Belfast Telegraph

Brad Pitt goes public on depression battle

By Ella Pickover

He's been described as the most handsome man on the planet, he is one of the wealthiest and most sought after actors in Hollywood, but for almost a decade, Brad Pitt could barely face the day.

In a searing interview with the 'Hollywood Reporter', the 'Moneyball' star spoke openly about his battle with depression throughout the '90s.

The actor said the experience with the mental illness was "a great education".

A mental health charity has commended him for speaking candidly about his experience of depression.

Rethink Mental Illness said Mr Pitt was "brave" for opening up about his depression and that his revelation could give many people "renewed hope".

Mr Pitt, who is in the running to be named Best Actor at the Oscars, said: "I got really sick of myself at the end of the 1990s.

"I was hiding out from the celebrity thing, I was smoking way too much dope, I was sitting on the couch and just turning into a doughnut and I really got irritated with myself.

"I got to: 'what's the point? I know better than this'. I used to deal with depression, but I don't now, not this decade -- maybe last decade. But that's also figuring out who you are.

"I see it as a great education, as one of the seasons or a semester -- this semester I was majoring in depression.

"I was doing the same thing every night and numbing myself to sleep, the same routine -- couldn't wait to get home and hide.

"But that feeling of unease was growing and one night I just said: 'this is a waste'."

Mark Davies, director of communications at Rethink Mental Illness, said: "Mental illness can happen to any of us at any time, whether famous or not, rich or poor.

"Sadly, it can sometimes be difficult to talk about, even though people with mental illness need as much compassion and support as people with physical health problems.

"We commend Brad Pitt for speaking so bravely and openly about his experiences. Everyone knows someone with some form of mental illness.

"When people in the public eye talk about mental illness, it sends a powerful message to all who face it at some point in their lives.

"Brad's story shows that it is possible to recover from depression, which will give many people renewed hope," he added. In the 1990s, Mr Pitt starred in some of his biggest films including 'Fight Club', '12 Monkeys', 'Seven' and 'The Devil's Own'.

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