Sophie Turner reveals how her struggle with depression affected her 'Game of Thrones' performance

Raechal Shewfelt
·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Sophie Turner attends the final season premiere of "Game Of Thrones" on April 3, 2019, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. (Photo: Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Sophie Turner attends the final season premiere of Game of Thrones on April 3, 2019, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. (Photo: Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Sophie Turner has detailed the depression that she experienced on her first few years on Game of Thrones.

As the actress revealed on the new episode of Dr. Phil’s podcast, “Phil in the Blanks,” it became a problem when she was about 17, three years after she was cast in the hit drama.

“There’s been a few things, but I think the biggest challenge — and I’ve had it for the longest out of all my mental health problems — is my depression,” Turner said. “I’ve suffered with depression for about five or six years now, and the biggest challenge is just, for me, getting out of bed and getting out of the house. Learning to love yourself is the biggest challenge, I think.”

Turner revealed that she first noticed herself falling into a depression around the time when she was still living at home, when not working on the show, while all her friends and brothers were going off to university.

“It only started to kind of go downhill, I think, when I started to hit puberty — really puberty, though, at like 17 and my metabolism was slowing down massively — and I was gaining weight, and then there was the social media scrutiny and everything and that was when it kind of hit me.”

When she wasn’t filming, which was about five months out of the year, Turner struggled. She moved out of her parents’s house by the time she was 18.

“I had no motivation to do anything, go out. Even with my best friends, I wouldn’t want to see them,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to go out and eat with them. I just would cry and cry and cry over having to get changed and having to put on clothes and be like, I can’t do this. I can’t go outside. I have nothing I want to do.”

When asked if she believed social media was to blame for her depression, Turner said not entirely.

“I think it contributed. I wouldn’t say that was the main reason, I think it’s some sort of chemical imbalance,” Turner said. “But I think it definitely was a bit of a catalyst. You see 10 great comments and you ignore them, but one negative comment and it just throws you off.”

Turner said that she’s learning to avoid reading social media comments.

But when she does read them, she doesn’t believe them, like she once did. Turner recalled a time when comments about her body or her face or her acting made her so self-conscious that it was affecting her performance in a negative way.

“I couldn’t be true to the character, because I was so worried about Sophie,” Turner said.

The actress is doing better these days, and fiancé Joe Jonas has played a part.

“I’ve been doing therapy… I’m on medication, and I love myself now, or more than I used to, I think. I don’t think I loved myself at all. But I’m now with someone that makes me realize that I do have some redeeming qualities, I suppose, and when someone tells you they love you every day it makes you really think about why that is and I think it makes you love yourself a bit more.”

Turner teared up when Dr. Phil praised her for using her platform to speak up about her mental health issues.

They shared the numbers for both the Crisis Text Line at 741741 and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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