Sophie Turner reveals she struggled with depression over 'Game of Thrones' criticism
During the latest episode of Dr. Phil's podcast, Phil in the Blanks, actress Sophie Turner revealed that she suffered from depression for years. At age 14, she booked the role of Sansa Stark on the epic HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, a dream job for any actor. However, Hollywood success and fame came at the cost of brutal scrutiny on social media.
"I’ve suffered with depression for about five or six years now," Turner said. "I was so in love with [Game of Thrones]. I couldn’t believe I was going to get paid for it, I was on an amazing show. It only started to go downhill really when I started to hit puberty, when I was 17 and my metabolism slowed down, I was gaining weight and then there was social media scrutiny, and it really hit me."
On social media, trolls posted vicious comments attacking her physical appearance. "You see 10 great comments and you ignore them, but one negative comment and it just like, throws you off," Turner explained. "People used to write, ‘Damn, Sansa gained 10 lbs.,’... Or I would have spotty skin because I was a teenager and that’s normal, but I used to get a lot of comments about my skin and my weight and how I wasn’t a good actress.
The negative remarks had a severe impact on her mental health. "I would just believe it," Turner recalled. "I would just say, ‘Yeah, I am spotty, I am fat, I am a bad actress.’... I would get [the costume department] to tighten my corset a lot. I just got very, very self-conscious... I had no motivation to do anything or go out. Even with my best friends, I wouldn’t want to see them. 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.’"
When Dr. Phil asked if she ever considered committing suicide, Turner said, "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. 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."
However, today the 22-year-old X-Men: Dark Phoenix star is feeling much better, thanks to therapy, medication and her relationship with fiancé Joe Jonas. "For me, getting out of bed and getting out of the house and learning to love yourself is the biggest challenge," Turner said. "[Now] I feel much better. I've been going to therapy at CAST Centers, actually. I'm on medication and I love myself now, or more than I used to, I think."
In October 2017, Turner got engaged to Jonas, and credits him for improving her mental health. "I'm now with someone that makes me realize that I do have some redeeming qualities, I suppose," Turner said. "And when someone tells you they love you every day, it makes you really think about why that is and I think it makes you love yourself a bit more. So yeah, I love myself... I feel safe around him. I won't be judged by him. He's seen the worst."
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article, contact Your Life Your Voice on 1-800-448-3000, or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline on 1-800-273-8255.