Adrian Edmondson says he has dealt with suicidal thoughts for his whole life

·Contributor
·2-min read
Adrian Edmondson opened up about his struggles with mental health in an essay penned for a Radio 3 show. (Getty)
Adrian Edmondson opened up about his struggles with mental health in an essay penned for a Radio 3 show. (Getty)

Adrian Edmondson has confessed to struggling with poor mental health and suicidal thoughts to the extent that he has "lived with them all my life".

The 65-year-old comedian made the revelations in an autobiographical piece entitled Signs of Life written for BBC Radio 3 show The Essay.

Read more: Adrian Edmondson in "awkward" interview about Rik Mayall

In the essay, Edmondson refers to being put on tranquilisers by a university doctor after attempting to take his own life on his motorbike following the breakdown of a marriage.

He said: "No one mentions the phrase mental health. No one talks about anything.

"And that attitude still persists in the 70s. I don’t know I’ve got a mental health issue. I don’t like the tranquilisers. I stop taking them."

Adrian Edmondson met comedy partner Rik Mayall during their time at university in Manchester. (PA/Getty)
Adrian Edmondson met comedy partner Rik Mayall during their time at university in Manchester. (PA/Getty)

Edmondson said he began to see his suicidal thoughts as "normal" as his comedy career took off through his work with Rik Mayall on The Young Ones and Bottom.

He added: "I’ve lived with [suicidal thoughts] all my life. I know how to do it."

Read more: Huw Edwards reveals depression left him unable to get out of bed

Edmondson said he began to realise that he was struggling when writing ITV sitcom Teenage Kicks in 2007 and questioned co-writer Nigel Smith about his constant cheerfulness.

He said: "He says that suicidal thoughts are not normal. This is a shock, and it’s when I start to get an inkling that I might be nuts."

Adrian Edmondson didn't even talk to his wife Jennifer Saunders about his mental health for 20 years. (WireImage)
Adrian Edmondson didn't even talk to his wife Jennifer Saunders about his mental health for 20 years. (WireImage)

The star admitted he hadn't even spoken to wife Jennifer Saunders about his feelings having "never found the right moment", and only came clean to her after around 20 years of marriage.

She tried to convince him to seek help, but it was the passing of some close friends which finally convinced him to speak to a therapist.

Read more: Adrian Edmondson joins cast of EastEnders

Edmondson said: "I learn how aggressive these acts are towards everyone left. They devastate so many people and I resolve never to cause that amount of pain. Deciding suicide is not an option is a game changer."

For those who need to talk, the Samaritans operate a free 24/7 helpline on 116 123.

Watch: Ant and Dec release children's book themed around mental health

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