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Speaking to an audience about his bipolar disorder and attempt to commit suicide last year, actor Stephen Fry had some commonsensical things to say.

The president of Mind since 2011, a charity that provides information and support to those experiencing mental health problems, Fry is committed to openly discussing mental illness, including his own.

“I am the victim of my own moods,” says Fry, “more than most people are perhaps, in as much as I have a condition which requires me to take medication so that I don’t get either too hyper or too depressed to the point of suicide.”

Nevertheless, in his hotel room after a day of filming last year, Fry says he took very many pills and a lot of vodka, which caused his body to convulse so much that while unconscious he broke four ribs. It was thanks to his producer visiting his room that Fry was found and taken to hospital.

“There is no ‘why’,” says Fry, “it’s not the right question. There’s no reason. If there were a reason for it, you could reason someone out of it, and you could tell them why they shouldn’t take their own life. My role, as I see it, is not to be shy about the morbidity and genuine nature of the likelihood of death amongst people with certain mood disorders.”

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