Sophie Turner Opens Up About the Start of Her Depression

Sophie Turner is most widely known for playing Sansa Stark on the HBO cultural phenomenon Game of Thrones. The actress has since made large strides in her career, and she is set to star as Jean Grey (the title role) in Dark Phoenix this June. However, life hasn’t always been easy for the actress, and she has admitted to struggling with depression in the past.

Sophie Turner
Sophie Turner | Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Sophie Turner started Game of Thrones at the ripe age of 15. As a teenage girl thrown into the spotlight – expected to meet viewers’ expectations regarding Georg R.R. Martin’s character and society’s harsh expectations surrounding women in Hollywood – Turner’s introduction to fame was emotionally and mentally taxing.

Turner sat down with Dr. Phil to discuss Game of Throne, what her life has been like since starring on the series, and the catalyzing factors that led to her depression. You may be surprised to discover that some of her early mental and emotional hurdles were unrelated to the series altogether.

Sophie Turner on isolation and social media scrutiny

During her interview with Dr. Phil, after she inundated the famous TV personality with proof of her admiration, Sophie Turner opened up about her own struggles with mental health.

Sophie Turner told Dr. Phil that she has suffered from depression for several years, explaining that her biggest challenge was often simply “getting out of bed.” When Dr. Phil asked about possible causes, Sophie Turner replied:

“My friends were all going to University and I was working. But, I was still living at my parents’ house, so…I felt very alone.”


While Turner would come to deal with harsh criticisms concerning her acting talents and appearance, her early struggles with depression may have, at least in some part, been due to isolation (mostly from the peers she had grown accustomed to affiliating with).

Sophie Turner goes on to tell Dr. Phil, “It only started to kind of go downhill when I started to hit puberty and I was gaining weight. And then there was the social media scrutiny and everything.”

Citing social media as a possible catalyst to her depression, Sophie Turner goes on to explain how ten positive comments are completely forgotten as soon as you read one negative one. Sophie Turner revealed that several of the negative comments were about her weight, skin, and acting competence.

Turner revealed that she would often go to work, after reading various criticisms, and ask those working in wardrobe to tighten her corset. She also said that the comments affected her creatively because she would be so concerned with her appearance on camera; she stated, “I couldn’t be true to the character because I was so worried about Sophie.”

Sophie Turner said her friendship with ‘Game of Thrones’ co-star Maisie Williams was “quite destructive”

Sophie Turner explained how she developed a very close bond with Game of Thrones co-star Maisie Williams, who also grew up on the show and faced the same hurdles. Sophie Turner said Maisie Williams was the “only one I really told about all of it.”

Turner goes on to explain, despite how much the two love each other, that their friendship may not have been for the best at times. She explained:

“I think being friends with each other was quite destructive ‘cause we were going through the same thing. And so, we used to get home from set, go to a little supermarket across the road, and just buy food and go back to our room and just eat it in bed. We never socialized for about, for a couple of years. We didn’t socialize with anyone but ourselves.”


Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams have been through it all together. And while they may have reinforced negative behaviors, their friendship was also likely one of the many facets of their lives that allowed them to persist, and fight through the backlash. Today, Sophie Turner is able to speak up about it, and hopefully, her words help inspire change.