Line of Duty actress Keeley Hawes has been speaking about her struggles against depression.
Hawes, who plays DI Lindsay Denton in series two of the crime drama, has revealed that she started suffering with depression from the age of 17, and that it is something – despite treatment – that has never gone away.
“[Therapy] hasn’t worked for me,” she says. “I’ve got a chemical imbalance that has to be managed. And then it’s fine. It’s not something that’s cured and then goes away and you move on. You are always aware, even if it’s only on a bad morning here and there, that it can escalate quickly,” she told Red magazine.
Hawes, who will soon be making a guest appearance in Doctor Who, went on to add that, while it had affected her severely in the past, she has learnt to cope with it better now, and doesn’t let it consume her anymore.
”Life is too short for that,” she said. “I wouldn’t let it happen again. I wouldn’t let it overtake me.”
This is not the first time Hawes has mentioned her depression, but is the most candid she has been about it. In a previous interview with The Telegraph, she described DI Dention as being, “depressed – I know what that’s like, but she has to carry on. People do.”
Depression is the most common form of mental illness, with it affecting one in 12 of the world’s population, and one in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. Its root causes or, indeed, how to adequately treat it, is still a topic that continues to perplex psychiatry, with even the “chemical imbalance” theory that Hawes mentions not scientifically proven.
Hawes is one of many celebrities who have spoken out about their mental health recently. Comedians Stephen Fry, Ruby Wax and Rob Delaney have all been outspoken on the topic. And before his death last month, actor Robin Williams made no secret of his struggles against depression, admitting in an interview: “Do I perform sometimes in a manic style? Yes. Am I manic all the time? No. Do I get sad? Oh yeah. Does it hit me hard? Oh yeah.”
To get help or find out more about living with depression, please visit Mind.