There have been days when I would do the school run and go back to bed. Some­times I was only get­ting up again be­cause I had to pick the kids up

AC­TOR SAN­JEEV KOHLI ON HIS LIFE-LONG BAT­TLE WITH DE­PRES­SION

The Herald Magazine - - 15 - WORDS PAUL ENGLISH PHO­TO­GRAPH JAMIE SIMP­SON

AT 17, San­jeev Kohli didn’t have a name for what kept him in bed all through the Christ­mas hol­i­days. He just knew he felt ut­terly worth­less. By the time he was in his thir­ties, with a wife, a young fam­ily and a home, there were days when putting his socks on was the achieve­ment of the day.

He just blamed it on work, or a lack of it.

This year, in his mid-for­ties, one of the best-known ac­tors in the coun­try, his ca­reer run­ning full tilt, wanted the world to end for him and ev­ery­one he loved.

He knows the name for his con­di­tion now. And he wants to help oth­ers in the same sit­u­a­tion by fi­nally call­ing that black dog by its name.“I’d al­ways been a pes­simistic per­son, ever since I can re­mem­ber,” says the ac­tor and writer, best known for play­ing shop­keeper Navid Har­rid in tele­vi­sion com­edy Still Game.

“I al­ways re­mem­ber wor­ry­ing about ev­ery­thing. That whole Christ­mas, when I was 17 and at col­lege, I didn’t get out of bed. I never had a name for it, I just knew this was part of who I am.

“It wasn’t un­til I was a bit older, maybe eight or nine years ago when I had a cri­sis, that I started to call it de­pres­sion. It started out as be­ing ca­reer-re­lated, then it de­vel­oped into some­thing else.”

That “some­thing else” is a re­cur­ring tus­sle with pe­ri­ods of men­tal ill health, which have seen him bed-bound, un­able to com­mu­ni­cate with his chil­dren, cry­ing at work and think­ing about bring­ing it all to an end, while jug­gling a pro­file as one of the coun­try’s favourite TV per­sonas.

Kohli has never spo­ken pub­licly about liv­ing with pe­ri­ods of de­struc­tive de­pres­sion stretch­ing back to his child­hood. The rea­son he’s do­ing it now is be­cause he has found suc­cour from oth­ers’ ac­counts and hopes his can do the same.

It wasn’t un­til an en­counter with a school­friend, a fel­low for­mer pupil at St Aloy­sius Col­lege in Glas­gow, that he be­gan to con­sider the value of “go­ing pub­lic” about his men­tal ill health. Ef­forts to stage a school re­union had

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