stephen fry, one of britain’s best-loved actors and comedians, has been tormented by mental illness for much of his life. but he has never before spoken of it with such candour. this week for the first time, in a programme to be broadcast on BBC2, he bares his soul.
“i always heard voices in my head saying what a useless bastard i am, but the voice is my own,” says fry. “it is my own voice, telling me what a worthless lump of shit i am.” (yes, stephen, i can relate…)
he was suicidal at age 17. it wasn’t until he was 37 that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. (i wasn’t diagnosed bipolar until the age of 32, after 19 years of therapy.) now, at age 49, stephen lays his illness open to public scrutiny. “i want to speak out, to fight the public stigma and to give a clearer picture of a mental illness most people know little about.”
in the bbc2 documentary, the secret life of the manic depressive, he consults experts and fellow sufferers of bipolar disorder, including the comedian tony slattery and the hollywood actors richard dreyfuss and carrie fisher.
i failed to mention in my previous entry that although this illness can be paralyzing, you can lead a very successful, fulfilling life. you can have happiness and love…along with the pain and depression. after one of my darkest times i quit my 9-5 job and pursued a career i had dreamed about for years. for the last eight years i have been working in the film industry, alongside actors like matt damon, tom hanks, peter fonda, laura dern, jeremy sisto and denzel washington, to name a few. my job is stressful and demanding but i love it. if you would have asked me twenty years while watching a film, do you think you’ll ever see your name in the credits? it would have been no, with a capital N.
anything is possible. i continue to remind myself of this and you should too…
to read more on stephen fry click here.