Idris Elba reveals he’s been in therapy for over a year after work realisation

Idris Elba has revealed that he’s been in therapy for the past year because of “unhealthy habits” affecting his personal life.

The British actor, 51, recently opened up about his mental health on the Changes with Annie Macmanus podcast. Speaking on the podcast released on 2 October, Elba said that he’s been in therapy for about a year.

“In my therapy I’ve been thinking a lot about changing,” he said. “It’s not because I don’t like myself or anything like that. It’s just that I have some unhealthy habits that have just really formed.”

“I work in an industry that I am rewarded for those unhealthy habits,” Elba added. The Luther star admitted that he’s “a workaholic” and explained how taking on new work projects has had a negative impact on his daily life.

“I’m a workaholic. I’m an absolute workaholic,” he said. “And that isn’t great for life, generally. Nothing that’s too extreme is good. Everything needs balance.”

However, The Wire star acknowledged that the entertainment industry rewards “someone that can go: ‘I’m not going to see my family for six months.’ And I’m in there grinding and making a new family and then leave them.”

Despite admitting that he’s a workaholic, he noted that what makes him most “relaxed” is surprisingly working. Elba, who often moonlights as a DJ, went on to share that his at-home studio only further fuels his workaholic tendencies.

He continued: “I could work 10 days on a film, underwater sequences holding my breath for six minutes, and come back and sit in [the studio] and [feel relaxed], more so than sitting on the sofa with the family – which is bad right?

“This is the part where I’ve got to normalise what makes me relaxed, it can’t be all work,” he added.

(Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

In 2020, a study of 2,000 UK office workers found that four in 10 British adults admitted that they’re workaholics. The study showed that one in six workers frequently spends more than 11 hours a week working when they are away from the office, such as checking emails and making calls. Plus, only three per cent of workers surveyed said they leave work on time every day.

In the study, some of the signs of a workaholic included never taking a lunch break, working on weekends, and always being the last one to leave the office. Ignoring family can also be a sign of working too much, as one in five adults admitted they’d take a work call or check emails while with their family.

Elba is married to Canadian model Sabrina Dhowre. The two began dating in 2017 and were engaged in February 2018. They tied the knot on 26 April 2019 in Marrakesh. He is also the proud father to two children. Elba shares daughter Isan, born in January 2002, with ex-wife Kim Norgaard and son Winston, born in April 2014, with ex-girlfriend Naiyana Garth.

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