Sophie Turner Opens Up About Mental Health Battle: ‘I Used to Think About Suicide a Lot When I Was Younger’


Sharing her story. Sophie Turner opened up about her mental health battle in a candid interview with Dr. Phil McGraw.

“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,” Turner, 23, said on the Tuesday, April 16, episode of the “Phil in the Blanks” 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.”

The Game of Thrones star explained that she started suffering from depression at age 17, four years after she began filming the hit medieval drama. Turner revealed that negative social media comments contributed to her mental health issues and she believed whatever haters would write about her.

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Sophie Turner arrives for the “Game of Thrones” eighth and final season premiere at Radio City Music Hall on April 3, 2019 in New York City. ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images

“The character that I play on my show is called Sansa, and people used to say, ‘Damn, Sansa gained 10 lbs’ or ‘Damn, Sansa needs to lose 10 lbs or ‘Sansa got fat.’ It was just a lot of weight comments, or I would have spotty skin, because I was a teenager, and that’s normal, and I used to get a lot of comments about my skin and my weight and how I wasn’t a good actress,” she recalled. “I would just believe it. I would say, ‘Yeah, I am spotty. I am fat. I am a bad actress.’ I would just believe it. I would get [the costume department] to tighten my corset a lot. I just got very, very self-conscious.”

Turner also told Dr. Phil that she didn’t have a desire to socialize during breaks on set and she felt “withdrawn” from the outside world. “I had no motivation to do anything or go out. Even with my best friends, I wouldn’t want to see them, I wouldn’t want to go out and eat with them,” she admitted. “I just would cry and cry and cry over just getting changed and putting on clothes and be like, ‘I can’t do this. I can’t go outside. I have nothing that I want to do.’”

The British actress, who has spoken candidly in the past about her struggles, didn’t feel like she was “worthy” of her success on the HBO series, which furthered to her mental health decline. 

“I didn’t tell my parents until less than a year ago when they started seeing my therapist’s bills coming through and that’s when I told them,” Turner said, noting that she’s now in a much happier headspace. “I feel much better. I’ve been going therapy at CAST Centers, actually. I’m on medication and I love myself now, or more than I used to, I think.”

The Dark Phoenix star added that her fiancé, Joe Jonas, has helped her heal. “I [sometimes] don’t think I love myself at all, but I’m now with someone that makes me realize I do have some redeeming qualities, I suppose,” she explained. “And when someone tells you they love you every day, it makes you really think about why that is and I think that makes you love yourself a bit more. So yeah, I love myself.”

Turner also said that she is putting her career on hold to continue prioritizing her well-being. “I actually am still on my break. I took a break off of work to focus on my mental health because I thought it was important,” she said. “So I’m still on that.”

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