My suicide bid

Stephen Fry speaks up

Stephen Fry has spoken in depth for the first time about his battle with manic depression.

The actor and comedian attempted suicide after walking out of the West End play Cell Mates in 1995.

He recalls the fateful day he wanted to die in a new television documentary in manic depression: "I went into my garage, sealed the door with a duvet I'd brought and got into my car.

"I sat there for at least two hours in the car, my hands on the ignition key. It was a suicide attempt, not a cry for help."

But Fry did not go through with it - instead he fled the country, a disappearance which made headlines.

He explained: "I drove to the south coast and took a ferry to Europe. I just knew I couldn't be at home. I really believed I would never come back to England. I couldn't meet the gaze of anyone I knew.

"But after a week I secretly returned to England, to this hospital, and to a doctor telling me I'm bipolar.

"I'd never heard the word before, but for the first time at the age of 37 I had a diagnosis that explains the massive highs and miserable lows I've lived with all my life.

"There's no doubt that I do have extremes of moods that are greater than just about anybody else I know."

The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive will be part of BBC Two's autumn line-up, which was revealed today.


Published: 20 Jul 2006

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