Game of Thrones star Kit Harington chose to check himself into rehab, in response to overwhelming stress he felt from the messy character arc of Jon Snow. After playing the character of Jon Snow for eight years on the extremely popular HBO series Game of Thrones, Harington was hit hard with the way his character’s story ended in the Game of Thrones series finale this spring.
Kit Harington, who is just 32 years old, decided to attend a luxury rehab, Privé-Swiss— a luxurious health retreat in Connecticut, and has been there for almost a month now. Harington cites stress and alcoholism for the driving forces that landed him in rehabilitation. We believe the stress stems from an eight year run of being absolutely enmeshed with his character Jon Snow, and not only having that character portrayl end but having it end in a way that Harington did not creatively agree with as an actor. The character arc of Jon Snow seemed to be the most disappointing in Game of Thrones final season, as many fans would tell you was pretty spot on for most of the cast.
Being an avid Game of Thrones fan myself, I believe Kit Harington was overwhelmed with stress and disappointment in his character and the fact that this series was coming to an end. In my personal opinion, I believe Harington checked himself into rehab because Game of Thrones ending probably felt like his identity was ending. When you play a character for eight years, in a series as enthralling and as complex as Game of Thrones, anyone would be left feeling lost once the show ended. I surely was left feeling lost with the end of the series, and I wasn’t even a cast member.
I think it’s amazing that Kit Harington chose to check himself into a facility to address the stress and alcoholism that resulted from the series coming to a close, it sets an example for actors and actresses who should be reminded that their health comes first. I can imagine that playing a character for eight years really allows that character to become part of your identity, especially with the artistry of acting, that letting a character go could result in some difficulties in your mental health, sense of identity, figuring out your next career move, etc.
Kit Harington has been vocal about his struggles both during filming and after the filming of Game of Thrones. Harington even cited going to therapy to deal with the stress he felt when the show shifted in its story line, and made Jon Snow the focus of each following season. Harington said “‘When you become the cliffhanger of a TV show, and a TV show probably at the height of its power, the focus on you is f—–g terrifying…That was a time when I started therapy and started talking to people, I had felt very unsafe, and I wasn’t talking to anyone’ ” (Page Six). We have so much respect for Harington choosing to seek help and being vocal about needing therapy, he is setting such an example for other actors, actresses, and other people in general. Hollywood is infamously known as trying to keep any personal struggles as hush-hush as possible, and we find it refreshing that someone as famous as Kit Harington is being vocal about his struggles and finding help for himself. Harington also spoke out about having somewhat of a mental breakdown after filming the final scenes of Game of Thrones, mentioning that removing his costume felt like he was ‘being skinned’— almost as if part of his identity was being torn off of him.
What Has Jon Snow Been Doing in Rehab?
Kit Harington has been using his time in Privé-Swiss to attend therapy, making sure to get himself in a stable place through psychological coaching, mindful meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy and other therapeutic processes. Of course, the luxury center Harington chose costs upwards of $120,000 a month, but bettering yourself, tending to your mental health, and working on substance abuse issues does not have a set cost.
Shutting Down the Stigma
Following news that the King in the North, Jon Snow (Kit Harington), checked himself into rehab, social media blew up with a slew of insensitive jokes that ran along the lines of “the season finale was so bad that Kit Harington had to go to rehab after it.” Game of Thrones fans and mental health advocates quickly shut down the jokes that were circulating, speaking out about why it’s harmful to react to this news with jokes. We agree with advocates, and believe that making jokes about someone seeking treatment is perpetuating the stigma that keeps people from reaching out for help with their mental health and substance abuse issues.
We are happy to see that recent statistics show that more people are reaching out for treatment. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has actually reported that the number of people seeking treatment has risen from 1.14 million to 1.36 million people, which is surely a positive change.
Having an open dialogue about the importance of taking care of your mental health is only helpful as we try to end the stigma associated with mental health and substance abuse treatment. We believe everyone should prioritize their own mental health, and seek treatment for substance abuse issues before it turns into an addiction. Having people like Kit Harington, an influential actor, use his fame to model healthy actions and reactions to stress and alcoholism, is a massive example of wellness and health for everyone watching.
We think it is absolutely amazing to see someone put their mental health and substance abuse issues on the table, and then to show the action they are taking to combat these issues. Harington has become an important example of what putting your health first should look like, and we have nothing but respect and well-wishes for the actor. People in the surrounding community in Connecticut have spoken up about seeing Harington frequent different gyms, health stores, and book stores— all who have seen him in the community say that Kit looks ‘really good’, healthy, and well. We hope Kit Harington is doing great, and thank him for his advocacy of mental health and substance abuse treatment.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or mental health issues, please reach out to us for help at (877)-RECOVERY or (877)-732-6837. Our team makes themselves available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because We Care.