Kit Harington Opens Up About Therapy
With the final season of Game of Thrones on the horizon, one of the show's stars is opening up about his mental health.
Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow on the series, recently talked about how Game Of Thrones, and it's fans, have affected him. And in sharing this, we gained a great life lesson from the celebrity.
Warning: this article will cover big spoilers for Game of Thrones. If you haven’t caught up yet, go ahead and do that now! Then come back later.
Now that I have the disclaimer out of the way…
Harington recently opened up to Variety about the aftermath of the season five finale. Specifically, he shared how he dealt with fans after his character's died.
If you need a quick refresher and don't mind spoilers, Jon Snow was betrayed in the finale by his fellow men of the night's watch. And while Snow definitely died from stab wounds, he didn't stay dead for long. Snow was revived thanks to the magic of a certain woman in red.
Snow's survival wasn't revealed until season six, so Kit Harington had to brave a whole year of fan curiosity. Wherever he’d go, Harington had to pretend that he was none-the-wiser to Jon Snow’s fate. That must have been hard.
As he shared with Variety, the front he put up led to a lot of people analyzing his actions and responses to questions about Snow.
“I felt I had to feel that I was the most fortunate person in the world, when actually, I felt very vulnerable,” Harington explained. “I had a shaky time in my life around there — like I think a lot of people do in their 20s. That was a time when I started therapy, and started talking to people. I had felt very unsafe, and I wasn’t talking to anyone. I had to feel very grateful for what I have, but I felt incredibly concerned about whether I could even f—ing act.”
Men & Mental Health
There are two important lessons we can learn from the actor's comments. First, we should remember that celebrities are indeed human. Whenever we approach one, we should realize at least three other fans have probably done so earlier that day. So instead of hassling them for attention, we should respect their space.
Second, all of us (and especially men) should follow Harington's lead and get support when needed.
According to the American Psychology Association, a lot of men are out of touch with their emotions and refuse to seek therapy. There are several reasons this could be, by psychologist Ronald F. Levant guesses one of the main reasons is societal standards. Dr. Levant came up with the term “normative male alexithymia” or “without words for emotions” to describe this.
“Normative male Alexithymia” refers to society's belief and teachings that men should not show emotions. These boys and men then grow up without the skills to express their emotions or even be aware of them.
But as Dr. Darshan Mehta, who's the head of the Benson-Henry Institute, said to the Harvard Medical School, “Your mental health is equally as important as your physical health. Not addressing negative feelings can carry over to all aspects of your life and have a profound impact.”
Seek Help When Needed
We men are taught to be tough and stoic, but we all have our problems and issues. We should all follow Kit Harington's example and seek help when we need it. It can only lead to a better tomorrow.