Stephen Fry Reveals 2012 Suicide Attempt

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Stephen Fry Reveals 2012 Suicide Attempt
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Stephen Fry has revealed that he attempted suicide in 2012 while he was filming abroad, saying it was a "close-run thing".

Fry, who was saved by his producer, made his revelation to the shocked audience during recording for comedian Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast , transcribed on the British Comedy Guide website.

He said on his Twitter feed that the conversation with Herring was "intimate". "He somehow made me open up," he added.

He told Herring: "It was a close-run thing. I took a huge number of pills and a huge (amount) of vodka and the mixture of them made my body convulse so much that I broke four ribs, but I was still unconscious.

"And, fortunately, the producer I was filming with at the time came into the hotel room and I was found in a sort of unconscious state and taken back to England and looked after."

Fry, 55, who is president of the mental health charity Mind, has spoken openly about his struggle with bipolar disorder.

Sufferers are prone to drastic mood swings which can see them veering from hyperactive positivity to deep depression.

The actor, writer and comedian told Herring: "I am the victim of my own moods, more than most people are perhaps, in as much as I have a condition which requires me to take medication so that I don't get either too hyper or too depressed to the point of suicide."

Speaking about the suicide attempt, he added: "This is the first time I've said this in public, but I might as well.

"I'm president of Mind, and the whole point in my role, as I see it, is not to be shy and forthcoming about the morbidity and genuine nature of the likelihood of death amongst people with certain mood disorders."

In an attack on the stigma of mental health problems, Fry attempted to convey to non-sufferers the lack of reasoning behind depression.

He explained: "There is no 'why', it's not the right question. There's no reason. If there were a reason for it, you could reason someone out of it, and you could tell them why they shouldn't take their own life."

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, welcomed Fry's outpouring, telling Sky News: "We have to praise Stephen for his very candid and honest conversation about his own experience.

"We hope and we know this is very helpful for many people who experience bipolar disorder."

He added: "We need to remove the stigma that exists around mental illness and people in the public eye can make a big difference to doing that."

Mr Farmer said he was confident Fry now had the right support mechanisms in place, pointing to a second tweet the star posted soon after his revelation.

"Thank you all for your concern. As Pres of @mindcharity I could only tell truth if asked directly. Now fine. On good meds. Love to you all x," Fry wrote on Twitter.

Rachel Kirby-Rider from the Samaritans also welcomed the fact that the actor had decided to speak openly about his problems.

Referring to research the charity carried out last year showing men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women, she told Sky News: "With men we do find it's something they find very difficult to talk about, to burden their friends or family or open up to people close.

"Even Stephen Fry has gone on record saying talking to strangers and organisations like the Samaritans can be very helpful for people … talking to someone removed from the situation can be a very good way of starting to address the issues you may have."

Fry previously attempted suicide after walking out of the West End play Cell Mates in 1995 - an event he recounted in a documentary for BBC2 called The Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive.

Mind can be contacted at 0300 123 3393 and at .

The Samaritans is available for anyone struggling to cope, round the clock, every single day of the year call 08457 90 90 90, email or find local branch details at .

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