David Walliams health: ‘This went on for six months’ TV funnyman on his dark health battle
David Walliams, 48, enjoyed breakout success in 2003 alongside Matt Lucas with the sketch show Britain’s Got Talent. Firmly establishing his brand of slapstick comedy, his offbeat antics have made him a TV favourite over the years. His most recent appearances on Britain’s Got Talent as a judge reflect his enduring appeal. His meteoric rise has not been easy, however.
At 4am you are totally alone
The BGT judge took fans by surprise when he bravely revealed his battle with depression in his autobiography, Camp David. The star recounted the extreme highs and lows he experienced on the cusp of fame. The depressive episodes became so severe he ended up receiving treatment in the Priory clinic.
In his book he revealed: “At 4am you are totally alone. There is no-one to call.
“It was not just the terrible elemental sadness I felt, but fear.
“Fear of death, fear of life, fear of love, fear of everything. This went on for six months.”
According to the NHS, depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days.
“Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you’re depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days,” explained the health body.
The symptoms range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things a person used to enjoy and feeling very tearful, explained the health site.
Treatment will depend on the nature of a person’s depression and the underlying causes. It can involve a combination of lifestyle changes, talking therapies and medication, it noted.
Earlier this year, David revealed becoming a dad helped him to come to terms with his depression.
Opening up in an episode of Bear’s Mission, David said: “I Have had struggles with depression in the past.
“There have been periods through my life when I’ve been very, very down and it’s been very long lasting.”
But he added: “I’m certainly in a better place now and one great thing about becoming a parent.
“Your whole life starts revolving around them and you do stop dwelling on your own problems so much, because you don’t have time to.”
Revealing the underlying triggers of his depression, David said: “A variety of things, end of relationships…all kinds of things can take you to a very bleak place.”
He also added that writing his children’s books provides a much needed outlet: “I don’t really like being alone with my thoughts for very long…when you’re writing you’re not alone.
“You’ve got the characters, they’re like – it sounds a bit tragic – but they’re kind of like friends.”
Simon Reeve has also battled with depression. Find out his story here.
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