Hugh Laurie says he’s battling depression

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It’s admirable when celebrities talk about their struggles with emotional, physical, and mental illnesses. They’re problems that make most people feel completely isolated and judged, and talking about them lets the rest of us know that everyone has issues, and there’s no reason to be ashamed. I always appreciate people that are honest about their imperfections instead of acting lofty.

“House” actor Hugh Laurie made some headlines (yeah I can’t believe this made headlines either, but whatever) on Thursday when he jetted from the set of “House” to go home to England, saying he had to deal with some family issues. Apparently Laurie has been battling depression for years, and misses his family. It also sounds like he deals with some anxiety issues as well.

British actor Hugh Laurie returned to work Monday after taking a sudden trip home to his native England for undisclosed family issues. On October 25, Laurie, 48, told producers he had to leave the L.A. set, promptly hopping on an afternoon flight to London, where his wife, Jo, and their three children, Charlie, Bill and Rebecca, reside. At the time, a show rep said that “Hugh had family obligations in England to attend to, but production is continuing in his absence.”

But in a revealing interview in Sunday’s Sydney Daily Telegraph, the Emmy-nominated star — who recently became one of the highest paid actors on TV, earning more than $300,000 an episode — admitted he is battling “mild depression” and continues to see a therapist periodically.

Not only does he miss his family (Laurie maintains a home in L.A., while they live in London), but he also said he was “drained” by the show’s overnight success and the 14-hour, five-days-a-week demands of the job. “I’m always thinking about the show,” he told the paper. “I’m too neurotic and too anal and too convinced that we’re going to fail to relax. Every show we do, every scene we shoot, is a disaster, I’m convinced of it. “I go home at the end of the day and my head is full of all the mistakes I’ve made. “I beat myself up about what I’ve stuffed up the day before,” he added. “I’m looking for things to go wrong. I’m not rejoicing or lying back and enjoying it.”

[From Us Weekly]

That makes me really sad to hear, but I think it’s great that Laurie is honest in saying that he has some issues to deal with. Pretty much everyone battles some sort of depression at one point in their life. Taking the stigma off it can only be a good thing. Hugh also admitted to having an affair with actress Audrey Cooke in 1997, and said it was related to his depression. It’s a little unclear from his phrasing if he means he had an affair because he was depressed, or he became depressed due to guilt over having the affair. Either way, his home life seems fairly stable now, and he clearly loves and misses his family. Hopefully he’ll do what he needs to be well.

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