Game of Thrones aired its final episode on May 19, but series star Kit Harington, 32, who is famous for playing hero Jon Snow, was reportedly already ensconced in a private rehab facility, facing his problems with stress and alleged alcohol addiction. Kit is by no means the first star to seek treatment — and according to psychotherapist Dr. Jenn Mann, there are a number of reasons that entertainers are often “more vulnerable” to struggles with mental health and addiction issues.
The L.A. based therapist and author of The Relationship Fix: Dr. Jenn‘s 6-Step Guide to Improving Communication, Connection & Intimacy tells HolywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY, “The kind of personality that tends to be drawn to being a performer tends to be more sensitive, more creative…and intense. As a result those are personalities that are often more vulnerable to mental health issues and addictions.”
She continued, “You take that sort of personality that is already vulnerable to these issues and then you put them in a situation where there is enormous pressure to perform. You have companies that are putting millions and millions of dollars into an investment in your creative work. That is unbelievable pressure that very few people can’t even comprehend in the regular world, because a lot of people go, ‘oh you’re just getting paid so much money, who cares!’ But this is also about putting yourself out there and your work and your future and your career and there is immense pressure. And disappointing these executives may mean that you might never work in this town again. Plus you have people who are constantly scrutinizing you and your work.”
Kit has not spoken out since he entered rehab, but he gave a very candid interview to Variety in March and admitted that his “darkest” moments came when Jon Snow was the focus of Game Of Thrones‘ plot. “It wasn’t a very good time in my life,” he revealed. “I felt I had to feel that I was the most fortunate person in the world, when actually, I felt very vulnerable. 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.”
Dr. Jenn, who has not treated Kit, confirms that Kit’s feelings of extreme vulnerability are common among entertainers and can contribute to their inability to cope. “Performing is such a subjective thing. It’s not like neurosurgery were either you cured it or you didn’t. It’s not like being a mathematician and either you got the answer or you didn’t. You can give the greatest performance of your life and you could have hundreds of thousands of people telling you you suck after you put your blood sweat and tears and soul into your performance. And then people can totally criticize you and tear you apart. That is very stressful,” she said.
Kit has yet to speak about his reported struggles with alcohol, but celebrities are often at risk for addiction because, as Dr. Jenn explains, they are surround by “Yes people”, so their issues go unchecked longer. “In regards to substance abuse, not only is there a lot of accessibility (to substances), and people who want to celebrate with their favorite actor, like let me buy Jon Snow a drink, there is also a dynamic where, when you reach a certain level of stardom you can’t do it all yourself, you have to have a team of people to keep up with your obligations, your wardrobe, your travel your commitments and everything. And people who are on the dime don’t tend to be people that are going to call you out and say hey I think you’re drinking too much I think you have a problem because they are worried they’re going to get fired. So you tend to be surrounded by Yes people who don’t call you out which can often times allow mental health issues and addiction to go for longer than they might otherwise,” she said.