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Simon Cowell Reveals He’s Suffered Serious Mental Health Struggles

Simon Cowell has opened up about his mental health as he encourages men to try therapy. The

In an exclusive interview with The Mirror, the 63-year-old talked about the change after he discovered speaking to a therapist for the first time had a super positive effect on his life. Cowell revealed he has weekly therapy sessions during his time as the first guest on The Mirror’s new Men in Mind podcast. 

“I’ve suffered from depression over the years… but that was just something I just thought, Well, that’s my character trait. I get down, and it’s something you deal with. I wish I had done this 10 or 20 years ago…it’s like a weight has lifted off my shoulders.”

The music mogul described a feeling of being in a constant state of anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said:

“When I see my friends, the first thing I talk about is how therapy has had this super positive effect on my life. I wish I had done this 10 or 20 years ago…it’s like a weight has lifted off my shoulders. If you’d said to me, ‘Simon, we’re going to be sitting down..in your garden, talking about mental health,’ I’d be going, ‘Have I lost my mind or something’. I’m not a doctor, I’m not an expert, but in my own way I’ve started to understand it more and done things myself for my mental health in a positive way. Now I am happy to talk about it to encourage others too. In the very, very, very early stages, some friends of mine got really ill and I’m talking about really ill. So, I thought, ‘God, if I catch this, maybe the same thing’s going to happen to me, Eric and Lauren’.”


Cowell explains that he was in Los Angeles and looking ahead to a new series of Britain’s Got Talent when the rapid spread of coronavirus occurred. 

He admitted his initial terror regarding the respiratory illness would spark a private mental health battle while he remained stranded in southern California with partner Lauren Silverman and their young son Eric.

Cowell did eventually catch Covid-19, but said the experience made him realise he needed to improve his mental health, and opted to seek help from a counsellor after meeting friends who benefitted from therapy. 

Recalling his first session, he said: “I made the appointment and I sat down, really embarrassed and I said, ‘Look, I just don’t know where to start. But within about 20 minutes it was as if I’d known him for 10, 20 years. He put me so much at ease. And you realise you’re talking to a professional and they don’t judge you, they listen to you.”

Cowell also discussed how the death of his parents affected his mental health. 

“It was really difficult. I’m in pieces but then I’m on TV,”. There were moments afterwards where it was really, really hard. And of all the times in my life, that was the hardest because it was just total finality.

“My mum and dad had gone, that was it.”

Simon’s father died of a heart attack on the same day he celebrated his first number one with Irish boyband Westlife and his mother Julie died in 2015, 24 hours before he was due to appear on The X Factor panel for the opening audition rounds.

Cowell discussed how after starting therapy, he had unravelled his obsession with his show ratings. He said his therapist asked him:

“‘do you consider your best work to be the highest-rated thing you’ve ever done?” And I said, ‘No.’ And he said, ‘So why are you judging yourself on that?’”

Cowell ended the interview by saying: “There’s nothing to be fearful of and no one’s going to look at you or judge you differently,” he says. “I think particularly men, as a kid especially, it was always, ‘don’t cry…be a man. But it’s nothing to be ashamed of and it’s healthy to almost go the other way.”

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