Paddy Considine has told how he was gripped by despair before doctors found out he was suffering from a rare condition that made it difficult for him to cope with light.
The actor, who stars in ITV drama The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, now wears special, tinted contact lenses to cope with Irlen syndrome.
The Bourne Ultimatum actor and Tyrannosaur director was told he had Asperger's syndrome in 2010.
But he sought further help last year over his symptoms, which included thinking he had to stare intently at someone to make eye contact and being obsessed with stripes.
He told the magazine that he felt like he was "closing down...for years...and I just couldn't live my life.
"People would knock on the front door and I would literally hide under the table. I thought: this is not the way I need to live my life."
The specialist said that Paddy, 39, may show traces of Asperger's, but he also has Irlen syndrome, a condition in which the brain cannot properly process light and "visual information".
The actor told the magazine: "It was causing all this anger and aggravation of my brain. It was a nightmare. My brain was telling me to shut down as a result of it. From the minute I opened my eyes, light would hit my eyes and I'd already want to go back to sleep again."
The Hot Fuzz star sought help in California from the psychologist and therapist who had "discovered" the syndrome in 1980.