At 23 years old, Sophie Turner has been on Game of Thrones since 2011, and the experience of growing up on TV adversely affected her mental health. In an interview with Dr. Phil, Turner described how, around age 17, feelings of depression “all of a sudden just kind of hit me,” as her friends went off to university and she felt isolated by working on TV and living alone. “It started to go downhill when I started to hit puberty and was gaining weight and there was the social media scrutiny and everything,” she said, describing how social media attention to her looks and acting ability on Game of Thrones was a “bit of a catalyst” toward depressive thoughts. “You see ten great comments and you ignore them, but one negative comment, it throws you off.”
“People used to write ‘Sansa gained ten pounds’ or ‘Sansa needs to lose ten pounds,’” Turner said, noting that she had trouble performing in character because she was so fixated on the criticism. “I would say I am spotty, I am fat, I am a bad actress, and I believed it.” Turner added that, at the time, she had no motivation to go out with anyone, even her friends, but that she did confide in her co-star Maisie Williams, who could understand her experience. Turner also said that her fiancé, Joe Jonas, who was in the room during her Dr. Phil interview, had supported her. “I won’t be judged by him; he’s seen the worst,” she said.