Author Topic: Stephen Fry tried to commit suicide last year with a 'huge a number of pills...  (Read 4958 times)

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2336406/Stephen-Fry-tried-commit-suicide-year-large-number-pills-vodka-saved-producer-unconscious-body.html
   
Stephen Fry tried to commit suicide last year with a 'huge a number of pills and vodka' but was only saved when a producer found his unconscious body

    Entertainer made admission during interview to be broadcast tomorrow
    Took cocktail of 'pills and vodka' and convulsed breaking four ribs
    'I attempted it last year. This is the first time I've said this in public,' he said
    Bipolar sufferer previously warned in 2011 he feared he might kill himself

By Simon Cable

PUBLISHED: 17:42, 5 June 2013 | UPDATED: 09:03, 6 June 2013

Stephen Fry has admitted he tried to commit suicide by overdosing on a cocktail of vodka and pills, and was only saved by a producer who discovered him unconscious.

The actor and presenter, 55, who has a history of depression and suffers from bipolar disorder, revealed he was in a hotel room abroad last year when he tried to take his own life.

According to the star, he fell unconscious but the mixture of substances he had taken made his body convulse so violently he broke four ribs. A producer on the programme he was filming called in to see him, and immediately raised the alarm.

In an interview with fellow comedian Richard Herring for the Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, Fry said that as president of mental health charity Mind, he felt he should talk about his own episodes of depression.

'I am the victim of my own moods, more than most people are perhaps, in as much as I have a condition which requires me to take medication so that I don't get either too hyper or too depressed to the point of suicide,' said Fry, who first disclosed contemplating killing himself 18 years ago.

'I would go as far as to tell you that I attempted it last year, so I'm not always happy. This is the first time I've said this in public, but I might as well.

'It was a close run thing. I took a huge number of pills with a large amount of vodka and the mixture of them made my body convulse so much that I broke four ribs, but I was still unconscious.

'Fortunately, the producer I was filming with at the time came into the hotel room and I was found in a sort of unconscious state and taken back to England and  looked after.'

The location where it happened and the programme or movie he was filming were not revealed in the interview.

Yesterday, mental health campaigners described the star as brave for discussing his problems and said it would help others.

Fry came close to committing suicide in 1995 after walking out of the West End play Cell Mates, which had suffered poor reviews.

He fled Britain by ferry and was missing, feared dead, for a week before he resurfaced in Belgium.

He later revealed that he almost gassed himself in his car before escaping the country, but 'I had this image of my parents staring right in at me... so I decided not to do it'.

It was during a TV interview in 2011 that the broadcaster admitted he found the demands of fame 'exhausting' – and feared he may one day  kill himself.

Fry also told Herring: 'Now, you may say, how can anyone who has got it all be so stupid as to want to end it all? That's the point, there is no “why?”, it's not the right question. There's no reason.

'If there were a reason for it, you could reason someone out of it, and you could tell them why they shouldn't take their own life, and some of the most brilliant minds there have been have taken their own lives. 'All my friends when they heard about this, and my family when they eventually heard about it, came to visit me in the hospital said “Why didn't you call?”.

'Think of your very best friend. Very, very best friend.

'Suppose you suddenly noticed you had a massive and really disturbing genital wart. Would you show it to your very best friend? No.

'If there were a reason for it, you could reason someone out of it, and you could tell them why they shouldn't take their own life, and some of the most brilliant minds there have been have taken their own lives. 'All my friends when they heard about this, and my family when they eventually heard about it, came to visit me in the hospital said “Why didn't you call?”.

'Think of your very best friend. Very, very best friend.

'Suppose you suddenly noticed you had a massive and really disturbing genital wart. Would you show it to your very best friend? No.

'You might show it to a stranger, a doctor, a genital urinary specialist, or to Doctor Christian I suppose on Embarrassing Bodies – or in the street in his case.

'But, the weird thing is, although friendship is what Ralph Waldo Emerson called the “masterpiece of nature”, it is a thing we all celebrate, oddly enough it doesn't solve things like that.'

Fry, who also hosts panel show QI, has long been open about suffering from bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression.

The illness is characterised by episodes of mania and depression, with extreme episodes often lasting for several weeks.

About one in every 100 people are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, with between 25 and 56 per cent of sufferers making at least one  suicide attempt.

Talking about his experience with the illness, Fry added: 'If un-medicated, there are times when I am so exuberant, so hyper, that I can go three or four nights without sleeping and I'm writing and I'm doing stuff and I'm so grandiose and so full of self-belief that it's almost impossible to deal with me.

'I can't stop speaking, I'm incredible, I go on shopping sprees.

'Fortunately one of the common signs of mania, or hyper-mania as it is known, is sexual exhibitionism. I don't have that as one of my brands, but others do. There are times when I'm doing QI and I'm going “ha ha, yeah, yeah”, and inside I'm going “I want to ****ing  die.'

Paul Jenkins, CEO of Rethink Mental Illness, praised Fry for his openness, saying: 'It makes a big difference to the millions of other people facing mental illness, because it shows that they are not alone and that anyone can be affected by it.'

BIPOLAR: THE FACTS

Bipolar disorder is a chronic illness characterised by episodes of mania and of depression.

There is a high lifetime suicide risk in patients with the disorder – between 25 and 56 per cent make at least one suicide attempt during their lifetime and up to 19 per cent die from the attempt.

About one in every 100 people are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It can occur at any age, though often develops between the ages of 18 and 24.

During manic episodes a sufferer feels very high and overactive. They may also have lots of ambitious plans and ideas, may spend a lot of money, and may not feel like eating or sleeping.

They can also be very restless, extremely irritable, lack concentration and take part in risky activities.

During periods of depression they feel low and lethargic and can have overwhelming feelings of worthlessness that result in suicidal thoughts.

In the depressive phase, people sometimes also feel emotionally empty, guilty, become forgetful and lose interest in daily life.

Each extreme episode can last for several weeks.

Treatment options include taking medications such as mood stabilisers, having talking therapy, or making lifestyle changes such as doing regular exercise and getting more sleep.

Source: NHS Choices and Mind

fighting_the_tide

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When I first found out about this - I wasn't surprised as many people may have been. After all - famous people/celebrities be it panel shows/blockbuster movies/sitcoms or other outlets (regardless of what they are) - are as human as the rest of us - and are as likely as we are in an overall average group to develop depression in multiple formats - attempt suicide - but the one thing they have for certain is that they've made the best of a "bad situation" with what they've gone through/got diagnosed with etc.

Some people may think I'm completely bonkers for saying it - but there are those who don't like to hear about celebrity lifestyles because it "rubs it in the faces of those whose hard work seems to go unnoticed". Yet my view is - don't complain about what they have that you don't - make the best of what you know you CAN do. It's not always easy when in the grip of depression - but who else is going to live your life if you're not?

JC

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Famous people/celebrities are just as human as the rest of us. The major difference is that due to their fame/celebrity their lives are the subject of media attention and public scrutiny, which the rest of us don't have to deal with. I would think this could probably make them more susceptible to developing a depressive illness, if they were not already suffering from depression.

It is very hard to imagine what it must feel like to have your darkest moments splashed across the red tops for the 'entertainment' of the public.