Stephen Fry has opened up about the time a doctor told him he was "very likely to die" before his time if he didn't receive treatment for his mental health.

Speaking about the experience for the BBC Two documentary What's The Matter With Tony Slattery?, Fry described a "particularly terrible episode".

I had a particularly terrible episode, and so I then submitted to a doctor. He told me that if I carried on the way I was without treatment I was very likely to die before my time.

You have to try and believe that i's an adventure, almost like an intellectual challenge. I'm going to see if I can take this beast out of myself and see if I can anatomise it on a table and deal with it. 

Fry has spoken publicly about his depression and suicide attempts. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 37. He is also the president of Mind Charity, who champion mental health support in the UK.

Fry was speaking to Tony Slattery, a fellow comedian who retreated from the spotlight in 1996 amidst rumours of a breakdown, possibly owing to bipolar disorder.

Slattery revisited the trauma in a show he toured before making the Horizon documentary to try to find more answers about his mental health.

Fry also spoke about the possible dangers of attempting self-medicate mental health issues.

I think one of the things people overlook is the pain. It’s so hard to communicate because everyone has bad days of course they do, but that’s different from a pain inside that is so intense and so permanent sometimes.

And unfortunately, the ways people deal with it if it’s not diagnosed are dangerous. They are all drugs, alcohol or self-harm in one kind or another. And the only way to deal with it that isn’t dangerous is to rely on the health service.

Slattery, speaking to friends like Fry and experts like Professor Guy Goodwin, seeks support and official diagnosis in the hour-long documentary.

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