Homeland star David Harewood opens up about being sectioned after mental health battle

The actor – who plays counter-terrorism chief David Etses in Homeland – has opened up about his battle with mental illness.

David, 52, says his erratic behaviour, brought on by a deteriorating mental state, led him him to be to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act for his own safety.

He said: “I got to the stage where my behaviour was deemed to be, I wouldn’t say dangerous, but I didn’t really care.”

David says his time at Whittington Hospital in Archway, North London, is a blur – but he can remember some of the details.

He added: “I remember bits of it.

"I remember friends coming to see me and the odd moment of lucidity but I was very heavily sedated. Most of it I was asleep for, to be honest.

"I had absolutely no idea where I was or why I was there or how long I was in there. I can remember at one point thinking, ‘Why can’t I get out of these doors?’

"I can remember trying to get out and thinking, ‘Why are these doors locked?’ and then people coming towards me and helping me back into bed. And I was thinking, ‘Why can’t I go home?’ and just being very confused.

“I didn’t really know where I was and why I was there. And in the 30 years since no one has actually been able to tell me exactly what happened.”

David said at one point while he was laying in his hospital bed, he believed that William Shakespeare was reciting lines to him.

He said: “I remember just lying there and I heard somebody talking Shakespeare and even in my drug-addled brain I thought, ‘I recognise that.’

"And I sat up and looked for him, and looked around and he was wandering the ward. And I’m sure it was, it was Shakespeare. And for some reason it made me feel better.

"It comforted me because I didn’t know who I was. But I knew ­Shakespeare when I heard it.

"Then I remember drifting off to sleep thinking, ‘No, it’s OK, everything’s OK, I’m all right,’ because it brought me comfort to hear something that I was familiar with, because everything around me was not.”

David is set to explore the subject of mental health a little further in a documentary he's filming for the BBC called David Harewood: My Psychosis and Me.

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