TV legend Simon Cowell backs therapy after opening up on his mental health struggles

By Samara, Mental Health Correspondent

World TV legend Simon Cowell has opened up on his mental health struggles.

The founder of some of the world’s biggest reality TV formats such as Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor hailed the “super positive effect” of therapy on his life.

“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,” he told The Daily Mirror.

The 63-year-old said that Covid-19 was “the real catalyst”, leading Cowell’s mental health to deteriorate and him to enter a permanent state of anxiety.

“I didn’t know what was true or not, I just didn’t have a clue other than I was petrified about catching it. Just petrified,” he said.

The family stayed in LA for a year, during which Cowell didn’t “go out” and “didn’t see anybody”, worrying about whether or not his shows should go ahead in the UK.

That same year, he suffered a serious accident while riding an E-bike at his home. Cowell had to undergo intense surgery, which included having a metal rod put in his back to stabilise it.

When things “started to calm down a bit”, Cowell says he felt unprepared to return to “the real world”.

“So, I started to read up about stuff, teach myself. Then fortunately I met some friends who had benefited from therapy. And that’s when I thought, ‘You know what? I’ve kind of looked after my body through diet, and exercise, pretty well over the years, but what have I done about my brain and my mind?’

“And the answer is nothing and now’s the time to do it. So, it was almost like my head going to the gym… 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.”

Simon added: “I wish I had done this 10 or 20 years ago… it’s like a weight has lifted off my shoulders.”