In 2019, shortly after the epic fantasy phenomena tv show Game of Thrones ended, Kit Harington, best known for his role as Jon Snow on the series, checked himself into rehab.
The actor, who opened up about his story in depth for the first time in an interview with the Sunday Times said that the decision came following “traumatic” events that went down during and after the end of the show — and that he hoped that opening up about the experience might “help someone somewhere.”
“But I definitely don’t want to be seen as a martyr or special,” Harington said. “I’ve been through something. It’s my stuff. If it helps someone, that’s good.”
Harington said that he was dealing with a fear for the longest time that he just wasn’t capable of changing his situation or really addressing his issues as he dealt with addiction to alcohol, feeling stuck and convinced that a “leopard doesn’t change its spots.”
“That was something I kind of clung to; the idea that I could make this huge fundamental change in who I was and how I went about my life,” he said. “…You get to a place where you feel like you are a bad person, you feel like you are a shameful person, and you feel that there’s no way out. That’s just who you are. And getting sober is the process of going, ‘No, I can change.'”
He said that the drain on his mental health led to bouts of depression that were incredibly serious and that it exacerbated his addictions, making him keep them secret from his support system (including his wife, Rose Leslie, who gave birth to their first child in February 2021.)
“You can imagine the stresses that it causes to those around you,” he said. “I will say about my addictions that I kept them very, very quiet and I was incredibly secretive and incredibly locked up with them. So they came as quite a surprise to the people around me, which is quite often the case, I guess.”
If you or someone you know needs help or more information on addiction, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Association has a a free, confidential, 24-7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. You can reach them at 1-800-662-HELP (4357), or visit their online treatment locators.