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Stephen Fry opens up about his breakdown and husband Elliott Spencer

Ainhoa Barcelona
Content Managing Editor
12 April 2017
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Behind that schoolmasterly confidence, Stephen Fry has admitted that he isn't always in control of his emotions. The TV star has recalled the first time he had a breakdown, and how he turned to his psychiatrist Bill for help. Stephen and Bill star in a new video released by Kensington Palace for the Heads Together mental health campaign, spearheaded by Prince William, Kate and Prince Harry, in a bid to get people talking about their mental health.

Recalling the dark period in his life, Stephen said: "Something had been building up inside me… Everything about my life just had come to its end, and I find it very, very difficult to look at myself, and obviously, having done the amount of TV and stuff I've done, there are times when I am sitting watching television and my ugly mug will pop up.

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"I can see in my eyes, I can see how unhappy I am," said Stephen

"I can see in my eyes, I can see how unhappy I am, and I became so good at being this schoolmasterly, confident figure, who apparently was in charge of everything, including his own emotions, and because I can speak with reasonably fluency, people mistake that for being in control and it's not."

Stephen, 59, turned to his psychiatrist for help when he had a breakdown and wanted to end his life. The pair agreed that Stephen talking about his feelings was key to his recovery. He added that his husband Elliott Spencer, who he married in 2015, knows exactly when his mood has changed. "It was very difficult, but it was ultimately the healing thing," said Stephen. "Talking was, really, a very strong part of the healing. And my best friend of all, my husband Elliott, he's become very expert at detecting when my moods are more than just being annoyed because I've locked myself out of the house, to a genuine fall in mood."

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The TV star turned to his psychiatrist Bill for help

Stephen is one of the latest stars to show his support for Heads Together, the mental health campaign spearheaded by the royals. Each week in the run-up to the London Marathon, Heads Together will be releasing two short films featuring celebrities and non-celebrities talking about mental health.

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