J K Rowling: 'I was near to suicide as a struggling mum'

Michael Connellan
Sunday 23 March 2008 01:00

Harry Potter author J K Rowling has revealed she was close to suicide during her time as a struggling young single mother.

The writer for children has since seen her books translated into 65 different languages and has gathered a personal fortune estimated at £545m. But during her twenties Rowling was a single mother trying to cope following her separation from her first husband, a Portuguese journalist.

Describing her experience to Adeel Amini, 22, who writes for an Edinburgh student magazine, Rowling said she received cognitive behavioural therapy after descending into suicidal thoughts.

She said: "Mid-twenties, my life circumstances were poor and I really plummeted. The thing that made me go for help was probably my daughter. She was something that earthed me, grounded me, and I thought, this isn't right, she cannot grow up with me in this state."

The author claimed that her regular Edinburgh GP was away and a stand-in doctor failed to help her.

"She said: 'If you ever feel a bit low, come back and speak to the practice nurse' and dismissed me. We're talking suicidal thoughts here; we're not talking 'I'm a bit miserable'."

Rowling added: "Two weeks later I had a call from my regular GP who looked back over the notes. She called me back in. She saved me because I don't think I would have had the guts to go twice."

The author has previously spoken of her struggles with depression but had not discussed suicidal urges. Rowling received praise from mental health campaigners following the revelation.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments