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GOT’s Sophie Turner Talks Mental Health, Depression

GOT’s Sophie Turner Talks Mental Health, Depression

Sophie Turner depression
Image credits Gage Skidmore

On HBO’s recently completed series Game of Thrones, Sophie Turner played Sansa Stark, Lady of Winterfell and eventual Queen of the North. In real life, she’s a young adult who suffers from depression for which she’s sought counseling and takes prescribed medications.

In an interview on Dr. Phil McGraw’s podcast Phil in the Blanks, Turner opened up about her depression and mental health struggles. Her depression materialized when she was 17, about four years into her work with Game of Thrones. Although she doesn’t blame social media entirely for her depression, she did say comments on social media about her character’s weight gain or “spotty” complexion added to her depression. 

Let’s Talk Numbers

Turner isn’t alone as a teen suffering from depression. Statistics say 20% of teens will be affected by depression before they reach adulthood. The average Mississippi school has 450 students. This statistic means 90 of them will likely deal with depression before they reach the age of twenty.

Only 30% of teens with depression will seek treatment. So out of those 90 students, only 30 will receive the help they need.

Which leads us to the statistic none of us want to talk about, suicide is the third leading cause of death of teenagers.

Removing the Stigma

Hollywood stars aren’t always great at promoting healthy lifestyles. Luckily, many actors, actresses and other performers are openly discussing their mental health challenges. Many of those challenges, like Demi Lovato’s, include substance abuse.

The more we talk about mental health the same way we discuss heart health and diabetes, the easier it becomes for teens and adults to seek out the help they need. We can all contribute to efforts to remove the stigma of seeking counseling or other mental health support.

  • Talk openly about mental health.
  • Show compassion for those with mental illness.
  • Be supportive of those who are struggling with mental illness.
  • Choose your words carefully. (i.e. don’t use mental illness diagnosis like OCD or bipolar as adjectives and don’t label people with mental illness as “crazy” or “insane”.)
  • Education yourself.
  • Encourage equality between mental and physical illnesses.

As children and teens see the adults in their lives responding differently to mental illness, they’ll respond differently as well. Which means they’ll be more likely to speak up and receive the treatment they need.

Recognize the Symptoms

The first step to ensuring your child receives the help they need is recognizing the symptoms. 

  • Has your child’s behavior changed?
  • Is their school work suffering?
  • Are they having difficulties at school, home or work?
  • Have their sleep patterns changed?
  • Do they have a sensitivity to light or sound that has lasted longer than two weeks?
  • Are they feeling sad, hopeless or worthless?
  • Have their eating habits changed (either eating too much or not enough)?
  • Do they have problems with concentration or memory?

Seek Help

If you’ve recognized the signs of depression or other mental illness in your teen or your teen has asked you for help, you don’t have to manage this alone. Our behavioral health specialists can guide you and your family as you seek the help you need. Your willingness to help your teen find help continues to remove the stigma attached to mental illness. Make an appointment with one of our counselors by calling 662-282-4359. 

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