More threads by making_art


Wildlife presenter Chris Packham tells of struggle with depression
Press Association
Saturday 30 April 2016

The wildlife presenter Chris Packham has spoken of having twice been on the brink of trying to take his own life during severe bouts of depression.

Packham, 54, revealed he had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in his 20s, and described his thoughts as a “great, hopeless vacuum”.

The naturalist, who presents the BBC’s Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch programmes, spoke of his difficulties in an interview with the Times marking the release of his memoir, Fingers in the Sparkle Jar.

He said: “I have been severely depressed, yes. I nearly killed myself twice.”

One crisis came in 2003, he said, but he “didn’t have enough drugs to be sure it would work. I wouldn’t want to make a bad job of suicide”. He chose not to go through with it because he did not want to leave behind his two dogs or hurt his family, he said.

In his book he rubbishes the idea that suicide is selfish. He says: “Selfishness would only be apparent if you could be conscious of your actions’ effect on others. But there are no ****ing others, they are not there. There is nothing there … but you and a ****ing great, hopeless vacuum.”

Packham also described having been bullied mentally and physically as “the weird kid” when a teenager. He told the Times: “I didn’t understand that I was different. I didn’t understand why I was being rejected. I didn’t get invited to parties. I didn’t fit in.”

Packham, who lives in the New Forest and is in a relationship with the owner of Isle of Wight zoo, Charlotte Corney, said he had no friends but was close to an ex-partner and her daughter.

On conservation and the environment, he said he was firmly against fox hunting, arguing that killing something for pleasure had a psychopathic element to it.

He also said people in power still needed to be better-educated about climate change before it could be adequately addressed. “There will be catastrophes – floods, mainly – then we’ll buckle up and get it sorted,” he said.
Replying is not possible. This forum is only available as an archive.