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
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