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Gillian Anderson opens up about mental-health issues

Gillian Anderson opens up about struggling with mental-health

Gillian Anderson opens up about struggling with mental-health issues since she was a teenager. Credit: AFP / Getty Images / TOBIAS SCHWARZ

Actress Gillian Anderson, who gained famed as Dana Scully on “The X-Files” and has gone on to a lauded career onscreen and in theater, has opened up about mental-health issues with which she has struggled since teenhood.

Speaking as co-author of a new advice book, “We: A Manifesto For Women Everywhere,” the 48-year-old Anderson told the UK newspaper The Guardian that mental-health difficulties led to “times when it was really bad. There have been times in my life where I haven’t wanted to leave the house,” she said, not giving a specific reason.

The actress, who stars in the upcoming Starz series “American Gods,” also confessed to a fear she might be dyslexic. “Somebody had said to me that dyslexia isn’t just about seeing words backwards, it’s also about the assimilation of information,” Anderson told the newspaper. “I’d always been afraid to look into it, because I was afraid that if I found something out, I would think that I couldn’t do anything that I wanted to do. I have this impression that I can do whatever I make up my mind to. But the reality is...,” she said, her voice trailing.

She added, “Well, there’s an opportunity for fear around every corner, fear of the future, fear of what if. But the acceptance of wherever we are, whoever we are, is freedom. So, you know, I can sit and bemoan the fact that I don’t get the same roles, or bemoan the fact that my skin is starting to look like chicken skin, or bemoan whatever it is. But that’s not reality. That’s fighting reality.”

Still, said, Anderson, “I do a gratitude list every night. I mean, it’s in my head now, but I go through stages where I think I’m just complaining all the time…,” which she said is “probably one of the things I struggle with most. I suffer from great intolerance. Such intolerance of so much. … Intolerance of myself. Intolerance of situations. Intolerance of people on the street. Intolerance of whatever. So I have to constantly settle myself down from the state of being aggravated.”


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