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Doctor Who’s Christopher Eccleston ‘thought he was going to die’ amid depression battle

Actor Christopher Eccleston, who is best known for his time in Doctor Who, has opened up on his mental health battle after he was admitted to hospital with severe clinical depression.

At the time, the actor was filming as a character called Maurice on The A Word on BBC, where he played a comic, but in reality he was facing a daily battle with himself.

The 57-year-old, who discussed his challenges during an interview with Big Issue, where he is an ambassador, said that when he had severe clinical depression and was hospitalised, he nearly lost everything.

He said: “There was one night I thought I was going to die. I was running down Euston Road with a suitcase.



Christopher said he "thought he was going to die"
Christopher said he “thought he was going to die”

“Now, if anybody has seen me, they’d have gone, ‘Oh, there’s Doctor Who’. My point is, I don’t think people understand how quickly it can happen. Particularly in times of economic recession.”

Speaking on his work at the time, which saw him being playing a comic, he said: “I was spending 10 hours a day being him, then I would go back to my hotel room and I wouldn’t sleep.”

He said that he had spent years in a “fight or flight”, but could no longer do so – adding that his brain was telling him that he was about to die.

“I wasn’t necessarily going to take my own life. I don’t know whether it would be called psychosis, I was just convinced that I was about to die all night.”



He appeared on Doctor Who in 2005
He appeared on Doctor Who in 2005

Despite battling his challenges in the evening, Christopher would get up and put his costume on the next day and said he was “fine”.

He has been incredibly open about his journey, following the release of his both I Love the Bones of You, released in 2019 which saw him open up on his mental health battle.

He said he was a “lifelong anorexic and dysmorphic” for years, but felt it was a “filthy secret”.



He decided to check himself into a psychiatric hospital
He decided to check himself into a psychiatric hospital

As his depression battle worsened, Christopher decided to check himself into a psychiatric hospital, adding that he looked up the hospital, rang ahead grabbed his bag and ran there.

The full interview with The Big Issue is available now.

For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

If you’re worried about your health or the health of somebody else, you can contact SEED eating disorder support service on 01482 718130 or on their website, https://seedeatingdisorders.org.uk.

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Doctor Who's Christopher Eccleston 'thought he was going to die' amid depression battle
Anurag Reddy
I'm a 29-year-old travel enthusiast, travel and nature photographer, Computer Science graduate, and Mass Communication student. I have seen different shades of life through traveling and lived different lives through reading. With every word I write, I travel within, and I understand myself better. Writing helps me discover myself, and that paved roads for me to choose writing as a profession.
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