or I’d have spotty skin because I was a teenager, and that’s normal. ‘I used to get a lot of comments about my skin, and my weight and how I wasn’t a good actress, things like that. I used to get called “wooden” a lot, still do. ‘I would just believe it. I would just say,
“Yeah I am spotty, I am fat, I am a bad actress” and I just believed it.’ Sophie said she’d ‘ignore the 10 good messages’ and let the one negative comment ‘throw her off’, adding she’d ask the costume department to ‘tighten’ her corset. Sophie said her mental health issues still persist today.
‘I’ve suffered with my depression for five or six years now,’ she said. ‘The biggest challenge for me is getting out of bed and getting out of the house. Learning to love yourself is the biggest challenge.’ However, she’s learnt to manage symptoms, as she added: ‘I’m on medication and I love myself now, or more than I used to, I think.’