Springwatch star Chris Packham has revealed that he quit booze because he feared he was becoming addicted. The popular presenter has not drunk any alcohol since January.
Speaking to the Mirror, Chris, 61, said: “I was drinking too much, and too often, and I thought, ‘you’re getting addicted to this,’ and I really don’t like the idea of addiction. I was scared of it, I just instantaneously stopped.”
Conservationist Chris, who returns to our screens later this month with a new Springwatch series was speaking during Mental Health Awareness Week.
He revealed: “I got to a point, as you know, where I thought very seriously, and right to the last moment, about taking my life because I was depressed."
“I thought to myself, on the back of that, I mustn’t ever allow myself to get to this point again. I have got to do something where I’ll be able to stop before I get to that point, otherwise, I’ll end up killing myself.”
Chris said he went on an “intensive course of therapy that went on for three years”.
The popular presenter, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in his 40s, spoke to Good Morning Britain's Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway last November about his condition.
He said that when he was a young man in the 1970s, "autism diagnoses weren't freely available.
"So, it's perhaps not surprising that not many people of my generation weren't diagnosed until much later in life."
"The impact of that diagnosis is subsequently very different," he admitted.
Kate asked Chris about his diagnosis, saying: "Did it lift you in a positive sense?"
Chris said at the point of his diagnosis it didn't have "too much of an impact".
He explained: "I had figured it out years before. What's interesting is when I talk to my friends and colleagues they say, 'Well you've changed since that diagnosis.'"
The new three-week series of Springwatch will see Chris joined by regular co-presenters Michaela Strachan and Iolo Williams.
Zoologist and wildlife presenter Megan McCubbin, who is also Chris' stepdaughter, will be part of the presenting team again.
BBC2’s Springwatch begins on May 30.
If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Alcoholics Anonymous for free support on 0800 9177 650 or email [email protected]
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