Kit Harington Opens Up About His Depression and ‘Pretty Traumatic’ Addiction Struggles

Kit Harington, a two-time Emmy Award nominee, stated that he had to overcome personal challenges before becoming a father with his wife, Rose Leslie. The 34-year-old Game of Thrones star recently admitted that he “went through some pretty horrible stuff” following the conclusion of the famous HBO series in 2019.

“Things that have happened to me since Thrones ended, and that were happening during Thrones, were of a pretty traumatic nature, and they did include alcohol,” he told The Sunday Times.

“You get to a place where you feel like you are a bad person; you feel like you are a shameful person. And you feel that there’s no way out; that’s just who you are. And getting sober is the process of going, ‘No, I can change,'” Harington continued.

“One of my favorite things I learned recently is that the expression ‘a leopard doesn’t change its spots’ is completely false: that a leopard actually does change its spots. I just think that’s the most beautiful thing. It really helped. That was something I kind of clung to; the idea that I could make this huge fundamental change in who I was and how I went about my life.”

In May of 2019, he checked into the Privé-Swiss retreat in Connecticut, where he was treated for “mainly alcohol” throughout his stay.

“Kit has decided to utilize this break in his schedule as an opportunity to spend some time at a wellness retreat to work on some personal issues,” Harington’s rep told PEOPLE at the time.

Harington also revealed to The Sunday Times that he had suicidal thoughts.

“Yes, of course. I went through periods of real depression where I wanted to do all sorts of things,” he explained, adding that he hoped to be open about it would “maybe help someone, somewhere. But I definitely don’t want to be seen as a martyr or special. I’ve been through something; it’s my stuff. If it helps someone, that’s good.”

The actor also spoke about its strain on his marriage to Game of Thrones co-star Leslie, 34, whom he married in Scotland in June 2018.

“You can imagine the stresses that it causes to those around you,” he explained.

Following the couple’s announcement of their pregnancy in September, their spokeswoman confirmed to PEOPLE in February that they had welcomed a son and are “very, very happy.”