Gay Scottish Tory leader opens up about her teenage battle with depression
Scottish Tory conservative leader Ruth Davidson revealed her reasons for not wanting to become Prime Minister.
She said she values her ‘mental health too much’.
The openly gay politician said: ‘You have to want it, and I don’t want to be prime minister’.
In 2016, while David Cameron was PM, she described the role as ‘the loneliest job in the world’.
Davidson also ruled out a peerage or becoming an MP at Westminster.
Ruth Davidson: ‘I went into a total tailspin’
In an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine, she opened up about her teenage struggle with depression and self-harm.
Davidson said her mental health suffered after a boy from her village took his own life when she was 17.
‘I went into a total tailspin’, she said.
She said she started cutting herself, ‘punching walls… drinking far, far, too much and becoming belligerent and angry’.
Davidson was diagnosed with clinical depression a year later, but said the medication meant she had ‘dark, terrible dreams’ and ‘couldn’t tell what was real’.
She also struggled with mental health issues in her university years.
In her second year studying English at Edinburgh University, she became so afraid of sleep she said she spent a whole term living nocturnally.
She said her depression ‘was like a smothering black blanket over my head, cutting out the sky’.
‘It was heavy, constricting, suffocating. It took away hope and energy and life.’
The Member of Scottish Parliament (MSP) said she battled her mental health issues by exercising regularly, moderating her alcohol intake, going back to church.
Furthermore, she added: ‘most importantly to me, I threw away my pills’.
But she said she was still ‘frightened of going back to the psychological place [she] once inhabited’.
‘When I have a period of heightened anxiety, or I can feel the weight of the black blanket start to descend, I go back to what I know works for me: structure, exercise, forward momentum, measurable outcomes. Sometime’s that’s hard in a job that’s 100 miles an hour.’
Davidson is pregnant with her first child
Davidson is expecting her first child.
The MSP is in a relationship with Jen Wilson. Earlier this year, she announced they were expecting a baby, after undergoing IVF treatment.
She will give birth in October, and plans to take four to five months of maternity leave.