Actress Nicole Kidman on experiencing an ‘enormous amount’ of melancholy – signs to spot

Nine Perfect Strangers: Nicole Kidman stars in Hulu series

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The star experienced mental health trouble whilst portraying writer Virginia Woolf in 2002 drama The Hours. Having only divorced from Tom Cruise the year before shooting began, Kidman revealed that she was “not in her own body” so filming the hard-hitting scenes became easier. In fact, the star even insisted on filming the suicidal scene without the use of a stunt double. This was not the only time the Australian actress and producer has been open about her mental health, revealing in another interview that she still often cries.

“I think I was in a place myself at that time that was removed, depressed, not in my own body,” Kidman said when speaking about partaking in the stunt that reflected Woolf’s suicide.

“So the idea of Virginia coming through me, I was pretty much an open vessel for it to happen.”

Although not elaborating further into why she felt “depressed” the actress continued to say that the condition “hits you at different times”.

She said: “I’ve delved and traversed many different landscapes of mental health and loss and ideas and joy and raised birth and you know, life is what it is.

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“It’s far more examined for me now than when I was 14.

“I’m definitely in it. I’m definitely feeling it and definitely aware of the preciousness of it and the time. The other extraordinary thing I’m very aware of is I’m around and exposed to some of the greatest minds in the world.”

In a separate interview, when Kidman was asked the last time she cried, Kidman again spoke honestly about her personal feelings.

She said: “I cry. I try to keep a lid on that, but everything is deeply sad. There’s a huge melancholia, right? I mean, when you really study melancholy people, we’re very present. I have an enormous amount of that. I think a lot of people walk around with it too.

“I’m ‘in life’ right now. I’m not coasting along. I’m in it.”

Kidman speaking about her mental health, albeit sometimes through the lens of her work and numerous roles she plays, is hugely important as mental health conditions can affect everyone regardless of age, occupation or where you live.

In fact, it is reported by Champion Health that depression in particular is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders affecting around one in six adults in the UK. These statistics are significantly higher in comparison to prior to the pandemic.

Around 17 percent of adults in the UK experienced some form of depression in summer 2021, compared to just 10 percent before the pandemic.

Depression is defined by the NHS as “more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days”. Individuals who have depression can feel persistently sad for weeks or months rather than just a few days.

Individuals who are diagnosed with depression by a medical professional may be told they have mild, moderate or severe depression. This depends on the sort of impact an individual’s symptoms have on their life.

Others may only suffer from symptoms at particular times of the year or during certain events. For example, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) refers to depression that occurs at a particular time of year, or during a particular season. And postnatal depression (PND) refers to depression that occurs in the first year after giving birth.

Regardless of the above, individuals with depression can experience a variety of symptoms that range from lasting feelings of unhappiness to losing an interest in the things they used to enjoy.

The NHS explains that there can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive, and various aches and pains.

There can be several reasons as to why depression develops including:

  • Childhood experiences
  • Life events
  • Other mental health problems
  • Physical health problems
  • Genetic inheritance
  • Medication, recreational drugs and alcohol
  • Sleep, diet and exercise.

But for others, depression can occur with no known cause. For this reason it is important that individuals seek medical advice as soon as they have been experiencing any symptoms of depression for a prolonged period of time.

If you are or someone you know is experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, the Samaritans can offer support. Call 116 123 or email [email protected] You can also visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

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