In an interview with The Sunday Times, Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has opened up about her former struggles with
depression and suicidal thoughts and explained why running for leadership of the Conservative party would be a risk to her mental health.
Davidson explained in the interview that she “values her mental health too much” to consider launching a bid for Tory leadership.
Davidson also debunked rumours that she would succeed current Prime Minister Theresa May.
Davidson described how she began to suffer from symptoms of depression when she was 17 after a boy in her village died from
suicide. At the age of 18, she was then diagnosed with clinical depression and was prescribed medication, which she said only made her depression worse.
After the interview, Davidson posted a lengthy account of her mental health struggles on Twitter, describing how her mental health deteriorated when she began University. The 39-year-old explained how she became “frightened and confused” compared to her University peers who all seemed “incredibly confident, loud and forceful” and who had all gone to “posh schools.”
I think it helps to talk about mental health. I know it would have helped me. Also, realising that a diagnosis isn't a full stop; nor is it binary. It can be managed over time.
— Ruth Davidson (@RuthDavidsonMSP) September 16, 2018
In the post, Davidson also described how she began to self-harm, writing that she started “punching walls, cutting my stomach and my arms with blades or broken glass, drinking far, far too much and becoming belligerent and angry to push people away, both pushing myself and hating myself for it at the same time.”
Davidson also went on to describe her “dark” and “vivid” dreams that left her so confused she could not tell the difference between what was real and what was not.
Writing about the stigma surrounding depression and mental health, Davidson pointed out that the stigma has reduced but there is still a “long way to go.”
Davidson’s mental health finally began to improve after she came off the anti-depressants she had been prescribed, while she also moderated her drinking and started attending church again.
Davidson is now expecting her first child with her partner Jen Wilson after undergoing IVF treatment.
The mother-to-be also cited her pregnancy as a reason for not wanting to ever become Prime Minister, as the idea of spending too much time away from her child was “offensive.”
If you were affected by any of the issues highlighted in this article you can reach out to the following:
T: 1890 929 539 | W: www.lgbt.ie
T: 01-872 1055 | W: www.gayswitchbaord.ie
T: 01-873 4999 | W: www.outhouse.ie
T: 1850 60 90 90 | W: www.samaritans.ie
Mental Health Ireland
© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.