Many of us will remember back in the mid-nineties when Fry walked out of a West End play and disappeared off the map for a week – feared dead – before showing up in Belgium.
It was later revealed by Fry himself that he had come close to gassing himself in his car before escaping the country, and it was only the thought of his parents that stopped him.
Fry went onto reveal he was battling bipolar disorder, otherwise known as manic depression, an illness which is characterised by fluctuations between extreme highs and unbearable lows.
In 2006 Fry discussed his experiences openly in the BBC2 documentary, ‘The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive’, in which he consults experts and other sufferers presenting a truthful, in depth and dignified account of an illness which affects thousands of people every year.
Since then Fry has always effectively used his celebrity status to raise awareness of bipolar disorder, but ‘In Confidence’ marks the first time he has discussed his ongoing battle with manic depression for some time.
In his interview with Professor Laurie Taylor Fry said that people do not realise just how bad the condition is, though he did admit that others do suffer more seriously.
‘The fact that I am lucky enough not to have it so seriously doesn’t mean that I won’t one day kill myself, I may well.’
‘It’s a morbid condition and any doctor will tell you it is one of the most serious morbid conditions that is present in Britain.’
‘Stupid people like Janet Street-Porter – who is a friend of mine, but she can be stupid about these things, or at least deliberately provocative – say, ‘Oh, why do celebrities bang on about it?’ Well, there’s a good reason. There are millions out there whose lives are utterly blighted.’ He said.
Fry said that one of the good things about suffering in public eye means that he is immune from the stigma that others face.
If you would like to find out more about bipolar disorder and how counselling and psychotherapy may be able to help please visit our fact-sheet.
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