Stephen Fry reveals he was suicidal as a teenager

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Stephen Fry  attends the BFI London Film Festival Luminous Gala at The Londoner Hotel on September 29, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Stephen Fry has been open about his mental health struggles. (WireImage)

Stephen Fry has admitted he was suicidal as a teenager and attempted to take his own life when he was 17.

Fry, in an interview with Steven Bartlett for his Diary of a CEO podcast, opened up about his difficult childhood that saw him arrested for credit card fraud and expelled from several schools.

The actor and comedian admitted: "Really what I first wanted to do was to take my life."

After spending time in prison for credit card fraud, Fry said said he decided to concentrate on getting into university to alleviate his troubles.

He said: "So, the best I could do after a disastrous childhood, I decided, was now concentrate on getting into Cambridge.That changed everything…I want to please people. And if I don't please them, I get upset. I've done it wrong."

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Fry also detailed visiting a psychiatrist when he was 14: "My parents took me to a psychiatrist when I was 14. A very grand Harley Street office.

"Apparently the things I did and the way I behaved were typical of people from unsettled families. He prescribed me something. They recognised that there was a mental kink in me."

Picture shows Huge Laurie (left) and Stephen Fry (right) Fry and Laurie are a successful English comedy double act, mostly active in the 1980s and 1990s. Photo taken - 29th January 1987. (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Comedy double act Huge Laurie and Stephen Fry in 1987. (Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

Fry was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 37 and has spoken openly about his struggles with depression.

In 2012, Fry opened up about attempting to commit suicide the year before, saying: "I would go as far as to tell you that I attempted it last year, so I'm not always happy. This is the first time I've said this in public, but I might as well. It was a close run thing.

"I took a huge number of pills with a large amount of vodka and the mixture of them made my body convulse so much that I broke four ribs, but I was still unconscious."

If you are experiencing feelings of distress, or are struggling to cope, you can speak to the Samaritans, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

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