Sam Neill health: Star, 74, on the ‘darkness’ of his ‘horrible’ mental health

Gearing as much as star in the 2022 Jurassic Park movie, titled Jurassic World: Dominion, Neill and former co-star Laura Dern have not too long ago commented on the 19-year age hole that existed between their two characters botanist Dr Ellie Sattler and palaeontologist Dr Grant. Reflecting on the movie, each Dern and Neill agreed that it appeared “completely appropriate” at the time, however could seem a little bit far-fetched in additional trendy instances. Not the solely factor that appeared regular at the time, Neill felt the identical about his nervousness, which he didn’t realise could have been an issue till it was affecting his “whole body”.

“I remember earlier in my life anxiety wasn’t something I considered as a thing,” the actor revealed in a throwback interview.

“I’d had a rough few years, including a divorce that seemed to go on forever.”

He added: “It took me a long time to figure out that the sensation I was having was anxiety- it’s a real, physical, feeling that manifests within you. It’s so much more than just being ‘in your head’ it’s your whole body.”

Having finally understood more about his mental health, the 74-year-old New Zealander more recently spoke out about how the COVID-19 lockdown took a toll on his anxiety, with depression also creeping in.

READ MORE: David Niven: ‘It was a relief when he died’ – star’s long battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease

Back in 2021 he said: “I have had a few periods of my life where I’m not working and I feel that darkness close in.

“What are you between jobs? And if you think of yourself as an actor, and you’re not actually acting, you’re kind of no one.”

A number of weeks into the manufacturing of Jurassic World: Dominion, Covid hit, which means all of it got here to a sudden halt, sending Neill again to his New Zealand winery.

“Right now, I’m in a terrible limbo,” he instructed a journalist at the time. “My life in acting was always a counterbalance to my life on the farm. One was the palliative to the other.”


The World Health Organisation (WHO) found that during the first year of the Covid pandemic, global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a massive 25 percent.

One major explanation for the increase is the unprecedented stress caused by social isolation resulting from the pandemic. Additional factors included constraints on an individual’s ability to work, seek support from loved ones and engage in their communities.

In addition to this, loneliness, fear of infection, suffering and death for oneself and for loved ones, grief after bereavement and financial worries have also all been cited as stressors leading to anxiety and depression.

Although anxiety is a normal part of life, with everyone feeling a varying degree at some point during their lives, for some, anxiety can cause such severe symptoms that it affects their ability to live a normal life.

There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and various phobia-related disorders. However, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) lists some of the most generic symptoms of anxiety:

  • Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Being irritable
  • Having headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches, or unexplained pains
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep.

Individuals with anxiety may also suffer from panic attacks, which are characterised as sudden periods of intense fear, discomfort or “sense of shedding management” even when there is no such thing as a clear signal of hazard.

If you or somebody you understand experiences any of the above for a chronic interval of time, it’s suggested by the NHS to hunt medical recommendation, particularly if nervousness is affecting a person’s day by day life.

From there, people can obtain remedy, which goals to ease signs. This usually consists of speaking therapies comparable to cognitive behavioural remedy (CBT), however can even embrace treatment referred to as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Medical professionals will have the ability to information people on the greatest course of remedy for them.

For confidential mental health assist contact Mind, a UK primarily based charity on [email protected] or through cellphone on 0300 123 3393.

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