Rob Beckett has opened up about his mental health struggles, revealing he has experienced suicidal thoughts in the past.
Writing in his autobiography, the comedian says the “darkness crept in” while he filmed a TV show in South Africa in 2020, despite “nailing it” in his career.
The 35-year-old writes: “On January 4, 2020, I was nailing it. I had just flown into Cape Town, South Africa, in first class to film a TV show.
“The show was watching cricket, drinking beer and going on safari with one of my best mates AND getting paid.
“This filming was squeezed in during a nationwide sell-out tour. Happily married to the love of my life, with two kids in a family home newly renovated, I had surpassed my wildest dreams.
“But I was the unhappiest I have ever been. I woke up on January 5 in a five-star hotel room thinking it would be better and easier for everyone if I was dead.
“I put on a smile and finished filming. I got back to the UK and told my wife and my friend/manager how I felt.
“Then I went straight to a therapist, who I saw weekly for six months, and I still check in with the therapist when I feel the darkness creep in.”
He continues: “I am telling you this as I always promote the message that people should talk about mental health, but I rarely do.
“So here I am, talking. I wanted to die when I had everything I ever wanted. So never judge yourself for feeling low. Tell someone and they will help you feel better.”
Rob also explains that the pandemic helped him to slow down, and heal as a result.
“The truth is that if I’d carried on working that hard, it would all have fallen apart,” he writes. “But acknowledging that I was unhappy and doing something about it, along with having time off to recover and reflect, rejuvenated me.
“I am now motivated by excitement and possibilities, not the fear of losing it all. I no longer set targets based on what other people see as success.
“Who cares if you’ve sold out the Hammersmith Apollo and are flying first class if you’re crying in your bed. I no longer live in fear of failing to reach society’s idea of achievement.
“Each day can be a success if you go to bed after enjoying your day and you look forward to the next one. It has taken a long time and been quite a journey to get to this place, but I think Rob Beckett the person is learning to be as confident as Rob Beckett the performer.”
Help and support:
- Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.
- Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill).
- CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.
- The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0808 801 0525 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on rethink.org.