Gillian Anderson Opens Up About Her Mental Health Struggles: I Didn’t Want to Leave the House

Gillian Anderson
Gillan Anderson COOLMedia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Gillian Anderson opened up about her personal mental health struggles in a new interview with The Guardian published on Saturday, March 11.

The X-Files actress, 48, recently released a book, We: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere, cowritten with Jennifer Nadel, that details her ups and downs. “There were times when it was really bad,” she told The Guardian. “There have been times in my life where I haven’t wanted to leave the house.” 

She revealed in the interview that she has been in therapy since age 14. In her early teens, she dabbled with drugs and was given the “Most Likely to Get Arrested” superlative by her high school classmates, according to The Guardian. On the night of her graduation, she broke into her school to try to glue the locks shut and was charged with trespassing. She said that her struggles with addiction went beyond her teenage years. 

The Fall actress also opened up about her memory problems. She explained that she has difficulty remembering things, and a friend even suggested that she may have dyslexia. “Somebody had said to me that dyslexia isn’t just about seeing words backwards, it’s also about the assimilation of information,” she said. “I’d always been afraid to look into it, because I was afraid that if I found something out, I would think that I couldn’t do anything that I wanted to do. I have this impression that I can do whatever I make up my mind to. But the reality is …”

Luckily, she has no trouble remembering her lines, so it doesn’t affect her acting career. “But of course that’s terrifying for me, thinking, well, what if this problem that exists in the rest of my life shows up in that respect, too?” she said. “Then I’d be buggered.”

Anderson uses techniques detailed in her book, such as meditation and affirmations, to stay in a positive mindset. “The only thing that really matters in terms of our peace of mind is our peace of mind itself, and how we react to things,” she said in the interview. “All I know is that when I meditate, one goes beyond the physical, and it is possible to tap into a sense of absolute contentment and joy in that place.”

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