Stephen Fry reveals turning to Beethoven helps him cope with depression and suicidal feelings

Fry spoke openly about the power of Beethoven (PA Images)
12:03pm, Thu 14 May 2020
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SOURCE: Evening standard, dailymail, Art of Change: Nothing Concrete podcast

Actor and comedian Stephen Fry has revealed that he listens to music by Beethoven as a means of coping with depression and that it has helped him when he was feeling at his lowest.

Appearing on the Art of Change: Nothing Concrete podcast, the 62-year-old, who has often been open about his struggles with mental health told of how his love for the compositions of the infamous German composer guide him through dark times.

“There is a healing quality to listening to it that helps," he said.

“When combined with not drinking too much and walking and eating properly and all the other things that supposedly help one’s mental health,” he added.

“One of the ways I cope with it is to bathe myself in music like Beethoven’s and to think of people who have gone before me who have been lit by the flame of mania and doused by the icy water of depression and lived those lives of flaring up and going down and being close to the edge and how they have managed to do things and to achieve things and to retain their love and hope, and one clings to that.”

The national treasure, who has starred in a number of films and TV shows including the award-winning Blackadder, also talked openly about the helpless desperation of being suicidal.

Fry has previously spoken about his own battles with this, the most recent being in 2012.

“Inside you just do not see the point of anything,” he said. “Nothing has flavour or savour. Nothing has any meaning. Everything is just hopeless.

“There’s no future. There’s no sense of anything ahead of you. You have to hope something will stop you. In my case it was just failed attempts and waking up in a hospital.”

He said he felt both ‘guilt and shame’ following the attempts to take his own life and added that being able to see ‘colour again’ was a significant early sign of recovery.

For him, it was the music of Beethoven that helped with this colouring.

“Beethoven is a perfect example of someone who brings that colour back to you quicker than almost anything else and that’s a sign you’re back," he said.

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