Simon Pegg: I turned to alcohol to combat depression

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Simon Pegg spent time at The Priory and said he came out feeling better immediately (Ian West/PA)

Simon Pegg has spoken about his “bleak” battle with alcohol addiction and said he was only able to recover when he realised he was drinking to combat his depression.

The Shaun Of The Dead star, 49, said he knew he needed to get help after a night of drinking at San Diego Comic-Con in 2010.

He told GQ Hype: “You just can’t rely on any kind of stimulant to make yourself feel better and expect it to solve anything.

“At some point the effects wear off and you need more and more.

“And so with something like alcohol, you just end up being drunk all the time.

“It’s where that line comes from in The World’s End where Nick Frost’s character asks me, ‘How do know when you are drunk if you are never sober?’.

“And an opportunity came up for me to turn everything around and that’s what happened.

“I got to the point where I was sitting on the sidewalk in downtown San Diego having lost my phone and eating pizza and it was just so bleak.

“When I got home, Maureen (Pegg’s wife) just knew I had been drinking and it was bad. I knew then I needed to get help.”

Simon Pegg and Maureen McCann
Simon Pegg and wife Maureen McCann (Matt Crossick/PA)

He spent time at The Priory and said he came out feeling better immediately.

He said: “What I found was that as soon as I stopped, things started to go my way.

“It’s a strange thing and I have had conversations with other people about this, that when you quit drinking the universe starts to give back to you a little bit.

“Maybe it’s because I figured out why I was drinking, which was to combat the depression, and so I was able to get on top of what was the real issue. I spoke to people and got proper help.

“That’s when you realise you don’t need to get drunk because you don’t need to escape from things. By actually confronting it, my reward has been these last 10 years.”

He added: “What I have come to realise from back then is that depression is always there.

“No matter what I did. I don’t think you ever really lose your demons. You just try to find a way to keep them in their place.”