Simon Cowell reveals he struggled with private mental health battles
Simon Cowell reveals he struggled with private mental health battles during global pandemic over his fear of catching COVID-19 and passing it to his family before seeking therapy
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Simon Cowell says his mental health plummeted during the global pandemic, leading him to seek therapy as he fretted over the prospect of catching COVID-19 and passing it on to his family.
The TV and music mogul was in Los Angeles and looking ahead to a new series of Britain’s Got Talent when the rapid spread of coronavirus prompted worldwide panic and a series of national lockdowns that would change the way we live for the next two years.
And Cowell, 63, admits his initial terror regarding the respiratory illness would spark a private mental health battle while he remained stranded in southern California with partner Lauren Silverman and their young son Eric.
He told the Daily Mirror: ‘I’ve suffered from depression over the years…but that was just something I just thought, “Well, that’s my character trait. I get down,” and it’s something you deal with.
‘And then I suppose COVID was the real catalyst. In the very, very, very early stages, some friends of mine got really ill and I’m talking about really ill. So, I thought, “God, if I catch this, maybe the same thing’s going to happen to me, Eric and Lauren.”‘
Fears: Simon Cowell says his mental health plummeted during the global pandemic, leading him to seek therapy as he fretted over the prospect of catching COVID-19
Worry: Cowell admits his initial terror would spark a mental health battle while he remained stranded in southern California with partner Lauren Silverman and their young son Eric
Sobering daily news bulletins highlighting the global death toll, overcrowded hospitals and the devastating impact on life as we know it only intensified his growing panic.
‘I didn’t know what was true or not, I just didn’t have a clue other than I was petrified about catching it. Just petrified,’ he recalled, admitting he tested himself ‘1,000 times’ during the pandemic.
Cowell eventually did catch the virus and experienced no adverse affects, but the experience made him realise he needed to take steps to improve his mental state as the world slowly returned to normal.
After meeting friends who had benefited from therapy, the father-of-one opted to seek help from a counsellor – an experience he says is akin to ‘taking your brain to the gym.’
Recalling his first session, he said: ‘I made the appointment and I sat down, really embarrassed and I said, “Look, I just don’t know where to start.”‘
‘But within about 20 minutes it was as if I’d known him for 10, 20 years. He put me so much at ease. And you realise you’re talking to a professional and they don’t judge you, they listen to you.’
Cowell is now back on the America’s Got Talent judging panel, and he admits to hoping son Eric, nine, will follow in his footsteps when the time is right.
Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com, he admitted Eric is already learning the ropes when it comes to finding entertainers with promise.
Concer: Sobering daily news bulletins highlighting the global death toll, overcrowded hospitals and the devastating impact on life as we know it only intensified his growing panic
Like father, like son: Cowell would like to see his son Eric, nine, take over his position as the head judge on America’s Got Talent
‘Trust me, he is in training,’ the doting dad explained. ‘He sits and watches the shows with me before they go out and I don’t ask him, but I look at his reaction because kids don’t lie.’
He continued: ‘If they are bored, they are bored and if they are interested in something, they are… And that’s really helped me actually. I hope he does what I do.’
However, it turns out the young child is far more eager to have his turn in the limelight as Simon added: ‘He has said the dreaded words, “Daddy, can I audition for you? And I’m like, “Oh, No!”‘
Eric would even be willing to share his success with others as his father revealed that the aspiring singer hopes to become part of a band one day.
‘He wants to be in a band. He likes Green Day,’ Cowell laughed. ‘So, I’m like, “We’ll have this conversation later.” He’s going to do what he wants to do.’
He made it clear that his son wouldn’t ever receive any special treatment should he audition for his father.
In fact, Eric is guaranteed to receive the same tough criticism that helped Cowell become a household name through his time judge talent on TV shows.
He explained: ‘I’ve said to him, “If you are not good, you are not going on the show. And that means you’ve got to rehearse. Sorry, you have to take a lot of lessons, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”
‘He is like, “Okay.” And then I think he lost interest, but I think he just, I don’t know. He’s just up for it for some reason. But if he’s terrible, no, you won’t see him on the show’.
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