How Jon Hamm Struggled with Depression

Jon Hamm


updated 09/22/2010 AT 7:35 AM ET

originally published 09/22/2010 AT 8:35 AM ET

He now plays the dapper, suave Don Draper in Mad Men, so it’s hard to picture Jon Hamm battling chronic depression, relying on antidepressants and therapy to beat the illness. But that’s just what he did.

Hamm, 38, reveals to the U.K. magazine The Observer how he was hit hard with the death of his father at the age of 20.

“I was … unmoored by that. I struggled with chronic depression. I was in bad shape,” he says. Hamm’s mother had died of stomach cancer when he was only 10, and he went to live with his father. His parents had divorced when he was just a toddler.

He has told Vanity Fair that his character Don Draper is partly inspired by his father. The actor, currently a hit in Ben Affleck’s movie The Town, says work also helped him recover: “I knew I had to get back in school and back in some kind of structured environment and … continue.”


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