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Ben Affleck Reveals He's Been on Antidepressants for Over 20 Years

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On a new segment of “Good Morning America” hosted by Diane Sawyer, Oscar-winning actor Ben Affleck, 47, shared he has been on antidepressants for over 20 years.

“I get depressed,” he told Sawyer. “I take antidepressants. They’re very helpful for me. I’ve taken them since I was 26 years old, various different kinds. I’ve switched and tried this and tried that.”

Affleck, who has been in addiction treatment programs three times, is no stranger to opening up about his mental health struggles. In 2017, he wrote a heartfelt Facebook post about the importance of seeking help.

“I have completed treatment for alcohol addiction; something I’ve dealt with in the past and will continue to confront,” he wrote. “I want to live life to the fullest and be the best father I can be. I want my kids to know there is no shame in getting help when you need it.”

In his upcoming movie, “The Way Back,” Affleck plays Jack Cunningham, a former student basketball star who takes a job coaching basketball at his alma mater. In the movie, Cunningham struggles with alcohol addiction and a failed marriage, both things Affleck has personal experience with. In 2018, Affleck and Jennifer Garner ended their marriage after a long separation. The actors have three children together.

“Divorce is very painful and alcoholism is very painful. They just are,” Affleck told Sawyer on “Good Morning America,” adding:

I really don’t want my children to pay for my sins. Or to be afraid for me, which is one of the hard parts of being the child of an alcoholic. You think, ‘What if my dad gets drunk? What if he does something stupid? What if he ends up on TMZ and is on my newsfeed and other kids see it?’

Affleck was likely referring to last October, when tabloid news website TMZ obtained a video of him seemingly intoxicated outside a Halloween party.

“Relapse is embarrassing, obviously,” the actor explained in his recent New York Times profile. “I wish it didn’t happen. I really wish it wasn’t on the internet for my kids to see. Jen and I did our best to address it and be honest.”

In addition to addressing his struggles on “Good Morning America,” Affleck shared he has a strong support system to help him when things get difficult. He said fellow actors Bradley Cooper and Robert Downey Jr. (both of whom have been open about their own struggles with addiction) have been incredible supports to him.

There is help if you are in crisis or are struggling with addiction. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.  If you or a loved one is affected by addiction and need help, you can call SAMHSA‘s hotline at 1-800-662-4357. 

Image via Creative Commons/Gage Skidmore

Originally published: February 21, 2020
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