- Actor Tom Felton’s mental health issues recently came to light in his new autobiography.
- His book also highlights the role of therapy and social support in healing from mental distress.
Felton, who essayed the role of the antagonist Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter film franchise, explores the plights faced by child actors across the world in his aptly titled book Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard. Tom Felton opens up about the highs and lows of his career, his mental health struggles, and how his friends and family (specifically Emma Watson) helped him through his rough times.
Tom Felton’s Mental Health Issues
After the ending of the Harry Potter films, Felton confesses that he faced creative and financial difficulties in bagging good roles. He also experienced breakdowns in his personal life and took to substance use.
Though he does not elaborate on the specifics of his mental health disorders, he signals out alcoholism and drug use as debilitating problems.
Talks Of Therapy
Harry Potter’s Tom Felton talked about his substance use disorder and how it heavily impacted his well-being. Ultimately, he turned to medical help and went through a mental health intervention and brief stints of hospitalization and rehabilitation.
Talking of his experience of seeking treatment, he elaborates: “[It was] one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make. But the very fact that I was able to admit to myself that I needed some help – and I was going to do something about it – was an important moment.”
Tom Felton Opens Up About Emma Watson’s Support
Tom Felton and Emma Watson (of Harry Potter and Beauty And The Beast fame) have one of the most enduring friendships in Hollywood. Felton thanked Watson, alongside his friends and family, for helping him through his treatment and recovery.
He credits Watson for the idea of including his mental health battle in a book and putting it out to the world. Watson, an avid bibliophile, is no stranger to the therapeutic benefits of ink and paper. Her sound advice, it seems, beautifully found its way into Felton’s autobiography.
He says: “I was encouraged by a few people, Emma Watson specifically, to tell the whole story and not just sort of cherry-pick the fluffy bits. Not just because it was cathartic for me. But also in the hope that sharing those parts of my story will help others that are maybe not going through the best time.”
Hollywood, Fame, And Mental Health
Tom Felton joins a growing string of actors who started off as child artists (Daniel Radcliffe, Lindsay Lohan, Selena Gomez, and Britney Spears) and who have time and again highlighted how fame and fortune have taken a toll on their health and mental well-being.
His telling his story is commendable as it destigmatizes the conversation around mental health and leads by example. Much like Friends’ actor Matthew Perry’s recent book, Felton’s story can help thousands successfully address their addictive disorders and mental health issues through timely treatment and diagnosis.