Spike Milligan was unusually open about his battle with
depression. He was one of the first people in the public
eye to talk frankly about his mental illness. In November
1970 "The Other Spike" was broadcast – a
documentary about his manic depression, which caused controversy.
He also co-authored a book called Depression and How
to Survive It with Dr Anthony Clare and presented a
video called "Me, depressed? Don’t make me laugh:
a guide to overcoming depression".
Despite suffering frequent and debilitating bouts of depression,
Spike lived an extraordinarily full and creative life.
Spike remarked later in his life, "Early days, I had
no control over it, but it’s like getting used to
a hump on your back."
Read an interview with Spike's
daughter Jane about her thoughts on his illness
Listen to Spike read some his
poems about depression
Find out more about the incidence
and symptoms of depression