I think I can speak for everyone with an Instagram account when I say social media can be intense AF. It often works as a breeding ground for things like self-doubt, paranoia, FOMO, and insecurity. Naturally, these negative feelings can be heightened by trolls, haters, and bullies. Folks like Sophie Turner are especially vulnerable to this list of jerks thanks to her exposure to the public as a lead actress in the staggeringly famous series, Game Of Thrones. Sophie Turner's quotes about how social media affected her mental health are heartbreaking, proving no one is immune to the pitfalls of social media.
Today, Turner is 23 years old and engaged to Joe Jonas. By every standard, she is a role model and badass professional with an iconic career. For these reasons, it might be easy for fans to assume she is and has always been confident and secure. However, one might forget that she has literally grown up on the set of GoT. When she was originally cast as Sansa Stark, she was only 13 years old. This means she survived puberty and the surge of social media on set. Somewhere in her late teens, Turner noted social media began to affect her mental health.
In a recent interview with Dr. Phil, Turner explained how the public's commentary on her weight, (normal) teenage acne, and acting skills did a number on her self-esteem. Like anyone with a pulse, these kinds of insults can hurt, and she found herself in a space of depression. She also revealed that during this time, she and her best friend and GoT costar Maisie Williams went through this rough patch together, and often took solace in picking up food after work and retreating to their couches or beds for long stretches of time.
She explained, "I really don't think I had any issues with it up until I was around 17, and then it all of a sudden just kind of hit me."
She continued, "I think it was a combination of, I think, social media on the rise at that time and also my friends were all going to university, and I wasn't going to university, I was working. But, I was still living at my parent's house, so there was, like — I felt very alone."
Turner also revealed that she spent a lot of her youth "thinking about suicide." She told Dr. Phil she never felt like she would ever go through with hurting herself, but that it was "just a weird fascination I used to have."
Today, she is committed to continuing to spread the word about mental health and supporting others to get the help that they need.
She stated, "People shouldn't be ashamed of it. So many people are kind of plagued with depression or anxiety or body issues, so many people. More people than people realize." Turner continued, "And so, if people just spoke about it. If people just opened up to their friends even, or their family, it would be OK!," adding, "People just need to know it's OK to talk about it."
You can catch her entire chat with Dr. Phil below.
If you or someone you know is seeking help for mental health concerns, visit the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) website, or call 1-800-950-NAMI(6264). For confidential treatment referrals, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website, or call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357). In an emergency, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or call 911.