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Why the Starks Struggle with their Mental Health – Kit Harrington in Rehab



The Game of Thrones series finale was heartbreaking for many fans, but it’s been even more heartbreaking for the actors who have given almost a decade of their lives to this project.

In The Last Watch, a documentary about behind-the-scenes teams who worked on the show, viewers saw Kit Harrington’s reaction to learning about his character’s now infamous twist. While we only saw a snippet of how the actor felt, it’s clear that there were many negative emotions bubbling within Harrington, as he entered rehabilitation for “stress and exhaustion and also alcohol” before the series ended in May.1

Other Game of Thrones stars have also sought mental health support due to challenges stemming from their fame. Our residential mental health treatment team explores the possible factors that contributed to the mental health challenges faced by Masie Williams, Sophie Turner, and most recently, Kit Harrington.

Game of Thrones and Mental Health – The Pressures Actors Faced

While Game of Thrones was a difficult series for viewers in many aspects with events such as The Red Wedding, the series was even more challenging for its actors. There are several Game of Thrones actors who struggled with their mental health, including Masie Williams, Sophie Turner, and Kit Harrington.

Sophie Turner recently shared her own difficulties with mental illness, citing how normal body changes were scrutinized due to the immense pressure of playing Sansa Stark. For Turner, the comments on social media affected her mental health, causing the star to struggle with depression for years. She credits her improved mental health to her husband’s support and beneficial mental health therapy programs.2

Fellow Stark Sister, Masie Williams, also struggled with mental illness as a result of the pressures of her role. Now that the series has ended, the star is looking forward to a more normal pace of life without such an intense focus from the public.

Kit Harrington’s Rehab News

Harrington is another Game of Thrones star who has struggled with mental illness. His recent stay at a mental health treatment program shows that even Jon Snow needs help now and then. Though he has not given interviews regarding this recent struggle with mental illness, Harrington did reveal that he sought therapy following Jon Snow’s cliffhanger Season 5 ending.3

Mental Illnesses on Game of Thrones

There are several common threads in the Stark mental health struggles, including pressure from viewers and even issues with personal identity from filming one show for so long. There are many challenges for celebrities and mental health, as the pressures and scrutiny of fame take a toll on their well-being. For the Game of Thrones actors, the pressures reached immense levels as the series progressed, with tens of millions of people watching the show and judging every single moment.

Harrington, Williams, and Turner also spent a large chunk of their lives playing these characters, so there is likely a large degree of sadness, grief, and loss over not playing those characters anymore. For Harrington, the connection to his character may have been even stronger, as he wed Rose Leslie, the actress who played Jon Snow’s first on-screen love Ygritte, in 2018. With such a strong connection to his character along with his powerful reaction to learning Jon Snow’s fate, it is no surprise that the actor is taking time for himself to address his struggles.

A close source to the actor has said he is seeking not only treatment for mental illness, but also treatment for alcohol. 1 This is not surprising, as alcoholism and mental illness often go hand in hand. Those who are struggling with mental illness and alcohol use disorder need to seek out co-occurring disorder treatment to safely address both issues.

If you or someone you love is struggling with mental illness, our team at Banyan Mental Health is here to help. Call 888-966-9413 to learn more about our mental health treatment programs.


Sources:

  1. Variety - Kit Harington Checks Into Treatment Facility for ‘Personal Issues’
  2. Refinery 29 - Sophie Turner Says She’s Experienced Mental Illness First Hand, Thanks To Brutal GOT Fans
  3. Indie Wire - Kit Harington Checked Into Wellness Center Before ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale for ‘Personal Issues’
Ilana Mekler
Ilana Mekler
Ilana was born in Valhalla, New York and lived the first 11 years of her life in New Rochelle, NY before relocating to Boca Raton, FL. While she’s not in recovery, being in the addiction field, currently, has opened her eyes and her mind to addiction and truly see why this field is so important. Ilana received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication studies from Florida Gulf Coast University and has a background in social media with experience in writing. As the social media specialist here at Banyan, she’s passionate about what she does because it allows her to experience what goes on behind the scenes in social media and being able to connect with others. Her favorite part of her job is knowing that in some way, she’s giving others the platform to reach out to get help for their own struggles.

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