Thursday, 23 February 2012

Objective Proficiency p 146. Stephen Fry: The Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive

In the mid-1990s, Stephen Fry, the British actor and comedian, had a moment of crisis. He recalled in 2006:

"Eleven years ago, in the early hours of the morning, I came down from my flat in central London. I went into my garage, sealed the door with a duvet I’d brought and got into my car. I sat there for at least, I think, two hours in the car, my hands on the ignition key. It was, you know, a suicide attempt, not a cry for help".

Fry didn’t end up killing himself. We know that. Instead, he left the country, heading first to Europe, then to the US where he sought treatment and, at the age of 37, received a diagnosis explaining “the massive highs and miserable lows” he had experienced his whole life: manic depression.

Once he learned to live with manic depression, Fry decided to talk publicly about his struggle and break the taboos around the condition. So, in partnership with the BBC, Fry helped produce the 2006 documentary Stephen Fry: The Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive. The programme puts Fry’s personal experience center stage. But it also brings Fry to talk with other celebrities (Robbie Williams, Richard Dreyfuss & Carrie Fisher) and everyday people living with bipolar disorder.

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