During Stranger Things, David Harbour’s character has had plenty of ups and downs.
It appears that Harbour’s real life has plenty of peaks and troughs. During this week’s WTF Podcast with Marc Maron, Harbour went into some of his mental health problems in the past.
He told the comedian Maron that he spent time in a psychiatric hospital for bi-polar disorder. He said that when he got sober, he went deep into spirituality, but it wasn’t a good mix.
He said: "I really had like a bit of a break where I thought I was in connection to some sort of God that I wasn't really in connection to.”
He added that he was completely sober at the time and not taking any drugs, stating: “I realised that I don't really need them, that I have a capacity to see the elves in the corners of my room if I really allow myself to go there."
He then gave details of what he described as a “mental asylum”, adding: “And I have to say one thing about the mental asylum...really, really not as fun as you think it is. You do have a romantic idea...and it just ends up being sad and smells like s--t. And the other thing was boating. I recently went out on a ship in open water, and I'd read Moby Dick a million times, and it's really not sexy, it's horrible. It's very similar to the mental asylum experience."
He also told Maron that it is easy to fall into the trap, adding: “Have you ever been to a mental asylum? The only thing that defines a 'crazy' person and a 'normal' person...is they're convinced they're sane. Crazy people are convinced they're sane, like, 'I'm the only one that gets it.' It's incredible."
He has since gone on medication for his health difficulties. Harbour said: "That's actually when the drugs came in," he said. "I've had a struggle, going on and off the medications."
Harbour also told Marc Maron of his struggles as a teenager and what led him to acting: “When I got to be like in high school and stuff, I sort of was drawn to that feeling of feeling uncomfortable in my skin and being confused by human beings, like just constantly confused.
“[It] led me to a couple different outlets, one of which was drinking and then there was also this other outlet, where I would see people behave in certain ways and I wouldn't believe them. Like, they would say certain things and I felt like they would mean something different. I just started to see subtext."
He added: "People were like, 'Haha, we're friends, we're friends! I love you!' And you'd just feel like, you hate that person. And then the question becomes, 'Why are you lying? Why do you have to lie?'...I was so fascinated by why they make the choices that they do, why they lock themselves into situations that they seem to not like, why don't people live the way they want to, what it is that they're doing? That led me to acting."