Maisie Williams opens up about mental health struggles: “I’d be like, ‘I hate myself'”

The Game of Thrones actor has spoken candidly about being in the public eye from a young age

Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones (Getty)

Having joined the now universally popular Game of Thrones franchise at just 12 years old, Maisie Williams has grown up in the spotlight.

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Now 22, the star, who plays Arya Stark in the HBO series, has opened up about the difficulties she has faced with her mental health as she battled with the pressures of fame from such a young age.

Speaking to Fearne Cotton on her podcast Happy Place, Williams explained that she’d often tell herself “awful things”, and felt urged to immerse herself in negative comments about her performance in the show.

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HBO

“It got to the point where I’d be in a conversation with my friends and my mind would be running and running and running and thinking about all the stupid things I’d said in my life, and all of the people that had looked at me a certain way, and it would just race and race and race,” she said. “We’d be talking and I’d be like, ‘I hate myself’…

“I think we can all relate to that — telling ourselves awful things. It got to me a lot, because there’s just a constant feed in your back pocket of what people think of you,” she said.

“It gets to a point where you’re almost craving something negative so you can sit in a hole of sadness, and it’s really bizarre the way it starts to consume you.”

With Game of Thrones coming to an end after eight series, Williams has said she is looking to take a break from acting for a little while.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, she explained she had dyed her hair pink as a way of taking some time off.

“I guess, subconsciously, I dyed it because I didn’t want to work,” she said. “It’s a pretty good way of stopping that. And it just feels so good, so me.

“I’ve battled my whole adolescence with trying to put a stamp on my appearance, but also be a blank canvas as an actor.”

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Game of Thrones concludes on Monday 20th May at 2am and 9pm on Sky Atlantic