Doctor Who actor Christopher Eccleston has said that his battles with anorexia and depression made him consider taking his own life.
Eccleston revealed that he suffered the eating disorder in a new memoir, and that he struggled with it while appearing as the ninth Doctor on the veteran BBC sci-fi series.
He added that it was stereotyped male northern stoicism that meant that he neglected to seek help.
“Many times I’ve wanted to reveal that I’m a lifelong anorexic and dysmorphic,” he writes.
“I never have. I always thought of it as a filthy secret, because I’m Northern, because I’m male and because I’m working-class.
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“The illness is still there raging within me as the Doctor. People love the way I look in that series, but I was very ill. The reward for that illness was the part. And therein lies the perpetuation of the whole sorry situation.”
Eccleston also reveals that he fell into a deep clinical depression following the breakdown of his marriage in 2015, and it was while making the series The A Word for the BBC that he began contemplating suicide.
He added: “I was in a state of extreme anxiety, convinced I was either going to die or I was going to kill myself. In my despair I reached for my phone and looked up a psychiatric hospital, I rang ahead, grabbed my bag and ran.
“I was 100 per cent sure I was in the last few weeks of my life.”
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Eccleston, who is 55, starred as the Doctor for a single series in the 2005 revival of the show, alongside the likes of Billie Piper and John Barrowman.
He added that after treatment, he was prescribed anti-depressants, and 'could be on them for the rest of his days'.
“I do have an issue with that. I would like to attempt slowly to reduce the dose, to experience reality again, to see how I do… And yet, interestingly I have received some of the best reviews of my life since I started taking them,” he went on.
His autobiography, I Love The Bones Of You, will be published later this week.