Billie Piper has said she would not “subject” her children to some of the situations she experienced as a 16-year-old.
The Olivier Award-winning actress, 38, shot to fame as a teenage pop star with her debut single Because We Want To in 1998.
Writing in The Big Issue magazine’s Letter To My Younger Self, she recalled how she often found herself in “very strange, very adult situations” due to her success.
Piper has three young children – two sons, Winston and Eugene, with ex-husband actor Laurence Fox and a daughter with Tribes lead singer Johnny Lloyd called Tallulah.
She said: “My teenage years are a period of my life that I’m reflecting on now for the first time in my adult life. There’s a lot of missing pieces to be honest, which I think speaks for itself.
“Those first few years were totally thrilling and I just felt like I was living a dream of mine. But I was often in very strange, very adult situations that I wouldn’t subject my own kids to at 16.
“Actually, my real take-away from my 16th year is just how exhausted I was, because I was a teenager going through everything a teenager goes through, but very publicly.”
The former Doctor Who star, who recently appeared in the hit Sky Atlantic drama I Hate Suzie and directed the film Rare Beasts, also addressed how therapy had played an important role in her life.
“Therapy has been crucial to my getting better, so I’d tell my young self to get a therapist,” she said.
“I just don’t know how young kids cope any more, I really don’t. I think everyone’s super-anxious, or at least that’s how it feels to me.
“If you can get your kids any sort of mental health support or family therapy, just get it. There’s no shame in it whatsoever.
“When I think of characters like Suzie and Mandy (from I Hate Suzie and Rare Beasts), they might have had quite different lives if they’d had therapy.”
Read the full interview in The Big Issue, out now.